Running is a funny thing. It’s kind of like eating. You can do something that’s purely functional, doling out the exact nutrients you need to survive or the exercise you need to stay mechanically fit. Or you can do that thing as a social activity, in a manner that feeds your heart and your soul.
And that’s how I found myself manning the special-needs-bag-check of an ultra on a humid April night, high-fiving sweaty runners on their fourth or fifth or 12th punishing 10km loop back and forth along a beach path, and horsing around with a plant sprayer the size of my head.
This was one of the annual overnight ultra races put on by local Singapore running group Running Guild: as many 10k loops as you can manage, or wanted to manage, in 16 hours. As I chatted with the other volunteers, common themes kept popping up over and over. “I’ve done Running Guild races before and I love them so I wanted to give back.” “We know what runners need.” “I wanted to support (runners).”
The refrain sounded familiar. Here’s why. Read more