Sole 2 Soul Thursday Night Fun Run
Amy and I decided we would drive 60 miles to Fresno, California to check out Sole 2 Soul in River Park. We knew the Bad News Bears Runners would be running and I needed to pick up some of my Bear gear. Not knowing what time they met, I messaged Roy, another member of the BNB Runners. He informed us the group met to run at 7:00 pm and our trip quickly evolved.
Roy told “Mama Bear,” a.k.a. Michelle, a special guest would be showing up to the Sole 2 Soul Thursday Night Fun Run, but refused to tell her who it was. I made sure nothing was posted to social media giving her any clues I would be coming.
Since Amy got off of work an hour earlier than myself, she went home, picked up my running gear and then returned to work to pick me up. I quickly changed in my office and we were on our way.
We arrived at River Park roughly around 6:30 pm and we did not expect the area to be as busy as it was. There was a line of people at the theater all they way to the parking garage, presumably waiting to watch 50 Shades of Grey. We were not sure where to go, so I started following the GPS on my phone. Amy spotted someone who looked like they were ready for a run and we followed her to the store.
Once inside, I spotted Roy in the back of the store. We walked through to where he was and he grabbed my Bear gear. We chit-chatted and he introduced us to some other runners. When Michelle walked in, he pointed her out and I snuck up behind her. I said hello and when she realized who I was she was really surprised. We then talked some and more introductions were made.
Trace Bee, the store manager, came over to see if Amy and I had any questions. I knew her from social media and had snapped a picture or two of her cheering on runners during the Two Cities Marathon. I introduced myself and we chatted a bit.
I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa, known on social media as RunThisWeigh. I started following her on Instagram a little while before she became a member of the BNB Runners. We both ran the SAR Wild Run last year, but our paths did not cross that day. Melissa’s story in nothing short of amazing.
A little after 7:00 pm, Trace Bee started to make an announcement about the night’s fun run. Obey the traffic laws. Try not to cut the corners. Have fun. She then asked all the newcomers to raise their hands. There were quite a few hands that went up, including mine. Then Trace Bee announced there was a special guest all the way from Merced and that many present would know him as Ted Runs With Camera on social media. I smiled and waved. It was an honor to have such an introduction. Then we posed for a group photo.
After posing for the group photo, everyone started out to the trail just outside the shopping center. I activated the sensors on my watch and joined Michelle and Dale, walking to the trail. We were towards the back of the group. Once we arrived to the start of the trail, I started to run.
I turned on all my flashing lights. Los Angeles Dodgers hat? Flashing. Head lamp? On. Flashing arm bands? Check. The blue LED lights on my shoes activate with each step. Ear phones in and music on.
The trail was dark, but spotted with flashing lights of the runners ahead of me. Still not in the shape I need to be, I decided I would push myself, but only run half a mile and then walk a short distance. I decided I would run at least 3 miles, but if I felt good enough I would run a little further.
As I entered a long tunnel near the 1.5 mile mark, I decided to take a selfie and post it to Instagram. I exited the tunnel not far along the path was a locked gate. I guess I was not going to run more than 3 miles. I turned around and started to head back.
As I was running back, I caught up to Roy, who was walking at the time. It was a good time for me to stop. We talked about various races and distances. With a little less than 0.5 miles to go, we started to run again. We ran to the end of the trail and walked back to Sole 2 Soul.
Back at the store, people were snacking on some goodies, drinking water and shopping. People were coming and going. The store remained opened, so there was also other foot traffic. I took some selfies to post to social media with a few different people. And then Amy and I did some shopping. Before leaving, Trace Bee did a quick analysis on my gait. She educated me on the impact of how I run and the type of shoe recommended for me.
I really enjoyed running with the BNB Runners and others at the Sole 2 Soul Thursday Night Fun run. Amy and I may make this a monthly occurrence.