*Taken from the Woodlands Weekly Newsletter sent out 10.7.2019
People ask us all the time, "What exactly is Woodlands Running Co. all about? Are you like a store or something?" After 18 months, it still feels like a daunting and complicated answer to give. No, we are not a store. Yes, we are a business insofar as we sell gear and charge race entries but that money goes into a 'slush(ie) fund' for buying things like group run snacks or birthday cakes for our running group friends. Like a real business, we have a mission statement to Celebrate the Adventure of Running and weekly team planning calls with Karl Wulff, Jamie Chick, Evan Schmidtke, and myself to figure out who is leading group runs, party planning for future events, and who we want to celebrate that week.
But this business and running group doesn't belong to the 4 of us, it belongs to the collective us - the big US. It was born out of the desire to be inclusive of all people in this sport, to provide space where we remind others every type of body is a runners body and there is no minimum speed to be a runner, to not take ourselves or the sport so seriously - to be silly and light and creative to remind all of us that feeling of freedom we felt running as kids. Above all, it's run by (pun intended) a diverse group of strangers who have become like family, talking through real shit and supporting one another through life, running-related or not. PHEW, complicated answer indeed.
This past weekend we had part of this collective us doing all kinds of rad stuff. There was a crew of Woodland's guys and gals in Gold Beach spending their weekend volunteering at Rainshadow's Secret Beach 100k/50k, fixing feet and feeding hungry mouths at aid stations and sweeping the course to encourage runners to hit those cutoffs. Meanwhile, there were some big races our friends crushed including the Condor 25k, Williamette Headwaters 22 miler, and Three Sisters Skyline 50k. Social and texting were ablaze with love given to those racing and those supporting. Our dear friend and #runWOW sister Lucy Durst ran her first 50k at Three Sisters and summed up that love with her beautiful, packed with gratitude post of which in part said:
"In March, I ran with Women of Woodlands for the first time. My first big group run. My first trail run. It was 4 miles. These ladies I didn't know then talked about their trail marathons and other crazy things like 50k's, 50 milers and 100 milers. I laughed and said yea....half marathons are my jam. But then this thing happened. Their strength, amazing-ness, and belief in you before you believe in yourself had me registering for a 50k of my own. I (heart) these ladies and am so happy I get to have them in my world being inspiring and supportive."
Bad.Ass. You better believe Lucy had all the beer and all the pizza to celebrate.
Speaking of partying, we're less than 2 weeks out from a trail party at Twin Peaks Trail Runs in Jacksonville, OR - Woodlands first sponsored run. While the running will be beautiful, challenging and fun - aren't we all about the finish line? Yep! We're stoked to share that we'll have post-run tacos from Los Arco, live music, fun announcements from Jami Sutter, lots of local volunteers putting together thee BEST aid stations, and sponsorship from Southern Oregon Subaru, Tailwind, and Jackson County Physical Therapy. Make sure to get signed up today.
Hope your week is filled with lots of love, laughter, and pumpkin-spiced deliciousness.
Lucy Durst finishing her 1st 50k race at the Three Sisters 50k