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Why We Run 

The drive to run is strong, even when we hate it

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KATIE KNIGHT
North Central High School senior track and cross-country runner, committed to run at UW next year

On the surface level, I love running because of all of the opportunities it has given me such as traveling and college. However, in a more general, philosophical perspective, I love running because of what it teaches me about myself. One learns quite a number of things on a 14-miler alone in the woods. Running teaches me the magnitude of my strength and the depth of my weaknesses. I have learned how to trust myself to persevere through adversity. The running I love is not about slogging through four miles for some diet; it is about enjoying your moment out on the trails so much that the pain is no longer a foe, but a friend. And mostly, I love that it makes me smile.

RACHEL TOOR
Eastern Washington University creative writing professor and author of Personal Record: A Love Affair With Running

I do not run for my health. If you saw how scabby, bruised and scarred my legs are from frequent falls on the trails, you would not think running is healthy. I do not run to lose weight, or to get exercise. I don’t need to lose weight and I detest exercise. I don’t run when it is raining, or cold, or even, sometimes, when the sky is the wrong shade of gray. I run because it shakes and rattles loose thoughts that would otherwise be stuck in my mind. I run because it stills the monkey-house of my brain. I run because sometimes I forget that I live in a physical body. I run because I love to run.

CHELSEA McCLAMMER
2012 Richland High School graduate, Tri-Cities resident and 2008 Paralympian

Bloomsday was the first road race I participated in competitively after starting wheelchair racing. My first year racing it, I had an absolute blast. I remember having other racers push alongside me and encourage me to make it through the grueling race just to say I’m a Bloomsday Finisher. My family and friends lined the sides of Doomsday Hill and cheered for me to keep going. No matter what happened during the race, whether it was cold and windy, someone got a flat, or even crashed, I always held onto the thought that I just want to finish the race and do my best. Ever since then, Bloomsday has been the race that I look forward to most every year.

TODD MIELKE
Spokane County Commissioner

I haven’t run Bloomsday since high school and am not a runner. This year, mostly due to a dare and a desire to exercise, it’s time. I don’t know if I will be able to run the entire course — the “Hill” is daunting. Two back surgeries and sore joints remind me that I’m getting older.

But Bloomsday is analogous to our lives in a bigger way. It represents a challenge to all to overcome. It’s a time for us to focus on something we have in common, and ignore our differences. We come together to accomplish a common goal and support each other along the way. It’s a day where we rediscover our sense of community — without involving a tragedy. Unfortunately, Bloomsday only comes once a year.

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