One of my goals for 2009 was to get more involved in my local running community. Recently, I got some news that proves that I accomplished that mission.
In 2008, I applied for the Cornbelt Running Club Racing Team. I knew it was a long shot; I was new to the club and didn't really know anybody yet. But I loved the idea so I figured it was worth a try and sent in my application, along with an impassioned essay.
No such luck. In fact, I found out I didn't make the team on the very same day that I lost my job. Bummer, right?
This year, I applied again. I was hoping that the time I'd spend attending club events, getting to know my fellow runners, training with the club, and volunteering at a couple of races would make the difference. And, if not, I'd try again for the 2011 team - eventually, they'd have to cave and let me in.
It looks like they caved: I made the team!
We had our first meeting yesterday, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I was honored to be part of such a fantastic group of runners. The Cornbelt Running Club Racing Team is made up of runners of all age groups and abilities. They are people who I've watched get trophies at races, but also people who I've seen volunteering time and time again, supporting our fellow runners any way we can. Our team's goals are goals that are important to me as well - to promote the sport of running.
As a member of the team, I am going to enjoy some amazing benefits. I was issued a uniform, which I will wear every time I race: a singlet, shorts (which I may replace with a skirt), a sports bra, warm-up pants, a windbreaker, and a technical t-shirt to wear either when volunteering or when it's too chilly for the singlet. Best of all, it's my favorite color, red! I will also get a 20% discount at Running Wild, our fabulous local running store, and free or reduced entry to several local races. One of those local races is the Bix 7, and not only that, but our team gets elite entry. As in, "Hey, there, Meb and Joanie! Good morning, and I hope you enjoy kicking my ass in this race."
Our team does, of course, have to earn our keep. We are required to volunteer at at least six events a year. In particular, if we are running in a race for a free or reduced entry, the race director asks that we volunteer either before or after the race. I am more than happy to pitch in. Last year, I volunteered for two races, and I've been planning to do more. This sport has given a lot to me, and I want to make sure I give back as well.
I left the meeting feeling inspired, both to run my best and to promote my sport to everyone. I am proud of this accomplishment and everything that it represents.