We chatted before the race, comparing hopes for race-times, stories of where we'd run recently and generally hung around before the start. As the race start drew nearer we each peeled off to situate ourselves near our chosen pacers.
After the race we found each other again, and as we consumed our post race ice-cream and soy recovery drink we sat around on the grass to muster enough energy for the drive home. One of the ladies, Sarah, commented - 'One of the things I love about running is that we didn't know each other at all an hour ago and here we are chatting away as if were old friends (I'm paraphrasing a little!). And it's true. Runners are a sociable lot and I think a lot of it stems from the way many of us have started to bore non-running friends and family.
Most people will be interested to hear about your last big race and will congratulate or commiserate with tails of success or woe. But hearing about a race every week, or your latest training run, or a niggly injury, or your new running socks/garmin/shoes etc can start to get old... You don't notice at first in your enthusiasm to chat about the finer points of your last fartlek session or the long run you have planned for the weekend, but it doesn't take long for their eyes to gently start to glaze over.
But when you meet up with a real live runner it's like a wonderful epiphany. 'These people get me!' Suddenly you can chat seemingly endlessly about all those things that you hadn't even dared to bring up with non-runners. Pre-race toilet habits, toenails, achey groins. All the sort of things that just don't go down that well with work colleagues while making a cup of tea.
These people are your soulmates or should that be solemates? So if you haven't got a running friend yet, it's well worth finding some. Try a local running group or even a virtual social group of runners on Facebook for example - it's well worth it to find some kindred spirits - your friends will thank you for it!
Juneathon update - rest day (post race) for me but a KILLER yoga session. Felt as stiff as a board at 6.30am this morning and I definitely worked in class today!