Running Camaraderie

TORONTO August 2nd. Digital Champion Hideki Kinoshita, aka Kino, first caught the running bug after cheering on his friends at the 2007 New York City Marathon. By the end of the next year Kino had run 3 marathons, and in 2009 he ran another 20! This Marathon Maniacs member did not slow down and ran 96 marathons and ultras over the next 3 years, completing the 50sub4 goal of running a sub-4 hour marathon in all 50 US states. STWM will be a special race for Kino, as he will be crossing the finish line of his 150th marathon! Connect with Kino on Twitter @RunKino and his blog.

Running Camaraderie. By Hideki Kinoshita.

I became a marathoner on September 21st, 2008 after finishing the Yonkers Marathon outside New York City. That was a day I will never forget. After my race, I decided to sign up with the Marathon Maniacs, a fanatical running club for those who share a common love of running 42.2k, often and excessively. Although the club is based in the Seattle area, membership spans the globe with many Canadian members. In total, there are over 7500 runners who proudly call themselves Marathon Maniacs!

Prior to joining Marathon Maniacs, I had been a one marathon per month kind of runner. After joining, with the encouragement of fellow club members, I began to test my limits and see how closely I could run marathons together. My initial goal was to complete a sub 4-hour marathon in all 50 states (50sub4) by the age of 40. If not for my fellow Maniacs, there is no possible way I could have finished my 50sub4 journey at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii at age 33.

These days, it is virtually impossible to complete in a long distance race without a Maniac being present. Whether they are undercover or visible in their signature yellow or pink singlets, they are always there alongside you. When I rock the yellow Maniacs jersey at races, out of nowhere fellow runners come up to me and ask “What’s your Maniacs number?” and “Where are you from?” Running alongside club members is great because we give each other words of encouragement and our bond forms quickly, as we mutually share the experience of suffering together. I have met hundred of fellow Marathon Maniacs this way, and to date they are some of my closest running friends.

This encouragement and camaraderie does not end at the finish line. The club has an online calendar where you can see who else is registered for any given marathon. Through this, we are able to reach out to one another and coordinate travel, or convince our fellow runners to join us at races. I am certainly guilty of pressuring other runners to register for races they’ve never heard of, and likewise I succumb to friendly peer pressure as well! So far we have 8 Maniacs signed up for STWM so make sure you look out for us!

I currently live in New York, but when I was living in Toronto, I ran with several training groups to meet local runners. I highly suggest you check out the free Wednesday evening and Sunday morning Run Club offered by the Running Room. Each run is led by a dedicated pacer who is extremely helpful and friendly. If you’re joining us for STWM in October, the Run Club is a great way to meet fellow runners who are training for the same race. The best part is, after runs you can always continue the conversation with your running friends over coffee or a quick pint.

Nothing can rival the camaraderie of traveling to a destination race, knowing that you’re going to meet up with friends, so if you’re in the NYC area connect with me on Twitter @RunKino and we can talk about running in New York, training, and our plans for STWM race weekend!

Are you part of a run club? Tell us which one in the comments below!

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