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  • Writer's pictureThe Useless Runner

The Gang

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Gang [noun] ~ /ɡæŋ/

"A group of people who are friendly with each other and are involved in the same activity."

We all have one, and we are proud to be part of it. The infamous "Gang".

It comes in many forms. From a neighbour who became a really good friend to a bunch of guys and gals who get together to enjoy the sport they love, racing each other like maniacs on a Sunday ride, and having a laugh afterwards sharing a coffee.

It has no geography and you can belong to more than one, there aren't any set rules to it.

I belong to a few of them.

Today I want to share with you the people who I identify with the most, and who have been the pillars of my journey to improve and be better. Every single one of them have a special place in my heart, and have been true friends. I am grateful to have them in my life, and their friendship has made me a better person.

The Cycling Gang 'Piñon 11' :

Where do I start with these guys. Initially it all began with Mr F. and Mr J. and going with them on Sunday rides when we got more 'serious' about cycling.

We planned a trip to the Alps in the Summer, and a few more guys joined in, including Mr. P .

We had a blast in this trip. We climbed up Col du Telegraph and Col Du Galibier on Day 1, and up Alpe D'Huez on the second day.

We developed a great friendship with these guys, and every single one of them brought something to this trip that will stay with all of us for a very long time.

We are planning some more trips in the future, and will definitely be seeing each other again.

Puncture included 2K from the top of the Alpe D'Huez

The 'Original 3' - The Tourmalet Gang :

The Cycling trips started about 4 years ago. And have become a tradition since.

Mr. M. and I spoke to Mr. P about heading to the Pyrenees and tackle the popular 'Col du Tourmalet. Mr. P, as you know, likes a challenge, he said yes without hesitation.

There were a lot of good stories on this trip, some which I will write about some day (The microwave sausage, the hotel, the french fries and most memorable: the confusion about where exactly the town of Luz Saint was located!).

There was an incredible sense of accomplishment once we reached the top of the Tourmalet. This mammoth climb took us over 2 hours and about 19 KM up the road. It was amazing!. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to do this with my two best friends in the world by my side!.

The 'brick' and Triathlon Gang :

This one is a fun one. We all are on different geographical locations around the world, and yet we enjoy challenging each other on Bikes and Runs.

First there is Mr F. and Mr J. of course. Mr. F. was the one who got me into triathlon. Then there is Mr. M and finally Mr. FB, more on him in a future blog for sure!.

I have done real time runs over the phone with Mr. M., gone on long brick workouts with Mr. F. and Mr. J., and the 3 of us participated in that Triathlon I don't like talking about.

The 'Exclusively Running' gang:

This is a very particular gang. Is purely running and beating PBs. Is a tough one to keep up with!. You snooze you lose buddy!.

I started running with Mrs. S. some time ago when I was preparing for my Ironman 70.3 race.

Mrs. S. really likes to push hard on the runs, to the point where you really have to move or you are left behind. I like these challenging runs because they prepare me for races, where people don't sit and just wait for you.

She also comes up with some crazy stuff to do on the runs. One day she said 'why don't we run hills'. I was like 'OK why not, let's do it'. It was a 5K session (5 x 500 metres uphill reps). I clearly remember how bad the rain was as we kept pushing up and down the hill. It was a great run, and we still laugh about it when we remember. I was extremely hungry hours after this run!.

We also have a very healthy bit of competition going. As we cannot always run at the same time, we have had a few individual runs when we beat PBs. These create a huge sense of accomplishment, and we work hard to beat those PBs all the time. We have reached great milestones. We have had 10K PBs and we also ran a very strong half marathon. However, there is 1 PB still eluding us ..... the 5K under 25 mins. We continue to chase it to this day, and I am sure we will get there eventually.

And that is that. The gangs and all the great people who became amazing friends.

These have been real fun experiences, and most of all, they are a true statement about friendship, and how a support system ALWAYS beats working alone. These guys single-handedly pull me out of the hole whenever I am down or stressed, or in doubt about anything. Even if is just to talk about our problems and what is going on in our lives, or just have some banter.

They are amazing people. Thank you gang, from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks for reading.

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