I may not be a joiner (or maybe I am), but there’s one club of which I’m proud to be a member. That’d be the 7:19 Club, a local, informal, occasional disglomerization of runners who meet on weekend mornings to run at 9:30am. I mean 7:19.
As most things do where I live, the club grew from a commute — couple of guys talking about running on the train, couple of guys overhearing them, agreements to meet up. And then, unable to fix on 7 or 7:30, an off-the-cuff suggestion of 7:19 seemed right. (There are also references built in – there’s a 6:20 Club outside of St. Louis, and a movie where Pre’s coach Bowerman calls his team meetings for :28 past the hour, to encourage attendance via curiousity. But mostly, it was convenient and easy to remember.)
My post seeking running buddies on the local runner’s club board got me an invite, and two years later, running with these folks has motivated me to run even more than the fear of dying has. There’s the fast guy, who leads the group and runs a zany trail race in the Catskills every year; there’s the stringbean 60-year-old who’s run 50 marathons and outkicks me in every race we enter; the stolid buddies whose support and marathon companionship make it possible to run that far; the woman transforming herself into a distance runner; the speedy lady who runs up the Empire State Building stairs for kicks; the guy who lost 175 pounds and runs all. the. time. And more. An amazing bunch.
There’s nothing wrong with a little joining now and then. Oh, but one thing: I never, ever, ever get there on time. They’re often kind enough to wait. Sure, I wonder what they do at 7:19. But I’m just not that curious.