I recently had an email off a lady who thanked me for writing about friendship in No run Intended.
She documented how a running friendship had changed the shape of her life and I was touched that that aspect of the book had been recognised. In fact, she was so honest and lovely I cried a bit.
I’ve been vocal via the book, the blog, and on all my social media how important my running buddies became. In fact, the one is now my little girl’s godparent, but I’m jumping ahead here.
The thing with running, like anything else I suppose, you need support, both metaphorically and literally at times. And support doesn’t come in any better form than someone right alongside you, ploughing through those miles, through that rain and wind, through hills, fun and injury.
My first official friend through running was Gavin. Because I live in Merthyr I knew Gavin before I knew him if that makes sense, like most of my friends from Merthyr I met him in my local pub and had no idea that he ran until he’d agreed to run Cardiff half as part of the pub team.
Fast forward three years and Gavin had to practically drag me around the Cardiff half course thirteen weeks after I’d had the baby. He sacrificed his time and performance to get me around those thirteen point one miles and I will forever be grateful to him for that.
I will always be even more grateful for how nice he was to me after when I had an accident in his car on the way home!
‘It’s fine.’ He said ‘but would you mind sitting on your jacket?’
There’s that quote that reads ‘friends don’t let you do stupid things…alone.’ And that will always remind me of Gavin. We both knew there was no way I should have entered that race let alone run it but we did it and he saw me through it and to me that is a the personification of a proper friend.
Everyone needs a Gavin!
The other significant friendship I made through running was the one with Courtney. How I didn’t have a Courtney in my life before I started running I will never know.
Again, like Gavin, I met Courtney via the pub. She sent me a random text asking whether she could come for a run with me and I thought, why the hell not, what’s the worst that can happen?
Little did I know that it was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. Not only did I get a running companion but I got a blinking good friend, one of the best in fact and to use another quote, this time from an Instagram meme doing the rounds; ‘There's a closeness about people who run together. We become better Friends, Athletes & better Women…’ and I couldn’t sum it up any better if I tried.