The solidarity of the running communityChoosing IMP was a relatively easy choice for Maree, my partner, and I. Firstly the documentary on the project was pretty heartwarming and a really positive story. However the real connection came through running.
I have run on and off for more than 40 years (never been great, but have plugged away).
Maree, on the other hand, hated the idea of running until this year. She started ‘couch to 5k’ and has become an enthusiastic runner. The Sydney Running Festival was her first entry in a race – the 9km Bridge Run – and my first half marathon in thirty years. She decided she would connect with IMP and it was really that connection that made us become supporters.
It’s a bit more complex that that however.
The real story is also about our aspiration to be better runners and the inspiration we get from the IMP runners.
It’s a reciprocal thing and that makes it feel more like solidarity across a community – the running community – than the idea of ‘support’ in a traditional sense.
The IMP runners, by virtue of the marathon program, have become leaders for ordinary runners like Maree and I; we get to follow their lead.
They help us to believe that we can do it too, so we’re supporting each other in common cause.
It will help keep me motivated to be a supporter and that will help me stay healthy. The more I think about it, the more I realise I’m the one getting the benefits.
I bought ‘Deek’s’ book On Running many years ago and it was a great motivator.
I think this is a fantastic project and feel lucky to be able to contribute, albeit in a modest way. To borrow from an old saying ‘we make the road by running’!