Wow! It’s Thursday already! Time sure does fly! Someone I know on Facebook posted yesterday that it was only two months until Christmas! I had not thought that far ahead.
I am not ready to even think about it!
Do you have a simple or guilty pleasure to share this week?
My simple pleasure this week came to me during the races this past weekend. Now I know I shared my adventures with you yesterday, but I left some things out to share today. I felt they needed their own time and page.
My simple pleasure is the sense of community I witness every time I run at home.
As many of you know I live in Baltimore, MD. There are two Baltimore’s in a sense. There is the City of Baltimore (which is what most people refer to when talking about Baltimore) and Baltimore County (that’s where I live). The county is an area of suburbs made up of numerous communities that once had their own name (mine is Dundalk).
Unless you live under a rock or don’t watch the news, you have likely heard of some discord and goings on in Baltimore City the past few years (I am being kind). Baltimore, has gotten a pretty bad rap. What you see in the news and media is a racial divide. What doesn’t get portrayed is the strong sense of community in the city.
They don’t show the residents that come out every year to support a group of 20,000+ runners from all 50 states and this year 34 countries who run through their neighborhoods (sometimes a couple of times a year as there may be more than one race that comes through). As runners we are from ALL walks of life, all races, religions, ethnicities, but what we see are other runners.
You don’t see the men, women, and children, of Baltimore, who are up at the crack of dawn and on their front steps, porches, or stoops waiting as the first runner runs past and still there when the “back of the packers” come through (I know, that’s my tribe sometimes). They don’t see race, ethnicities or religions either. They are there to cheer the runners on (from the first elite runner to the struggling straggler); the runners that are invading their neighborhoods, offering encouraging words, high fiving (and you can bet if a child is there for a high-five I will make sure they get one, even if it slows me down), and often times offering snacks; that may include gummy bears, bagels, bananas, sliced oranges, pretzels, chips, you name it, water, and even beer. This is in addition to the water and Gatorade stops put out by the race team. These folks put out their own money to provide snacks and water along they way to help the runners reach the finish line. Runners they have probably never met and may or may not ever see again. And let me just tell you, runners are a trusting bunch. We partake. When you are “running on empty” and that orange slice shows up, you take it and thank the person standing there. The term “stranger danger” never enters your mind. If you are hurting and another runner comes by and offers Tylenol or something to help with the pain; you take it and don’t even think twice. It’s these things that always reminds me of one of my favorite quotes.
“In spite of everything I still believe people are really good at heart”. Anneliese (Anne) Marie Frank 1929-1945
In other cities where I’ve run, there is crowd support and organizations that set up along the route with snacks and such for runners. Heck, we had a smorgasbord in D.C. at times, but in Baltimore it’s the “people”, the community that give of themselves. People helping people. This is the Baltimore that I know. This is the Baltimore I hope others see and I hope you see that in your community as well.
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Until the next time