Do you know how magical The Station Pub Run is? Yes, it’s a running group that meets once a week. But it’s really so much more than that. The Station Pub Run is a place where new connections are made, old friendships are strengthened, everyone gets one step closer to whatever fitness goal they have - it really is a beautiful thing. There is a kind of momentum to Pub Run, and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels it. Sometimes at the end of the run, when everyone is back at the bar, gathered in little pods chatting, laughing, and drinking beer, I stand back and try to absorb what’s going on around me. It feels so... organic!
Each week, new runners join our group. They either heard about us from a friend, saw us running through town and did some research, or found us on the interwebs. (I WISH - random google searches have not turned us up yet. While I’m on that subject: stationpubrun.com - google it NOW. Please and thanks.) Regardless, we’re growing, but not at an unsustainable rate. At the end of the day I think we’re still a close-knit community of runners that is very welcoming to new fools that get duped into joining our ranks.
It has taken a lot of effort to turn the Station Pub Run into what it is today: equal parts dogged determination, naive optimism, shameless persistence, goofy-as-hell-enthusiasm, and any other set of descriptors that indicate pushing forth with ideas and actions when the surrounding world thinks you’re just plain ridiculous (read: the traveling pint cup map now hanging on the station front porch). But this effort does not just come from me, it comes from members of our running group as well. First and most important, you all keep showing up! That’s huge. If there were no other runners in this group, I would just be one sad soul sending emails to myself and standing on tables at a bar. Okay I would probably just go for a run by myself. Okay if I’m really being honest, I would probably just go home and sit on my couch, let’s be serious.
But also many runners have gone above and beyond, and have donated their personal time and professional talents to the greater good of The Station Pub Run. While I initially felt very guilty asking people for help (we can thank my Jewish mother for that one), I’ve learned over the years that people WANT to contribute, and it actually helps to make everyone feel more connected with our group. We’re like the co-op of Pub Runs, and I like to think that everyone shares a little piece of the ownership. So now, like a sappy award recipient, or ridiculous person that I am (you can pretend I’m Leslie Knope if you want, I would take it as a complement), there’s a few people that deserve a thanks. Be sure to click on their names below, to learn more about each one!!
For starters we have Yik Lam - the ever-dependable “Back-Up Back-Up Run Club Coordinator”. (For the record, there is no Back-Up Run Club Coordinator.) I could probably count on my right hand the number of times that he has missed a Pub Run. He has served as my sounding board for the past several years, and has contributed so much of his own time and resources to our group. (I believe his ultimate plan is to be listed as a sponsor the next time we order shirts, bahaha.) I sometimes even trust him to babysit the run on the rare occasions that I cannot make it out. If there is anyone who eats, sleeps, and breaths Station Pub Run as much as I do, it would be this gentleman right here.
Next up there’s Suzy Porterfield - our resident graphic designer. Did you know she has her own side business designing paper products with clever sayings? And she does design work for her day job too. And somehow she finds the time to fulfill my requests to put together products for The Station Pub Run. Those amazing shirts you own with the giant message on the back that beckons fellow runners ¼ mile behind you to run with you to beer? You can thank Suzy for that. And those redesigned frequent runner punch cards that now have our website listed on them?? The magic touch again, of our very own Ms. Porterfield!
And how about all those amazing new photos that are starting to go up on our website and social media? They certainly didn’t come from a cell phone camera! Ted Richardson is Station Pub Runner by night, and professional photographer by day. And he very generously photographed us WHILE RUNNING HIMSELF one evening, all for free. I think I may have given him a sticker as a thank you. So I take that back. Ted got paid with a $2 sticker. Does that make him a sponsored runner now?
And finally - Jonathan Tweedy is probably the person whose talents I have exploited most of all. The very website on which you are reading this post (congrats if you’ve made it this far) has all been made possible by Jon. He programs websites for a living, and could have charged me a very fine premium for this site. Instead he has dedicated SO MUCH time to this project, and has very kindly responded to my website requests at all hours of the day and night. And conveniently, Jon likes to work out of bars, so our “website meetings” often occur over a good drink. 🙂 Everybody's a winner!
I personally pour my heart and soul into the Station Pub Run. I do it because I love our running group, and it’s worth it to me to invest my time and energy into something that I think makes a difference for people. (And I do dream of a distant day when I can make running-group-organizing a full time, paying gig - a girl can dream!!) It’s worth it to me to have a solid running community in the heart of Carrboro. And I know this passion has overflowed into you folks as well. A passage from a book I recently read sums it all up better than I can:
“But here’s something amazing. Although you should give simply for the sake of giving, the reality is that abundance that brings us more joy, more love, more wealth, and more meaning in our lives. Generally speaking, the more you give, the wealthier you feel. And it’s not just a feeling. As strange as it may seem, the truth is that money often flows faster to those who give. Why? Because givers attract abundance into their lives rather than scarcity.”
All of this generosity is incredible, and these words could not be more true. “Givers attract abundance in their lives.” Maybe I give a lot to the pub run, but you all give back 100 fold. In addition to the people credited above, we have many community members who have donated in-kind gifts to our run: The Station continues to provide the major food discounts connected to our punch cards, raffle prizes have been donated from Fleet Feet Carrboro, Ed Billings of Terra Nova Real Estate and Tina Clossick. Anonymous cash donations have even trickled in here and there from some of your fellow Station Pub Runners (this one leaves me speechless! Just kidding, I can ALWAYS find words). People even bring food, treats, and other giveaways (read: boxes of audiobooks from Shauna; ants on a log from Doug, ha!) just to share with their fellow runners!
Our run started from very humble beginnings, and I’m very proud of our grassroots effort to make it grow to the extent that it has. While there are the obviously visible efforts you see and read everyday, there are MANY behind the scenes contributions that you should all know are just as responsible for our success. I want you to know that everything you all do for this run has not gone unnoticed, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully express how much I appreciate you all for your help. (Maybe we can do retroactive kickbacks when Station Pub Run gets bought out by Amazon?? Or when we become a publicly traded company? We should probably start forming a board of directors just in case!)
Alright, I think I’ve said enough for now. If you somehow missed the message in today’s post, it is a big, resounding THANK YOU to all. Tally ho!