Are you curious how the 5Run faired running a 5k… 18 times? Peruse the video to find out.
It’s been a long week… feels like I’ve been hit by a truck. Through the last seven days, along with my team and fellow Bagel Chasers, I’ve managed to run 90 km. This of course is in addition to working 50-55 hours this week.
Aside from causing me to reassess my life, (who spends this much time running?) this week really opened my eyes to the vibrant running community in Vancouver.
Small, passionate communities are all over the place, you just need to find them. Case in point is all the awesome people I met this past week. Everyone has a unique story from different backgrounds, but we all came together for a great cause.
Maybe, i’ve finally found the running enthusiasts.
I also figured out that (wait for it…) running in groups is WAY better than solo missions.
Learn about 5Run’s first charity event: the Bagel Chase, and a spontaneous 5Run thank you moment on the best five run of 2013.
The ocean in false creek is like glass, no wind, no rain – i’m running with Gerard. We waste little time firing up our respective running apps and get going.
Wednesday morning was your atypical five run. I kept thinking how perfect the weather was for running, and clearly others felt the same way. Barely 2 km’s in, we hit 8 high fives.
Then, something interesting happened.
We came across a pretty brunette girl running. In typical fashion, we fell into five formation and extended our hands. Something particularly awesome happened next.
While she enthusiastically high fived us, she said something i’ll never forget.
Shocked, we responded with your typical ‘woohoos’ and continued on. We sort of laughed it off… “hey that chick thanked us!” We finished our run, the best morning five run of the year so far, we hit 27 high fives.
Something about the encounter stayed with me. It wasn’t until later on that I figured out what the hell happened.
More on that later.
Talking to people about the reality of spreading the 5Run movement to the masses gets me thinking. I reflect on whether it’s realistic to expect others to eventually share the same passion for change, and helping people as i do.
Some of you I talk to are reluctant to high five if you’re running alone (completely fine, by the way). I think you may be better suited to spread the love whilst running in a group. It is all about comfort, do what feels right.
Originally, I adopted the ‘lone wolf’ mentality with 5Run. I envisioned high fiving strangers as way to bring fun to running, and add social element to the monotonous pavement grind.
Interacting with your fellow runners by helping, encouraging, and even pushing one another to be a better version of yourself was the goal. It still is, and progress is my guide.
I tend to experiment liberally with just about everything I do, high fives are no exception. I’m constantly thinking, tweaking elements of the whole high five experience – this is probably due to competitive / perfectionist disposition.
Since i’m getting requests on the specifics of high fiving other runners, i’ll attempt to map it out for y’all – this is your kind to high five strangers.
Think of the it this way: You have about 15 meters or or 3-4 seconds of real-estate with which to work. There’s a laundry list of things which need to align to pull off a successful running high five.
This is a continually evolving process as i’ve experimented with different approaches and techniques. Some work, some not so much… and some were outright embarrassing.
Lucky for you, i’ve done the heavy lifting, and will outline the art of the running high five.
Here’s how you can high five a stranger without embarrassing yourself:
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Through the fall, i’ve high-fived my fellow running strangers all over Vancouver from Kits, DTES, to UBC, and the Sea Wall. I’ll run a couple times per week before work as well as one caffeine-fuelled long hangover cure of run a on the weekend.
My motive with #5Run is simple: bring joy to fellow runners and see if i can bring about mood changes. I wrote last year about bringing fun to running, but there’s something more important here.
If i can positively shift someone’s outlook on the day, i’ll take it. Unfortunately, this proves a bit of a challenge as Vancouver runners are a difficult bunch.
Runners represent a screenshot of Vancouver’s culture. There’s patches of awesomeness dispersed throughout the holier than thou choch-fest which plagues our city.
People visit or move to Vancouver and completely struggle to infiltrate social circles. I personally didn’t realize our cliquey international rep until a couple years ago. Now it’s clear, the inherent guarded social circles are glaringly obvious.
This extends to runners.
It’s embarrassing how guarded some Vancouver Runners are. Smiling at someone might garner a reaction that I visually violated them.
I’m determined more than ever to change status-quo for Vancouver runners – let’s call it a shakedown of sorts. I high-fived 29 keen eyed Sea Wall Runners on New Years Eve, and the reactions were mixed.
Great response to 5Run this weekend. Despite my nightly activities, I managed to hammer out three amazing 5Runs: around UBC, the west end / sea wall and along the beach from tower to Kits and Granville Island. I only managed to get caught in one hail storm in the process.
My legs are absolutely killing me after going three days in a row; small price to pay for happiness. Each high-five gives me energy to keep running, even if my calves feel like they’re going to fall off.
A few failed fives to report. Not going to lie, they are discouraging, not to mention embarrassing if lots of people are watching (saw a couple of people point and giggle at me at kits beach on Sunday). Their loss.
Conversion rate on fives has got to be about 90% thus far. Who would have thought? The people who leave me hanging are usually staring straight at the ground the whole time. It is a shame because these are the ones who need it most!
The laughs, the smiles, the eye contact, the subtle acknowledgment of similarity make it the best feeling in the world. I can’t describe the feeling, you simply have to experience it. Go for a run, jog or walk, and high five one person. If you’re nervous, think from their perspective. How awesome would it be to have a random person smile and ask for a high-five while you are struggling? It is empowering. They will love it.
Nerves always creep in as I approach runners. I am an introvert at heart, I have silence that voice in my head all the time.
I came across a blog post yesterday that injected some serious happiness into my day. It literally gave me shivers as I read it. Check it out, a fellow runner (lets call her Jane) wrote about some random dude she high-fived on Kits beach. Wonder who it was? Awesome.
Sunday I woke up extremely hung-over. I have a strange relationship with such a state: I always feel that I need to have a productive day following a pizza infused late night endeavor. Sunday, I decided to get going with a long run.
Jogging at one pace has to be up there with the most boring things I’ve ever done. Does anyone actually enjoy it if it’s not sunny and no music? I would love to know what is going through the minds of marathon runners…. Are they having fun running?
It didn’t take long for boredom to set in Sunday as I made my way to the beach. I noticed everyone I ran by was frowning or looked angry. I couldn’t figure it out. It was gorgeous out and they were running along Spanish banks.
What’s the deal? I made it my mission to turn a few frowns into smiles; maybe inflict a little joy into the Sunday run. I started to smile at every jogger I ran past…
A few smiled back, some avoided eye contact, most looked at be dumbfounded with that sympathy gaze as though they were humoring someone’s awkward joke.