This Wednesday, I celebrated International Running Day in proper fashion with the New York City Nike+ Run Club. Hundreds of New York athletes took part, meeting at the NYC Niketown store on 57th St/5th Ave before heading over to Central Park to group then run.

Seeing so many people so excited for a sport that I love was honestly overwhelming. For my MRun friends, imagine your first day walking to the CCRB steps, feeling slightly out of place but certain that you were meant to be there. Just triple the size, put in an unfamiliar place, and then add in a former Olympian with a megaphone segmenting runs by pace.

I wasn't kidding about the "hundreds of people" - I'm in the far back about one third of the way in from the left side of the group.

I wasn't kidding about the "hundreds of people" - I'm in the far back about one third of the way in from the left side of the group.

Sensory overload? Sure. Intimidating? You bet. But being part of one of the biggest group runs in the country on International Running Day was all worth it.

In an attempt to both rep my school and start conversations with strangers, I wore my MRun gear to the club. Since I was running the 3 mile (old habits die hard), I went out with the fastest pace group and felt oddly proud moving with the Block M on my chest. If I'm going to be "Leaders and Best", a 12:00 pace just wouldn't cut it - even if I was sucking wind with the NYC elite runners who pushed the pace with me. The chorus of "Go Blue's" that followed me down the avenues of Midtown Manhattan made it all worth it.

The only picture of me from the day where my shirt is visible. This pose was appropriately mocked in the Club Track GroupMe.

The only picture of me from the day where my shirt is visible. This pose was appropriately mocked in the Club Track GroupMe.

And of course, the best perk of a running with a club sponsored by one of the biggest companies on Earth: free food and water at the finish line. Thanks to Nike+ Run Club (especially Justin and Felix from Niketown NYC) for hosting this awesome event! I'll be back for more.

 

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