Have you ever run a marathon? Ever wanted to, but felt 26.2 miles is just too far? Is one mile too far? The West Philly Runners didn’t think so when they planned their first ever 26×1 relay in Fairmount Park last Saturday morning. Three teams accepted the challenge and gathered behind the Horticultural Center for a 10 am start. The West Philly runners vs. The Monster Milers vs. The Fishtown Beer Runners.
The goal, gather a team of 26 people, each member runs a one-mile leg and together you all complete a marathon. Certainly one way to get a full 26.2 under your belt. Moreover, it was a way to spend some time with a group of likeminded runners and have a little fun for the afternoon.
I had a stake in two of the three teams. The Monster Milers, the team with the largest number of runners – we were just shy of 26 members. As a group of runners who don’t often get to participate in events together because our main purpose is to get shelter dogs out on a run, this kind of social event was a welcomed draw. Milers represented big! I was proud to run one leg with them.
The second team, The Fishtown Beer Runners, was represented with 7.5 runners. I say .5 because I had my daughter with me and she ran a (chaperoned) half a mile for team FBR. We rose to the occasion with our 18.5 short of 26 team members and were none the worse for wear as each of us welcomed the extra legs.
The organizers and all around winners of the day, however, were certainly The West Philly Runners. They had a fairly large team, and man, were they fast! To date, I’ve not seen a group of such well conditioned runners rock a social event with such a healthy desire to compete against each other (and somehow run sub 7 min miles in the heat we’ve been dealing with).
It was a great day, a great run and fun conversations with new friends. So if you’re thinking about that full marathon, but 26.2 miles still seems a little bit much, don’t sweat it. Simply keep your eyes and ears open as there was definitely talk of another 26×1 coming up this fall!