Runners’ Post-Pandemic Dreams

We asked what you’re hoping to do when it’s safe again. Here’s what several runners told us.

This was a different and difficult year for running, with the Olympics delayed, major marathons and races canceled, and even group runs largely off the table.We asked readers what they dream about doing as soon as it’s safe to gather again. Here’s what some of our running readers had to say. (Responses have been edited and condensed.)

If you have future running dreams you want to tell us about, please add them in the comments.

I look forward to the day where I can train for my first marathon, feel nervous five minutes before the start of the race, wonder if I should really wait in line for this toilet or if I have it in me to keep going for X miles, sprinting through the finish line despite feeling like I was so done just two miles back, living for that warm shower right after when I can feel all of my chaffed patches of skin sting, going for what surely is over 1,000 calories of fuel packed into a loaded burger paired with sweet potato fries at the local pub, and then going home and immediately falling asleep, dreaming of the next time I can do it all over again. — Holly Tran, Connecticut

I want to be able to run road races and compete in triathlons in any and every state in the U.S. — again. As much as I’ve embraced the virtual run, I want to feel the exhilaration of lining up with hundreds, even thousands, of people and sharing that moment when we cross the start line. I want to smile at the people next to me, as if to say, wearing a mask and staying safe was worth the wait. — Dan Frank, Southborough, Mass.

Angela Johnson

I’m a front line worker. I never lost income or a routine way of life. I saw people, socialized at work, and had new people to talk to every day at the hospital. The one thing I lost from a truly personal, selfish aspect was the chance to run the Boston Marathon, which took three years of training, qualifying, and planning for. So — if and when the pandemic ends — I will make that pilgrimage from Michigan to Hopkinton to run the 26.2 miles when it’s safe for the rest of my family to be there to partake in the experience. I bought the celebration jacket from the Boston Athletic Association but I refuse to wear it until I physically run that course. — Joshua Johnson, Grand Rapids, Mich.

By the time I run my next marathon, I’ll have entered into a new age group and really really should be able to qualify for Boston. Unless they reduce the qualifying times. Again. — Deborah Freedberg, Portland, Ore.

JoAnn Wanamaker

In fall 2019, I began running with Back on My Feet, which combats homelessness through running and community support. We would meet at 5:45 a.m. three days a week to go for a run or walk. This all came to a hard stop with Covid, and although there has been some soft re-starts, it is not back to the normal that comes with the positive energies of hugs, and high fives, or seeing smiling faces. I am looking forward to getting back to the morning circle-ups and sunrise runs. — Andrew Udis, New York, N.Y.

Kate McGuinness

I’m looking forward to something as simple as meeting my usual group of running friends on St. Stephens Day (Boxing Day), to run our usual 8K trail in our local Ardgillan Park. This annual tradition has continued unbroken for over 40 years and welcomes all ages plus walkers and babies in strollers. After our run and a shower, we assemble in the Rugby club for a couple of pints of Guinness. The usual suspects appear and we tell stories of absent friends. Bliss. — Shay McGuinness, Skerries, County Dublin, Ireland

I want to run with my running club again. I miss them very much. I want to see my family in Boston — we haven’t see each other in person since the High Holidays (September) 2019. Most of all, I want to travel the world again with my husband. — Virginia Flores, Boca Raton, Fla.

Joining a running group and train as a group for races. I moved to Denver to be with new twin grandbabies — right as all, including running groups, locked down. I always seem to make friends in those groups and enjoy the camaraderie. Miss it greatly. — Dianne Wright, Lakewood, Colo.

First, I want to fly to Israel and hug my four grandchildren, who live in Jerusalem. I want to have calzone at our favorite Italian restaurant and then walk across the street to see a movie. Not asking for much! Third, I want to run an in-person 5K and get a medal for being first in the over 75 category. — Gail Arnoff, Shaker Heights, Ohio

I am a runner, a yoga teacher and five years sober! My friend is launching Recovery Run Adventures, so I will be joining her and other runners in recovery, for running and adventures across the world. It gives us something to stay motivated now in our training and sobriety! — Susanne Navas, Great Falls, Va.

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