Run Wild, Do Good.

I'm typically a solo runner. I use my miles to reflect and clear my head. Plus I've always felt I would slow a running buddy down. Other than a run every now and then with my buddy Michelle or a race, I'm typically pounding the pavement alone. But lately, I've been searching for more running buddies so I decided to join a run group. And even after only one workout, I can already tell I picked just the right one.

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I've been following Run Wild CLE on social media for a while now. They remind me a lot about The November Project - a national fitness movement designed to bring runners, fitness advocates, and complete newbies together for a hard but fun workout that builds lasting relationships and inspires. 

I was super nervous for my first Run Wild CLE and didn't really know what to expect. After searching for a parking spot for what seemed like forever and finally parking where I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to, I gathered with the 30ish other runners outside Brick and Barrel, a local bar and brewing company in the flats. It was a little weird at first not knowing anyone, but then we were encouraged to talk to someone we didn't know before we got going, and I began to mix and mingle and make small talk with the other runners. 

Then we gathered around the leader of the workout, bobbed up and down, and yelled out the answer to "When I say RUN WILD, you say DO GOOD" and "When I say RUN WILD, you say CLE." And in that moment, I was hooked. Because my mission is basically the same as Run Wild CLE's - run wild, do good. 

We jogged for about 10 minutes to warm up overlooking sunset views of my favorite city and then met up at the bottom of a huge hill. They outlined the running route for us (a looped course that we would run for time so that any level of experience could participate). There was also a box of pink slips with different arm and core exercises that we would choose from once we got back to the central location. Some were meant to be done solo, and some had to grab a partner for. And then we were off - up a steep hill, back down to the central location where we chose a slip and did the exercise, then up another, smaller hill, and back down to the central location where we chose another slip and repeat until 20 minutes had gone by. All in all, I got about 2 miles of hard hill running in, plus a mile in at the warm up as well as a bunch of pushups, partner plank claps, and some other core exercises. But more importantly, I HAD A BLAST and met A TON OF NEW (and really awesome) PEOPLE! We clapped and high fived and waited for every person to finish and then did that same chant again. RUN WILD, DO GOOD.

There was also a yoga session after, which I skipped because I didn't bring a yoga mat and I decided to join some new friends back at Brick and Barrel for a beer before heading home. 

I will definitely be back to Run Wild CLE in the future. AND YOU SHOULD JOIN ME! :)

Leah Backo