In our first week at Oxford many runners in the MBA cohort linked up with one another to focus on the Oxford half-marathon.
Some were in a state of panic and others were in high-performance mode. Whether doing a first half-marathon or aiming to smash a personal best, we got together to cram in some final training before the race. On a beautiful and cold October morning around 15 MBA’s toed the line and achieved their set goals.
After this runner’s high, I was pretty sure the running group would dissolve, or at least hibernate for a few weeks. I was surprised that the next week, someone on the group posted that they wish to go for an easy jog. Soon enough we picked up where we left off and continued with our early morning runs. The runs vary from a fast Port Meadow loop or an easy jaunt along the canal, to an impromptu I-need-to-get-rid-of-this-hangover-run. On paper our run group is 80 strong, but only around 30 individuals have made their appearance at our 7am starts, with about 15 ‘regulars’. Apart from the beautiful morning runs, one tradition soon came to the fore.
This is based on a concept that was started back in South Africa by a fellow class mate. Every single Friday morning for the past 10 weeks our group has done a Weekend Warmup. This involves a lovely short run at the slowest person’s pace, on a different route each morning. We finish at a café on Little Clarendon Street where we relax with a coffee and some carbs. With the weekend vibe and the endorphins flowing, these morning chats are the best ones of the week.
Running is great for your health, it is great for finding and pushing your limits, it’s a great way to explore your surroundings and to get in touch with nature, but that is not why I do it. I dare you to find one Weekend Warmup picture with a forced smile…and that is why I run.
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