the human tunnel at the Iron Horse Half Marathon

I’m 100% aware that what I’m about to say is probably going to come across as conceited. But I choose to look at it as honesty.

Sunday I went to cheer at the Iron Horse Half Marathon. I was honestly very, very bummed. I was supposed to run this race. I had organized so much for this race. Meeting details. Volunteer water station. Tshirt orders, pickup, delivery. So much. And I wasn’t able to run because of my bum foot.

As soon as the runners started coming at me and the Big Hand, though?

Everything changed.

These are my people. And they are leaving their hearts out there on the streets of Midway.

We cheered at the halfway point. So many familiar faces. So many smiles. We moved to the finish line and I cheered my heart out. When the crowd at the finish started to dwindle, my friends and I moved in and created a human tunnel. We cheered in every single runner (and a few safety patrol volunteers and the sweeper).

And as I stood there, with my arms up high as the first person in a human tunnel to the finish line, I was overwhelmed.

I was surrounded by something that I built.

Shirts I had designed.

People who knew each other because of a group I started.

This is MINE.

I have a hard time giving myself credit sometimes (er, all of the time). But I know that some people would not have crossed that finish line – or even started the race – if I didn’t give them the nudge to go out there and do it. (The “nudge” has been called “voodoo” in certain circles.) I felt like a mama bird watching her babies fly.

I am so incredibly proud of that day. (And I’ll link to the race recap on the LRL blog when I get it posted.) I don’t even have words, even several days out. I found my list of dreams for this group a few weeks ago, and it looked nothing like this. I wanted to have a group run and a social event per month. And we’re gathering 3-4 times a week.

The relationships I have through this group are sincerely like family. This group is so much more than running. It is heart and sweat and tears. We don’t leave anyone behind. We cram bananas in each other’s mouths when necessary. We give encouragement. We dish out tough love and set each other straight. We are a family.

There are so many more pictures I could share (and that will be in the eventual LRL post), but this one gives you a general idea. This is one snippet, friends. One moment within a million moments.

I don’t know what your tribe is, but I pray that you find it. And if it isn’t out there? Build it.

That’s what I did.