Tuesday evening I was sitting at the bar at the Arbor Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor enjoying a pint of Big Ben House Mild. I was waiting for John, who had dropped me off at the ABC before heading down to the South Main and Hill St. area for a band audition. I had been sitting and staring at the back of the bar for about 30 minutes, occasionally checking the door over my shoulder. I heard the door squeak open and looked back to see a couple of guys come in. Immediately I thought, No one wears something like that if they're just out and about. Those guys have to be runners. A further quick assessment: Running shoes...check. Nylon pants and jackets...check. Hats and gloves...check. I turned back to my beer and thought, We runners are everywhere!
Then I heard a voice at my elbow asking if the seat next to me was taken. It was the running guys. I couldn't help myself; I blurted out: "Were you guys just out running?"
One of them said, "Yeah, we were!"
Well, one thing led to another and soon we were yammering away like old pals. I discovered that they had just gone on their first Running Fit 501 training run, that they lived in Dexter, that one of them was an experienced marathoner with 30 races under his belt and the other was training for his first marathon...also that one is a hydrogeologist (yay for geology!) and the other owns a printing company that does all the coursepack printing for a former division of the company I work for now (yay for Company Q!)...
I informed them of the Wednesday evening group run at the Running Fit HQ which they both got very excited about since that location is much closer to Dexter than the downtown Ann Arbor location.
That's another thing I love so much about being a runner...I feel like I'm part of a real community. We love our sport with varying degrees of intensity, we all have different ability levels...but we're all simply runners. We all have that in common. We can talk about races, training, weather, or crazy yappy dogs even if we've only just met. We all have a "how did you get into running?" story. We can cross paths in a bar as total strangers and after 20 minutes part as friends.