February 20, 2020

December Outdoor Column

by Alec Hansen '21 - Outdoor Columnist

When I sit down to write this column, I usually think back to my most recent outdoor experience. As a big fan of nature, I get outside for a hike almost every weekend. But I was recently reminded that sometimes the best part about being outside is doing something special or memorable. Though traversal through nature is incredibly accessible here in New England, there are tons of other fun ways to take advantage of the great outdoors.

I really enjoy running. I think it’s a great way to connect with nature and stay in shape. Though I’ve always enjoyed running long distances, you don’t have to do ultra-marathons to benefit from the experience. A 5-kilometer run, for instance,  is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

This Thanksgiving, I participated in one of the thousands of famed Turkey Trots that take place all across the country. I got to run it with my oldest brother. Racing while my family watched made the experience even more fun. 

Getting up at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning was the only minor inconvenience of an otherwise thoroughly fun morning. A brisk wind met us as we climbed out of the warm car near the start line to warm-up. After a short jog and some dynamic stretching, we went and watched the kids dash and the start of the 8k before we lined up to run our race. With over 2,500 competitors, the small town was overrun by crowds of family and friends watching or running together. 

I ended up racing the 5k, hoping to get a decent time. Although I didn’t run alongside my brother, we had fun laughing about the race afterwards and grabbing free donuts. After a quick picture and our snack, we headed home for a pretty standard Thanksgiving day. But running alongside my brother with my family looking on was a great reminder of the people I’m so grateful for.

Finding a race has never been easier: you can sign up on websites like active.com and race-find.com. Go online today and find a race near you. Even if you don’t feel ready, push yourself to sign up and try to run the whole 3.2 miles. It can be a great way to take a leap into the world of running and connect with the community, whether here on the North Shore or back at home.

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