Runderground: Middelburg, The Netherlands

When I was about eight, I remember I really hated it when people copied me. I felt like they were stealing my ideas. I also remember I was a hypocrite even as a child, because there was this girl at my aunt’s church, Kristin, that I thought was perfect and had the perfect life. She was about four years older than me, and I wanted to be just like her.

She was also a runner.

But one summer day, while Kristin and I were hanging out in the downstairs part of my aunt’s church, she made me rethink my view of copying. She said that copying is the highest form of a compliment, because it means people like what you do so much, they wanted to do it to.

So here’s to you Runderground: I want to copy your run we did last Tuesday, and have the Roosevelt Runners do something similar.

Running, I daresay, can become a bit boring and redundant if you don’t keep things interesting. And Runderground definitely knew how to keep things interesting. Last Tuesday we ran about 12km, according to Martijn. But there was a twist or two that I wasn’t expecting. About fifteen minutes into our run, he stopped us, and said we were going to run this straight away as fast as you can. It was just 1km, about four minutes and thirty seconds of running hard, but I was scared, succumbed to fear, and didn’t go all out. After the 1km was finished, we kept running, at the same tempo as before, which I thought was a steady 12km pace (about 7.5 miles). While I was a bit upset that I didn’t go all out, I was glad I went with my gut, how was I supposed to keep this tempo, especially if I didn’t know what else this trickster had up his sleeve? Maybe seven minutes later, we reached the bike path to Vlissingen where there were some concrete steps, and that was when he said we were going to hop up each one, then sprint down the ramp, and do it again. I died a little inside. I hadn’t been challenged like this since my King days, and grudgingly dug in. I was so glad I did. Because at the end of that 12km and those surprise intervals, I felt like an assassin. Like I could outrun anything and kill it in one swift blow. I killed that run, what’s next?

In the wise words of James Bond, I like my runs like I like my martinis: shaken, not stirred.

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