Carrboro Run Club

Category: Ramblings

Let’s highlight some of Pub Run’s finest, shall we?

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!!

Photo Cred: Ted Richardson

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!

The Pint Cup that is Building a Community

Guys, I have Station Pub Run on my mind, ALL THE TIME. Seriously, the amazing and crazy ideas that I have for our running group spin through my head all hours of the day. I feel like I have a high school crush on SPR - it's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and it often enters my thoughts as I drift to sleep at night. There are just so many exciting things going on, and so many wonderful people in our group, I can't help it. A recent Saturday morning was no exception. Let me set the scene for you:

It was around 6:30am, and I was already several miles into my weekly long run.  The sky had just stared turning from black to a deep shade of blue with the earliest hint of the sun rising behind the tree-covered horizon.  In the momentary silence between songs playing from my iPod, I caught the pitter patter of my feet on the pavement, and the rhythmic pattern of my breath. I was reflecting on the unique community that is blossoming at our dear Station Pub Run, when Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" started coursing through my headphones. And let me tell you - my train of thought at the time, combined with that ever-inspiring electric guitar - it gave me the chills, and a newfound pep in my step.

I was thinking about how the SPR Pint Cup deserves a lot credit for the community that has formed at Station Pub Run. What started as a scheme-brained idea to get our logo printed onto a stainless steel cup has turned into an opportunity for runners to keep in touch with each other while travelling the world. I mean think about it - with most other pub runs you show up, run, drink, go home. You make a few friends, maybe even a lot of friends. But when you leave the pub run, pub run is over until the next week.

Enter: the Station Pub Run Pint Cup.

I did a little digging into the SPR newsletter archive (aka my sent email folder) and found that on August 8th, 2017 I wrote the following note to the Pub Run newsletter subscribers:

Pint Cup soaking up some rays at Topsail Beach.

"In case you missed it - THE STATION PUB RUN PINT CUPS ARE IN! THEY ARE AWESOME! I would officially like to start a tradition of travelling with said pint cups so we can see how far across the globe these little guys can go. (Michelle, I will be shipping yours to Columbia soon - tell me your address.) Much to Eric's chagrin, I kicked off our new tradition by photographing my cup on the beach this past weekend. I got weird looks from strangers, and YOU CAN TOO!"

I remember when I wrote this - I figured that no one would actually take me seriously, and that the only time this little pint cup would make a cameo in a photo would be if it slipped into the occasional weekly running group photo. I could picture everyone reading my email above and scoffing at my pleas to dedicate precious luggage space to a ridiculous cup, not to mention take photos of it in public spaces. I was also extremely worried that no one was actually going to buy a pint cup from me, leaving me with 90 stainless steel cups I would have to creatively get rid of.

Detifoss Waterfall, Iceland & Grandfather Mt, NC

You can imagine my surprise, and complete and utter joy, when three weeks later the Pint Cup showed up in not one, but TWO places on the same day: Grandfather Mountain, NC and Detifoss Waterfall, Iceland! My heart swelled at the dedication from our fellow runners, and I realized on that very day that our running group really has something special. (Shout out to Sarah and Bill for believing in the cause, and helping to kick start this great tradition!!) Fast forward to today. It has not even been a full year since the introduction of the Pint Cup into our running group, and it has already traveled to several states, and many more countries.

The pint cup stands for so much more than a receptacle for beer. By packing your pint cups when you go on trips near and far, Station Pub Runners are doing more than just humoring a silly request to photograph a cup. You're inviting us to share a part of your worldly adventures, and are actively thinking about us during said adventures. You're having life-changing experiences, whether big or small, and you're sharing it with us as though we are family. Hell, the SPR Pint Cup has been the witness to an ENGAGEMENT for goodness sake! I might argue that's BETTER than family! 😀

50k Runners in Zion

It warms my heart every time a new photo of a Pint Cup sighting lands on our group's Facebook page or in my inbox. Just this morning I woke up to a text from a runner sending me a group photo: Four Pub Runners posing

with their pint cups in Zion National Park where they've headed to run a 50k this weekend.

It's one thing for an organization to have shirts that members travel in and photograph - that's easy; it's quite a different story when the traveling talisman that gets added to the vacation packing list is a pint cup! You all are truly dedicated to the community that we have cultivated at The Station Pub Run. Thank you all for supporting The Station Pub Run. Thank you for thinking of us (and including us!) as you adventure to new cities, states, and countries around the world. And thank you for inspiring us to live our best lives every day!

 

Keep on running,

Your ever dedicated Station Pub Run Coordinator

P.S. If you happened upon this blog by randomly surfing the interwebs, I encourage you to join us at the Station Pub Run! YOU TOO can own one of these lovely pint cups. And the people here are pretty cool too. 🙂

 

 

Ta Da!

If you've found this page it means you're fully exploring THE STATION PUB RUN WEBSITE! I am so excited you found us and that you're spending some time on the site. Shout out to Jonathan Tweedy, the amazing wordpress/coding guru who is helping me (Steph) create this website. And by helping I mean leading the charge to make it the most amazing online pub run experience you will ever have. Please join me in taking a moment to thank Jon for turning this dream into a reality, and dedicating so much time to creating some of the magic behind The Station Pub Run!

Thanks everyone for reading. Please check back here for periodic ramblings from yours truly, the Station Pub Run Coordinator. Think of this blog as an extension to the weekly newsletter musings, and soon to be a integral part of your daily life. 😀

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