Flame Of Inspiration

During my drive home this past weekend, after running the 192-mile Ragnar Great River Relay, a single thought seemed to consume me.

When could I get out and run again?

It happens every year after Ragnar, where you spend two days hanging out with friends, laughing and running. It renews the human spirit and strengthens friendships. But, perhaps best of all, it lights the flame of inspiration.

More than any other year, I feel the inspiration this year. Seeing others push themselves, accomplish their goals and share their passion for running makes me want to run further and faster. It makes me a better runner and a better person.

I’ve been lucky to share this sport with others, learn a lot along the way and meet terrific people. But I’ve still got a lot to learn and experience. Seeing the Fargo Running Co.’s women’s ultra team out on the course, running up and down the hills at an amazing pace, was nothing short of inspiring. And they did it with amazing energy and spirit that it just looked easy.

On Sunday morning, I was down on Fargo’s Main Avenue Bridge, watching Ben Clark finish his run across North Dakota – a 350-plus mile journey just a month after completing the Badwater 135. Then I received word a training partner finished second overall in her marathon. And, of course, there’s my own experience from Ragnar, watching my relay teammates endure the heat, hills and fatigue without a single complaint – and constantly supporting and cheering on members of our team and others.

By the afternoon, fueled by all this inspiration, I was out running with friends in the hills of Rollag as one of them tapers for a 50-mile race at this weekend’s Lean Horse Ultramarathon in Hot Springs, S.D.

At this point, without a fall marathon on my calendar, I’m not really sure what race will be next. But I am having a kick just running, hanging out with friends and watching them chase down their goals. When I finally toe the line, I will carry their stories with me as inspiration.