by Eric Smith
I share my story below to explain why, as the newly-elected President of the Charlotte Running Club, I want our non-profit organization led by volunteers who are passionate about running to help others keep or bring back the motivation to run.
Since March 2020, so many of us have had to change plans to run local, national, and international races. Several events I was lined up to pace or race were canceled (Tobacco Road, Chicago, Charlotte, and Kiawah) and I went through a period in April where my motivation to run went south and several runs were shortened because I started to question why bother getting out there if there was a real possibility there would not be another race for the rest of 2020? Fortunately, I had a few friends who were training for the Virtual Boston Marathon and we started to work together to train and hold one another accountable. I wasn’t training for Boston but the opportunity to help pace long runs and participate in the workouts really provided me the spark to keep running not only to stay healthy but also to have a sense of normalcy that I could control.
In the coming year, the Charlotte Running Club needs to help all runners who may be struggling to stay motivated and to make it easier for our members to support local businesses, non-profits, and community initiatives. This can be done by creating opportunities for runners to meet, train, and stay connected. No doubt, runners still have a lot of uncertainty ahead in the next 6 months when it comes to races and it will be important for all of us to stay focused, have fun, and use the phrase “running is not canceled”.