I am Tina, current BAR treasurer and unlikely hobby runner. As a slow-pace, short-distance, non-racing athlete, I provide more in the way of diversity (and mad check-writing skills) than running experience to the leadership team. But despite approaching the sport a bit differently from most people I meet, I love being part of the ranks of the BAR.
For one thing, being a runner means getting to mingle with other runners, and generally speaking they tend to be awesome, welcoming people– the kind of folks who generously insist that I *am* a runner, even after seeing my best wheezy-rhino-from-Jumanji impression. Folks who will, in the same conversation, be genuinely excited that I added an extra half mile to a slow Saturday run and casually downplay the fact that they broke the sound barrier in mile 24 of their latest marathon. Runners are good people.
Really, of all the running I do, the miles I put in on vacation are probably my favorite. Vacation runs provide a grounding bit of normalcy in the midst of exploring new places and abandoning my daily routine. Being able to get lost in the rhythm of my footfalls, regardless of the setting I find myself in is centering and like bringing a piece of home with me. While they’re not always grand and seldom involve PRs, those runs often wind up being the highlight of my trips. They connect me to locals and take me to some of the most beautiful places.
And the feeling of solidarity when meeting other runners hasn’t been limited to my experiences in Boise, where people just tend to be over-the-top friendly. When I travel, running is a surefire way to plug into the communities I visit. I love finding out about local running haunts, and area runners are always remarkably generous in sharing their favorite routes.
Here’s to getting outside and putting in the miles, however many miles and at whatever pace that may be!
In this month’s BAR Story a number of Boise area runners share memories of Rob. Rob died December 28, 2018, just a month ago. My own thoughts turn back to so many amazing conversations I had with him while running. I can’t help but feel that he was the best of us. He trained with passion and determination when focused on a goal, but he was very capable of just chilling at a pace comfortable for the person he was talking to. His humor and warmth was most evident when supporting and celebrating others. I remember finishing my first marathon as a BAR runner at the 2015 City of Trees Marathon and Rob was there. He hadn’t run; he just came out to cheer on his fellow runners. As I limped around the finish area, he checked in with me repeatedly to ensure that I had everything I needed. It was a sweet motherly side of him I hadn’t seen on training runs. Rob was a stalwart supporter of the BAR organization and gave freely and generously of his resources to make the BAR strong. He will be missed.”
“Rob and I worked in the same office building. Within a few days of meeting him, I knew he was a runner. So many of our conversations centered around running, races, how far and how fast we ran, how I jogged and he ran…. I met the same Rob that everyone else knew – entertaining and wickedly funny. And when he ran, he was in his happy place. I had been following the BAR runs for about 2 years before I decided to go to a meeting. The first time I went, I was super nervous, anxious. I am a slow runner and I was afraid I would be running on my own. I pulled up to Whole Foods and almost immediately saw Rob pulling in. He bounced over to talk to me with his funny gait and his big infectious smile. Because I am not often nervous meeting new people, he immediately started making fun of me while he introduced me to other BAR runners. I know it was a huge sacrifice for him, but he was nice enough to run with me that day. I was normally at a 10:30 pace and he was so much faster. But we ran about 6 miles that day. It was the longest fastest run I had ever been on at that point. But because he was so entertaining, I didn’t notice how fast we were running or how far. Just that we were having a hilarious time.”
“I have lots of memories of Rob all mainly due to the nickname Monica gave us when we ran together: “The Rob and Tom show”. Rob and I had a back and forth banter during our runs that kind of passed the time making a 20 mile run seem like a 3 mile run. Rob had a special talent to taking one aspect of a story and dragging it along in such a humorous way. Those runs should be remembered as The Rob show. One of those runs out near Barber Park with the Bar crew, Rob picked up a snake we ran by knowing I had a phobia of snakes. He literally scared me to death when he placed the snake on my shoulder. There was never a dull moment with Rob on any run. Besides being a great running partner, Rob was a true friend always offering running and personal advice. He truly cared and was as compassionate of a person I have ever known. I will miss him dearly. RIP Rob Hancock.”
“If you were running with Rob, the outcome was predictable. At some point, you’d be laughing so hard you’d be doubled over trying to catch your breath.
My last run with Rob was a Sunday Morning Trail Run with the BAR. I had decided to run the Red Cliffs loop and was fortunate enough to have Janelle, Jeff, and Rob to run with that day. We talked about many things on our run; life balance, strength training, and yoga, among other things. While running along the Chickadee trail, Rob made a remark about some people being egotistical in their athletic endeavors. Immediately after, Rob said “I personally never feel like I need to be the best in a group” and quickly passed us all with big, proud strides and without so much as a sideways glance at any of us. Everyone was laughing. I was doubled over, trying to keep up and lucky to not trip on the trail. There are few people who can make me laugh as easily as Rob could.
“In addition to Rob’s humor, I was reminded of his generosity over Labor Day weekend of 2018. As is typical, a large contingency of BAR folks were in McCall to run and/or celebrate the Payette Lake Run. The morning of the run, Sara, Rob, and I had decided to do a hike in Ponderosa State Park and do yoga near the finish line of the race while our BAR family worked their way toward another year of Payette Lake Run victory. The entire morning Rob was funny, thoughtful, and generous. He bought Sara and I coffee after our hike and I remember feeling that tinge of guilt that I often get when someone spends their hard-earned money on me. Sara and I insisted that he didn’t need to buy us coffee, but he refused and so comfortably treated us. It’s amazing how far those little gestures go, and it was clear that Rob understood the statement he was making by showing his gratitude through purchasing his friends coffee. This is an example of one small act Rob committed, but there are many more. Rob didn’t save his generosity for special occasions. They just seemed to be a part of his existence as a person.”
“Rob made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. His impersonation of the crazy honey badger narration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg) was priceless. He had this ability to build on positivity and laughter, creating an inescapable vortex of joy. He also was considerate, thoughtful, and generous beyond belief. My heart is overflowing with the pain of missing him and gratitude for having been lucky enough to know him.”
“Rob was very welcoming when I first joined the group. I found him to be positive and funny. I noticed immediately that he shared the same dry sense of humor as I have. He always would stop for a few minutes to run at my slower pace just to see how things were going for me. I believe he did this with everyone on the run because he genuinely cared about everyone feeling like they belonged.”
“I’ll never forget Rob’s advice to me on becoming a father. It resonates because it’s equal parts funny and wise. A small pack of us were in the middle of a long run on the south side of the river, heading west towards Boise State. Rob asked me if I felt ready to be a father. I responded with some version of “I’m ready as I’ll ever be.” Rob said something like, “Let me tell you this: my kids came out completely differently and I had nothing to do with it.” His insistence that you can’t dictate what your children become and that you should learn early on to let go of the idea of complete control was solid advice, with both short-term and long-term perspective in mind. “Heading east along the river on a Saturday morning in Eagle, sun turning Rob and a few others into running silhouettes. Rob was describing the euphoria of running the Boston Marathon. “You’re running with the greatest runners in the world, thousands of people are cheering for you the whole way. You cross the finish line; there’s no describing the feeling. It’s better than sex.” I said, “at least it lasts longer, huh?” Rob said, without missing a beat, “I should qualify that statement, because sex with me isn’t that great anyway.” “And I won’t forget what I think are the last words I heard Rob say, in response to seeing Elia, my son, running across the grass at Camel’s Back after a Sunday morning run this past fall. He said, “It should be illegal to be that cute.” I include this, not to gloat about my son’s relative cuteness, but that unnecessary compliment from Rob shows his genuine kindness and affinity for others. It will surely be missed.”
More details to come! Please save the date for a special edition of Tuesday Track. Please plan to attend Tuesday October 30th for a fundraiser to support Girls on the Run of the Treasure Valley. The BAR is hoping to provide funds towards sponsoring local girls. All donations will go towards assisting those who need financial assistance to join this program. ~ 58% of the girls received some level of scholarship last year.
There will be a Halloween costume contest, relays, and other various fun races. Please feel free to bring a friend. Suggested $20 donation but all are welcome!
We will also be accepting youth sized running socks and shelf stable healthy snacks such as single serve applesauce cups and Kind bars.
Running has been a big part of Duane Evan’s life from childhood to retirement. It has contributed to his health, well-being, and most significant relationships. Out of all these benefits, running has taught Duane the value of persistence.
“I remember as a kid running because walking was too slow.” Growing up in The Dalles, Oregon, cherry orchards lay on the mile long path between Duane and his friend’s home. He started walking and realized it was taking forever. “So, I ran.”
There were not a lot of organized sports for kids living outside of town. That left running and hiking in the hills. “Running was something that we just ended up doing…Mom would ring the cowbell and we had to be home by the second bell.” Climbing around up in the hills behind the house meant that when the bell rang “we had to run!”
Duane runs now more for well-being and the relationships he creates in running. “I feel a lot better when I run than when I don’t.” He misses a couple of days of running and knows he needs to get out there to feel right again. Running also makes relationships more significant. “You can’t run with someone very long without getting to know them. All pretense is gone…you end up being who you are.”
While running in high school cross country Duane encountered a major hurdle to running: injuries. During his senior year he developed micro tears in the meniscus of his knee. This injury stopped his running and he was not able to compete in college. He was not sure he would ever be able to run.
Eventually, symptoms cleared and he started running socially and considered competing his senior year of college. He kept running. “I ran into my late thirties and that is when I set all of my PRs (personal records).” Then those micro tears emerged again in his forties and stopped him. He did not run from 1999-2012.
Then Duane ran into an old training partner and got inspired to run again. Now he was a bit older and overweight. On this journey back into running Duane developed injury after injury. Instead of just stopping he discovered the key to overcoming injuries: “Persistence, persistence, persistence…keeping after it. Everyday I am going to do something…I am going to ride a bike, walk, do what I can do. I gradually came back.”
Of the process Duane says, “It was so hard…Now I am 45 pounds lighter and feel a ton better than I did about six years ago.” Persistence was and is the key.
Duane has also learned to appreciate being able to run. He reflects on running and thinks, “I better enjoy this because it can get taken away from you pretty quickly.” He celebrated this ability by running in the Boston Marathon last April. To say the weather conditions were not ideal would be an understatement: cold rain and a fierce headwind tested Duane’s enjoyment. He missed his goal time by just ten minutes but was able to qualify for next year’s marathon, which he will be running.
Duane has pursued running with persistence and the key has been “learning patience with injury and how to really keep after it and persevere to figure out what you can do” to get back to running. “I can’t run the way I want to run. I can’t run where or how I want to run. But maybe I can cycle a day or two” or run on a treadmill or elliptical. Like Duane’s former running partner, he certainly inspires Boise Area Runners to keep after it and persist!