Running Can Unite Us
“When I woke up last Monday morning, I had never heard of Kelsey Bruce or Matt Crowe. Five days later, I was cheering them on at the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. (Yes, cheering. I’ll admit to breaking the sportswriter’s code of objectivity on this occasion.)”
“It was something I told Kelsey, Matt, and my boss Weldon Johnson that night after the race had finished: one of the things I love about sports – running, in particular – is its ability to bring people together. On its head, the idea of inviting a complete stranger to fly almost 5,000 miles across the Atlantic to spend the weekend with you in a foreign country sounds completely insane. Who would make such an offer? And who would be crazy enough to accept it?”
“But when you add the World Cross-Country Championships into the equation, it all makes sense. The event, and our shared love of running, united a Division II assistant coach from Texas, an itinerant online English teacher, and two running journalists. Now here we were, in a food hall in Aarhus, sharing a plate of duck fat fries and laughing over beers at Weldon’s battle with a pink-clad woman in the World XC open race. There were no frowns, even though neither Kelsey nor Matt (nor Weldon, for that matter) had run as well as they wanted to. It was just four people enjoying each other’s company. And it never would have happened without running. That, to me, is pretty cool.”
– Jonathan Gault writing about the 2019 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships and how running can unite us.
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