Meaningful Social Connection
People are happier when they experience social connection, and running with others helps build genuine friendships. Kathy Youngren of Huntsville (AL) says, “Most of my best friends are runners, so the running community is like family for me.”
Youngren’s sentiment is not unusual. When runners run with others, they have meaningful conversations and endure challenging workouts. Even in bad weather, running with company typically makes a run more enjoyable and strengthens the bond between group members.
That sense of community only increases when you work together toward a common goal. Marty Eaton, also of Huntsville, started running for weight control and fitness. After a few years of working out, he and his wife signed up to coach a Fleet Feet 5K training group. Suddenly, he says, “it became all about community and our new tribe.” While many runners come to the sport for health reasons, they stay for the meaningful social connections.