12 Comments

Those are gorgeous photos! Congrats on your post-baby race. I think once you fully recover sleep-wise and discover a new normal with an infant/toddler, your running will be as fast or faster than before. As for meetups—does LMJS still do its Fourth Sunday race at the lake? I always found that to be a great low-stakes drop-in of a race for a solid speed session. As for that study—I find it hard to believe that people cross class lines and mingle at Applebees and Olive Gardens. Those restaurants are located in suburban sprawl locales where the very poor and very wealthy tend not to frequent. I was trying to think what was the last place I interacted with many different types of people in terms of class, politics, and even race (though still predominantly white), and it was our county rodeo. It brought together almost every type of person in our county, which is very purple politically and very split in terms of income, and it was neat to see the mix and interactions.

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Yeah! Wonderful photos from Miya! There are even more great shots here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/t5q5iz0tvyx6o6zl6qyuu/h?dl=0&rlkey=691ktahkmbvsidodw0n5xt70o

Great call out! I should have mentioned LMJS as doing the great work of bringing in folks of different abilities!

Interestingly, the chain restaurants sit in a sort of sweet spot where you know you might not get a great meal, but won't get a terrible one either. But yeah, likely the very poor would be unable to afford them; and the very wealthy would never deign to cross the threshold of a Logan's Steakhouse (which has a great happy hour, imo).

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Joy through movement ❤️

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Sam Robinson

Thanks for allowing me to relive the experience of last Thursday evening through the newsletter. The photographs are amazing and put me on the track with the runners. So glad we could experience this with you and our new granddaughter!

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Sam Robinson

Loved the newsletter today, Sam!!!! Especially this paragraph: "The Tracksmith meets certainly provide a blueprint to revitalize older leagues like the venerable Pacific Association of the USATF here in the Bay Area. The existing race circuit for track and cross country is structured to mimic prep and collegiate competition. The fields are small, fast, and upwardly mobile. That’s not going to appeal to anyone beyond the alumni of that style of racing." Reflecting on this since Women's Run Club (WRC) just started participating in PA-USATF events and it is hard to sell the XC experience to people new to the sport

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Thank you, Becca! What in particular is the hard sell from your perspective?

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Sam Robinson

There's a feeling that you have to be able to run a certain pace to participate and the races are only for "fast people"

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Sam Robinson

One of the amazing things about the Twilight races is that they have heats and pacers spanning a large variety of paces, including back of the pack runners. I was able to run a 5k race on the track last year while pregnant and have a dedicated pacer supporting me.

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That's amazing.

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Aug 28, 2023·edited Aug 28, 2023Liked by Sam Robinson

This class-mixing function is present in the trailrunning community, too. There are so many people I've met on the trails, or at trail events, people I have known for years and have run many miles with and consider friends, and yet I could not tell you what their occupation is, or their financial situation, and I don't know what their political leanings are. I think this is partly because it just never comes up, but I feel we (most of us in the tribe) also have this unspoken agreement that we don't talk about those things here, and we intentionally protect this part of our lives against those intrusions.

At the same time, I wonder how much class-mixing utility comes from that... not knowing the status of the person you are running with is perhaps a different thing than knowing it and running with them anyway.

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Great point. I don't know much about political polarization, but my hunch is that in decades of greater political consensus, people likely talked about it less in everyday life. Maybe. And love the point about the trails. In theory, the trails are open to all! Do you think trail access has any impact to the types of people you meet or run with, Jeff? Where I grew up there really aren't many public trails, which makes me think those kinds of communities are more difficult to foster. Thanks for reading!

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Trail access is something I hadn't considered. I guess I take it for granted because we have such easy access here in north-central Pennsylvania, with hundreds of miles of single-track on public land within 15 minutes of almost every home. I guess that access might be indirectly responsible, in that a trail-running community grew up around those trails. I guess that easy access means fewer barriers to entry and more opportunity for anyone to try it.

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