Written by Lauren MacDonald
For a long time now, my dad has spent Sunday mornings meeting up with a bunch of local runners and sometimes I go with him. This group of guys has been running together now for 34 years—or longer, depending on who you ask. They meet every Sunday at Sully’s house, drink ridiculous amounts of coffee, run and argue.
This Thanksgiving, I rolled out of bed early and met up with them to join their informal turkey trot. Since the core group of guys is getting on in years (sorry guys—you’re still young at heart), many of them no longer run, but still participate in the drinking coffee and the arguing, as well as logging a few miles walking. In my past couple of Sunday runs, I’ve been struck by several important things.
First, despite their inability to actually run anymore, this group is tied tight together by their shared runs of 30 plus years. They tell stories of races they’ve raced or trained for together, long runs that didn’t turn out so well, and trips they’ve taken. Through the very core of their camaraderie is running.
Second, there is always room for more. There is always room for another runner to join their Sunday tradition (and always room for more coffee in your mug). As the years have gone by, the group has expanded outside of the original core group to include daughters, sons, spouses, friends they heard talking about running, random neighbors they’ve seen running and pretty much anyone who loves to run. They don’t discriminate. The first time I ran with them I was about 14 years old and despite the large age difference, I felt a part of the group—and even though I don’t show up every Sunday, when I do they welcome me with open arms.
Third, just because they share a love of running doesn’t mean they agree on everything. A large part of the Sunday tradition is not just the running and the drinking of coffee, it’s also the lively discussion sparked up during and after the run. Just a couple Sundays ago, there was a rousing debate over the relative merits and pitfalls of a spending bill for the high school’s sports fields (among many other things). I know the election has been a hot topic of discussion many of times, along with the best type of coffee, the best running plan, the best running shoe, climate change and so much more. Nothing is off-limits for them. They argue, they intentionally take different sides, sometimes one of them leaves in a huff, but they still meet up every Sunday.
I love going to Sunday mornings with them to be reminded that no matter who we are… it’s the run that binds us together. (Also, the coffee is pretty great)