Just before daybreak on Wednesday morning, a barely bleary eyed Mary Cain walked into the NYRR RUNCENTER in Midtown Manhattan. NYRR employees milled about, getting ready the area for its 7:00 a.m. opening. Some stated whats up, others let her be. Everyone knew her, of course, however it was quite early–and she was waiting for her operating buddy, Alexi Pappas.
A few minutes later, the Greek national report holder in the 10,000 meters arrived together with her husband, Jeremy Teicher, their cheeks flushed from the two chilly miles they ran there from their lodge. Pappas beelined to Cain and threw her arms around her. The two met seven years ago, at the start of their skilled operating careers. Though Pappas was 23 and Cain was 16, they turned close buddies and have remained so ever since.
Gradually, around two-dozen others filtered in. They had come for a gaggle run, organized by NYRR and led by Cain and Pappas, who was in New York with Teicher to premiere their new movie, Olympic Dreams. But for now, they have been just two runners among the relaxation, desperate to get in a couple of peaceful miles in Central Park before the craziness of the day.
Speaking to those that came (principally women, but a number of men as nicely), Pappas likened her friendship with Cain to a favorite sweatshirt, and glanced down at the eggshell mock turtleneck from her sponsor, Champion, she was sporting. “It’s just so comfortable, you know all the folds,” she stated, tugging affectionately at the material. Cain, standing to Pappas’s left, smiled, blushed a bit of, and put her arm around her good friend. “There’s only one person I’d get up at 5:30 in the morning for, and that’s Alexi,” she advised the group.
Minutes later, all of the runners have been on the bridle path in Central Park, a wide dust street favored by native runners. As on any group run, conversations flowed organically from one matter to another as individuals met and received to know each other. Mutual race experiences, how training has been going, and life past operating have been all bandied about as easily as the miles ticked by. After the run, everyone gathered for pictures with Pappas and Cain, not as members of an viewers, but as people who had simply enjoyed their morning run together.
And that’s the thing about the operating group–it truly is simply that. Once a gaggle is shifting as one, whether in a world-famous race or in an area 5K or on a simple run via Central Park, everyone seems to be on the similar degree. As the sport continues to develop, this sort of camaraderie reminds us not of the distinctions which may separate us, however of all that we’ve in widespread. Some of us may be Olympians, others just starting, however we’re all on the similar dust.
As Mary remarked after the run, “Few things make me as happy as going for a run with one of my best friends, and it was made extra special thanks to NYRR for inviting new friends to join us.”