This was a different and difficult year for running. The Olympic Games have been postponed, major marathons and races canceled and even group runs largely off the table. We asked readers what they dream of once it is safe to meet again. Here’s what some of our ongoing readers had to say. (The answers have been edited and compressed.)
If you have any future running dreams you’d like to tell us about, please add them in the comments.
Running en masse
Looking forward to the day when I can train for my first marathon, five minutes before the start of the race, I’m nervous and wondering if I should really wait in line for that toilet or if I have it in me to get it Carrying On X Miles I sprinted through the finish line despite feeling like I was only two miles back and lived for that warm shower right after feeling all of my chafing patches of skin that was sure to have over 1,000 calories in fuel from a laden burger paired with sweet potato fries at the local pub who then went home and immediately fell asleep dreaming that I could do it all over again next time. – Holly Tran, Connecticut
I want to be able to race again and take part in triathlons in every state in the United States. As much as I’ve gotten into the virtual run, I want to feel the exhilaration of standing in line with hundreds or even thousands of people and sharing that moment as we cross the starting line. I want to smile at the people next to me as if to say it was worth the wait to wear a mask and stay safe. – Dan Frank, Southborough, Mass.
Shipping to Boston
I am a front line worker. I never lost any income or routine. I saw people socialized at work and had new people every day to speak to in the hospital. The only thing I lost from a truly personal, selfish aspect was the chance to run the Boston Marathon, which required three years of training, qualification, and planning. So – if and when the pandemic ends – I’ll be making this pilgrimage from Michigan to Hopkinton to walk the 42 km when it is safe for the rest of my family to be there to partake of the experience. I bought the party jacket from the Boston Athletic Association, but I refuse to wear it until I physically complete this course. – Joshua Johnson, Grand Rapids, Mich.
By the time I run my next marathon, I’ll be entering a new age group and should really qualify for Boston. Unless they shorten qualifying times. Once again. – Deborah Freedberg, Portland, Ore.
Running with friends again …
In the fall of 2019, I started running Back on My Feet, which combats homelessness through running and community support. We met at 5:45 a.m. three days a week to run or take a walk. This all came to a standstill at Covid, and while there have been some soft reboots, it’s not back to normal with the positive energies of hugs and high fives or seeing smiling faces. I look forward to getting back to the morning circle ups and sunrise walks. – Andrew Udis, New York, NY
I look forward to something as simple as meeting up with my usual group of running friends on St. Stephens Day (Boxing Day) to run our usual 5-mile trail at our local Ardgillan Park. This annual tradition has been unbroken for over 40 years and welcomes all ages as well as hikers and babies in strollers. After our run and a shower, we gather at the rugby club for a few 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 her a lot. I want to see my family in Boston – we haven’t seen each other in person since the High Holidays (September) 2019. Above all, I want to travel around the world with my husband again. – Virginia Flores, Boca Raton, Fla.
… and make new ones
Join a running group and train as a group for races. I moved to Denver to be with new twin grandchildren – just like everyone is locked, including running groups. I always seem to make friends in these groups and enjoy the camaraderie. Miss it very much. – Dianne Wright, Lakewood, Colo.
Traveling and running
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 go across the street to see a movie. Not asking for much! Third, I want to do a personal 5K race and get a medal for first place in the over 75 category. – Gail Arnoff, Shaker Heights, Ohio
I am a runner, a yoga teacher and five years sober! My girlfriend is starting Recovery Run Adventures, so I will join her and other runners in recovery to run and have adventures around the world. It gives us something to stay motivated in our training and sobriety right now! – Susanne Navas, Great Falls, Va.