|Sent on:||Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:29 PM|
I’ll be leaving Barcelona on November and will be stepping down as organizer. Marcia (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/members/14320956/) has kindly agreed to take over and she has Kajman, Tim, Juan David, and many other regular runners to help her to keep the group, well, “running” and to schedule events for runners of all levels.
It’s been over three years since I joined this group in September 2009 and am still grateful to Joel (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/members/9326871/) who founded it. It’s been an amazing time and the regular runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays with you guys have been a cornerstone of a my life and have undoubtedly contributed to my physical and mental health. Our running group was even featured on local, Catalan RTVE television (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGf_rUJOzSg). There are now 697 members and more than 100 of those visited our site during the last week. To the new guys, welcome and remember the *one* rule to a safe run: Do *not* follow Kajman! :-)
With the group I’ve run more than 3,000km, some surrounded by sheep (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/photos/3422062/), others while chasing a carrot (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/photos/4756702/). I’ve been incredibly proud to see many of you transform from “struggling to run 10km in under one hour” to “finishing a marathon – and with a smile”. But I’ve also been scared to see one of our fellow friends fall into a coma due to over-hydration and I’ve felt my bones ache whenever I heard of one of you guys getting injured and having to abandon a run.
Overall, I’ve been more than happy to see a “social dynamics” kick in and more and more people posting meetups (remember: *all* group members can post meetups) and motivating each other to participate. The most important thing is not to win but to take part! Before getting too sentimental I have three “duties” left before I leave.
First, I’d like to invite all of you to our goodbye part on Wednesday, November 7 (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/events/86825062/). Maybe some of will also have a chance to join my last run in the morning of November 9 (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/events/86825402/).
Second, I’d like to wish Marcia, Kajman, Tim and Juan David lots of fun organizing the group. Well, there’s not really much to organize, which makes having fun all the easier. :-)
Finally, I’d like to give some advice. Run and enjoy it. Run with a smile. Clap the hands of the children standing on the side in a race. Wear a silly costume at least once. Control your feet and don’t just “hit the ground” with every step. Run with the ground, not on the ground. Get a slower friend to run and help him improve. Don’t overcook your pasta to have more complex carbohydrates. Participate in races for the atmosphere. Don’t be intimidated by the word “marathon”. If you can run 10km in 1 hour you can finish a marathon. Maybe not in 3 hours, maybe not even in 4 hours, but almost surely in 5 – 5 ½ hours. And you’ll still have a sense of achievement when you get to the finish line. And, I guarantee, I’ll personally be proud of you for having had the courage to start the race.
It’s been a pleasure and an incredible honor running with you guys. I’ll be around for another month and hope to see most of you before I leave.
Adéu + gràcies,
PS: I’m not on Facebook but, to stay in touch, you can email me or find me on Couchsurfing (http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/igw21/) or LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=164716418) or, of course, on Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-road-runners/members/10389812/) … hopefully organizing a running group in Doha soon.