Two years back, I dashed off into the 4:00AM night to drive to meet my friend Nick at the Endurance Challenge on Bear Mountain (NY), a casual four hours from Boston. We were childhood friends who’d shared our college years from many states away. Relating over the years as D1 athletes, we had now joined forces in our late 20′s to take down a trail race we’d signed up for after sharing a few pitchers in the West Village one night on one of my random visits to New York City. Nick, a former college soccer star at the University of Wisconsin who went on to play a handful of years professionally in Chicago, DC, and New Zealand was a great teammate. What made him a great friend at this time in my life is that he was ALWAYS down to sign up for events. You name the race. You name the date. He’s there. We signed up for the 4-man event with just the two of us and when race day came, prepared or not, we raced our hearts out to prove that we still had it. And on that day we had it! Nick took legs 1 and 3 and I took legs 2 and 4 of the 26.2 mile trail relay. And we won! Fuck yeah we won! We were pumped! When was the last time I’d won a running race?! Never!? OK. In those same few weeks Bojan & I had been tweeting and blog posting about the November Project in Boston (back when we were meeting only one time per week with what we thought were amazing numbers – 15-20 people)!
Fast forward two years and Bear Mountain is still standing strong, and November Project is in 16 cities across North America. With a few car loads of tribe men and women from Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C., we set out to out-fun, and maybe even out-run, the most social event of the weekend; The Marathon Relay (the same race from Bear Mt 2012). Coming off of a pretty long winter all of us were happy to see sunshine as we hit the green, lush, and overly muddy trails. We were also happy to have one another there to cheer on, trash talk, and push one another to the line. All sixteen cities in our four different timezones should be proud to hear that November Project put three teams of #GrassrootsGear onto the podium to “sweep” the event.
So why I am telling you all this? Because I want to know, What is the next race that you’re training for? Remember this post? What are YOU training for? Even though the answer is sometimes “LIFE”, there are many race opportunities that can put your name and result on the results-board to stack you up against your fellow humans. Just like our PR day every last Wednesday of the month, when scores are being posted our fast and fun racers of all speeds seep to give it an even harder push.
Bojan and I took a look at one another a month ago and committed to making this summer a giant step in our training by signing up for every single Endurance Challenge. This will give a purpose to all the hill, stair, and cross-country-off-road training that we’ve been doing and will continue to do throughout the year. We’ve also made the Wisconsin race site the gathering for the November Project Leader’s Summit where each of the co-leaders in each of the cities around North America will gather the way we did in Edmonton last December.
Now we want to invite you to join us. Sign up for one race or sign up for a race each month all summer and fall long if you want. You’ll find more purpose in your training and more arenas to show off your new fitness levels. Sign up for something that freaks you out a little bit. Run the trail 5k, or a 10k. Grab three teammates and help us takeover the next relay. Options are endless.
We know that the boys and gals that were racing with us up and down the Bear Mountain as well as the many who have FOMO’d their way into fresh verbals are already gearing up for the Washington D.C. version of last weekend’s experience. We all know that Danny, Steve and the rest of the D.C. tribe will overtake the event. But for the rest of you… do I smell a road trip? We don’t have a tribe in Ontario but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be the loudest people in the mountains North of Toronto in July. How about Madison, WI – BG/DG’s Hometown, NP’s second tribe, and the location of #NPSUMMT2014 where you can meet ALL the leaders of November Project locations.
All the races that we will be participating are below. Get your team, get your tent/hotel, get online, sign up, and let’s get after it. From our end, we’d love to see this summer turn into a traveling mob that makes their way to these events (or any events) and completely takes over the races with intensity, big quads and positive energy. As always, WHAT ARE YOU TRAINING FOR?