On The Run With Dink - Oh The Places You'll Go

Running is something that seems to be on my mind every single day. After 38 years, I am still amazed that the thoughts of running remain on my mind. I am sure this led to the beginning of Fleet Feet Sports over 11 years ago. I am the type of guy who knows what I want and what I like without any doubt. I will take things as far as I can and do my very best at it. I expect the same thing out of others and I believe in dreaming big.

Running is not just beneficial for our health, running takes us places. It takes us places we thought we may never go. I still remember when I first started running as a kid. I enjoyed the freedom of cruising through the neighbors, learning the roads and being able to see all of the things going on in others day to day lives. I always saw the same people doing pretty much the same stuff. They would be out doing yard work, washing cars, working on the house or just driving by. They always waved and I always waved back. I still do the same things today running in my neighborhood. One of the things I noticed on my run this morning is there are fewer people these days out in the neighborhood. I mostly see people driving by these days. Not as many people wave as they used too. I am amazed at just how quiet the streets are around my neighborhood and I am thankful for that. I enjoy it.

Living in small town Gadsden, AL, I can remember watching the Boston Marathon on TV. To a small town kid, going somewhere like Boston did not seem at all possible, it may as well have been in Japan. But I am here to tell you, running takes you places. I have run the Boston Marathon 8 times now and I love the town. It’s not just running the marathon, its being in Boston. The city is filled with history. The first thing I do when I get to Boston is get checked in the hotel and then go for a run. I like to run around the Boston Common and watch all of the people. This is usually my first run to just shake things out from the travel, breath in the cold air and remind myself “I’m in Boston!” Next run I always go straight to the running paths along the Charles River. Stunning views of the Boston skyline awaits you along the Charles River and I always look for the infamous Citco sign that marks 1 mile to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is the greatest marathon in the world. Although we can register for most any marathon and go, Boston is for the most serious runners who are committed to not just running a marathon but running a time that is fast enough to qualify you to run with the best in the world. As long as I can qualify, I plan to continue to run in Boston.

Running takes you places. Back in 2007, I was able to attend some meetings with Mizuno at their world headquarters and wouldn’t you know it, I went to Osaka, Japan. I took Dave Purinton along with me. I knew Dave was an avid runner and he would also enjoy being able to attend the World Track and Field Championships there. We were also able to watch the women’s World championship marathon around the streets of Osaka. We took daily runs around Osaka. It was like running in New York City except everything was written in Japanese. We saw lots of interesting things on our daily runs and only got lost one time. I believe the best way to see things in a place you have never been, is to get out and run.

Today’s runners are going places to run. Some set out to complete marathons in all 50 states. I have entertained the thought of this but just have not made it a priority. I admire those who have done it. Running has taken them places and they have seen a lot of great places and ran in some great places. I have probably run in about 25 states and I find something wonderful about every new place I run. With technology in your hands, finding the best places to run are easier than ever.
Whether you are going out West to run around the San Francisco Bay area or going over to Guntersville to run along the path on the lake, let running take you places. Enjoy every run, make every run count. I was just thinking today during my last mile that today’s run was coming to an end; it was kind of disappointing to be over. I hadn’t seen everything that I wanted to see. The good news is I will be back out tomorrow, to run another day, to find something special along the way

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