Three reasons to run

Trolley runners along the race route

Trolley runners round the corner at the 2017 Trolley Run.

 

Why I Run

“Will you ever stop running?” “Don’t you get bored?” “I hate running.” As a runner, you grow accustomed to hearing these comments anytime the topic of running comes up. I get it. In fact, there was a time when I was firmly in the “I hate running” camp, mostly the result of a failed attempt at track when I was 12. Thankfully, a decade later I gave the sport a second chance and haven’t stopped since. What keeps me going? While my reasons for running are as many as the miles I’ve covered, choosing the top three is simple:

1. It’s Cheaper than Therapy
As a mom of two spirited young girls, wife, & full-time marketing professional, my days and weekends are a web of managing schedules, deadlines, and controlled chaos. Running has the power to cut through the noise and deliver peace, clarity, and a sense of accomplishment even on my worst days. Stressed? There are few problems that don’t transform from overwhelming to manageable over the course of a long run. Uninspired? Give me two hours and a well-crafted playlist, and I’ll return as focused as I am hungry. But it’s not just the miles covered in solitude that have kept me sane, I’ve also been fortunate to share thousands of miles with some amazing running partners. These women have always been there to provide advice, perspective, or to simply listen when it is needed most. Simply put, running is the best therapy I could ask for.

2. For Community
Over the years, I’ve observed thousands of people come together to support a cause through local races. I love that these events are about something much bigger than running. In fact, many participants show up to simply walk, volunteer, or cheer on a friend or family member, yet they all share a common goal – raising funds and awareness for an important cause. While Kansas City has a number of terrific races supporting nonprofits, the Trolley Run is one of my favorites. The only thing more impressive than the beautiful downhill course is the cause behind it all, the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. Though I’ve participated in the Trolley Run for several years, more recently I’ve gotten involved with the school as a board member. This connection to CCVI has given me a front row view of the impact this race has on the students and our community. When you sign up for a race that supports a nonprofit, it’s difficult to understand how one person or one race entry can make a difference; but, as the Trolley Run celebrates its 30th anniversary this April, think of the miles, time, and fundraising dollars that have combined over the years to make real change. Being a part of that energy serves as a huge inspiration when I run.

3. Because I Can
This simple truth has nudged me out of bed for an early morning run on many occasions. When the alarm goes off at 4:30 AM (apologies to my patient husband), I’m reminded that I choose to do this. And what a gift having that choice is. I’ve encountered people who would give anything to run, people who used to run and are now no longer able, and people who don’t like running at all, but struggle to find a hobby that fulfills them. Having this perspective makes me grateful for everything running has given me over the years and makes the answer to that first question above easy: “I’ll run until I can’t.”

Courtney Moilanen
Trolley Runner, CCVI Board Member, and chair of the CCVI Marketing/PR committee