I’ve noticed that almost all of my titles are one word. Oh well, it tells you all you need to know.

Anyway. Team running has been on my mind since last night. Tuesday night is the designated Team Vardo weeknight run. Granted this has turned into a 4-6 mile run, instead of varying differences…oh well. Still, running with friends in the group is always something I enjoy, and definitely miss in the fall when I can’t attend.

The big topic of conversation this week is about Relay Iowa. The 339 mile relay starts at the Missouri River and goes across the state to the Mississippi. I’ve been recruited to run the last two years, but due to personal races (Grandma’s and Rock N’ Sole) I’ve been unable to attend. The team is scrambling to find an additional runner after one dropped in the week leading up to the relay.

In relays like this, unless you are elite, having fun and running takes precedence over all else. On a smaller scale, I’ve experienced this at Market to Market. While a smaller event, the team experience of a relay is still there. My most enjoyable part of the entire Market to Market day is the finish. Not because, as a team, you’re done running after 75 miles, but because you get to finish and cross the line as a team.

Team running is something we rarely see outside elite runners, but sometimes do see in groups. Whether it be someone who is pushing you to do better, or someone who is about the same speed and you push each other, the aspect of team is there. For me, on Market to Market, I’ll run my sections as best as I can, not wanting to let the team down; even if we aren’t in it to win it. For the best example (again at the elite level) look at the recent Olympic Trials with Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg. Both runners qualified, running most of the race together. Teamwork.

Run: It was a beautiful Tuesday for an easy 4 mile run with the group. Normally, I’d mentally complain about the route only being two miles. But since I’m trying to taper a bit leading into Rock N’ Sole, I won’t complain.

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