I tend to do most all of my training alone. I don't think I would like it any other way. I can't say for sure though because I've never (since college) really trained with other people on any kind of regular basis. Here in Juneau though there is a group of runners that I get together with for Sunday morning runs... when I can actually get myself out of bed on time. I wrote a bit about this group last year in this post.
Over the past year I've gotten to know some of these local runners a bit more and last night I had the privilege to attend the 70 th birthday party of one of these runners, Glenn Frick.
Pretty much everyone who runs in Juneau knows Glenn. But it goes beyond that. Pretty much everyone who runs in Juneau can tell stories of ways in which Glenn helped them to become a better runner and in most cases a better person.
And at 70 years old the guy is still an animal of a runner. This summer I ran a local 14 mile trail race where I showed up late to the start so I had about a 5 minute deficit on everyone else. I caught just about everyone in the first half of the race, but not Glenn, even though he is twice as old as most of the others racing that day. He was the second to last person that I caught and when I did it took me a long time to actually reel him in from when I could first see him. This was on a particularly technical stretch of trail with lots of tall grass covering over the trail so you couldn't see the ground. This didn't slow Glenn down at all, he just plowed through it with a level of recklessness that seemed shocking to me. When I did finally pass him I'm sure he made some joke about something or told me some quick story that he happened to be reminded of at that time, and then I'm sure he was right back in to battle mode. I ended up finishing only about 5 minutes ahead of him. Did I mention that he's 70!!!
I don't really know Glenn very well but he's one of those people that you don't need to know very well to feel like you can learn something from and gain inspiration from. And it was clear to me at his birthday party last night that this man has several dozen people here in Juneau (as well as many people in other places) who have been significantly educated and inspired by him.
I'm sure most people know someone like this in some part of their life. The type of people that somehow cause us to feel upbeat and positive about things every time we get the chance to see them. I'm not sure what it is, but some people just have that way about them, and Glenn is certainly one of those people.