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Race Buddies

by Meghann on May 3, 2011

My first marathon was an experience I will never forget.


I trained hard, worked hard, and – thanks to my friend Bobbi – I pushed myself to my dream goal of running a sub- 4:30 marathon.


It was amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Running my first marathon with Bobbi was a random last minute decision. She was recovering from Boston and looking to run San Diego for fun. Lucky for me, her ‘fun pace’ was my ‘give it hell’ pace. ๐Ÿ™‚

A race buddy was formed.


Running a first marathon with a race buddy is something I 100% recommend to everyone. There’s no way my first marathon would have been as successful without Bobbi there pushing me along.

We spent the first half of the race laughing and gossiping. The more we talked, the more the miles literally flew by. Bobbi and I had so much in common and so much to discuss – we weren’t race, we were having fun!


The second half of the race was less talking and more pushing. Bobbi knew when to tell me to keep moving and when to tell me it was ok to stretch. She was a constant cheerleader – nothing, but encouragement the entire time.

The only reason I achieved my time goal was because of Bobbi. When I wanted to walk or stop, I thought of her next to me chugging along and I knew if she could do it then so could I. Without her I would of had no problem walking those last few miles!


Since that amazing experience I’ve become sort of obsessed with race buddies.

I ran Derek’s first 10k with him in October of 2009.


Completed my first NYCRR race with Dori and Ashley


Helped Ben PR at the Rock n Roll 5k this fall


Had the pleasure of reuniting with Bobbi in Chicago last October and crossed the finish line hand and hand with my sister.


Conquered my first hilly 10k with Kath in October


Ran Miami with Ben this past January – pushing him to a 2:00 half marathon.


Joined my Sister and Brother for a fun half marathon at Disney’s Princess Half.


And this past Saturday, my little brother ran his first marathon with our sister by his side.


Basically, Race Buddies ROCK!

Have you ever a race with a buddy?

1 Samantha Angela May 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I’ve never had a race buddy but I would definitely love to have one!

I’m hoping to run the Disney Marathon in January, maybe I can get a race buddy before then!

2 Kelly May 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Race buddies (and training buddies!) do rock! Truth be told I rarely like to run by myself anymore. Running with someone else to chat and share the experience with is so much more fun!

3 Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl May 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Aww that’s so great that you’ve turned this into a family thing! I have had race buddies before.

In my first marathon, the Disney marathon, I ended up running next to a wonderful woman for the last 12 miles. It was her 5th marathon and she gave me the BEST advice about pushing through to the end. If it weren’t for her, I doubt my first marathon would have been such a success!

I love all of these race recaps. I’ll need to catch up!
Jamie aka “Sometimes Healthy” Girl recently posted..The Budget Diet Kitchen Raid- Snooki Inspired- Sometimes Healthy Approved

4 clare @ May 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I’ve run the Chicago Marathon twice with my sister…but she is a speedster, finishing usually well under 4 hours (and I always take just about 4 hours, no matter how flat or hilly the race. Case in point, I ran the Boston Marathon last year and ran the same time. It’s like I have one gear ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Oh and I live in Charlottesville and I’ve run the Fall Classic 10k the past 2 years! I live on the downtown mall where it starts so it’s great just to jump out of bed and right to the starting line. Great race, with a really nice flat stretch on the Rivanna River ๐Ÿ™‚
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5 Mimi May 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I just ran a half-marathon with my mom by my side. It was the coolest feeling in the world to cross the finish line while holding her hand!
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6 Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! May 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I love race buddies! In March, I ran the Pirate’s Cove 30k with my good friend and training buddy (we also swim and cycle together). It was so fun to run the whole race with her and share the incredible, emotional experience. We also met tons of people during the race and just had an all-around great time. I hope to find many more race buddies as I continue running!

7 katieRUNSthis May 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Having a race “partner in crime” is truly a necessity for me. On long distances, I can only hear so many Britney Spears songs make their way through my running mix on my iPod before I long for a little conversation and encouragement. When training for my marathon, I trained with two people. It made doing on long runs SO much better and you are right, the miles seemed to fly by. But then I moved, and now I’m trying to find a new pack of running buddies. For now, I’m putting in solo miles and some days it is just so hard to get out there and push it. I did my first marathon on my own, and looking back, it really would have been nice to have some company. I feed off encouragement from others (especially around mile 22) and having someone to push me and for me to push them would have been nice. I will definitely find a running buddy for the next time around!

For now, I’m trying to meet other running peeps in my social running groups each week. Keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll find someone willing to go slow enough for me! ๐Ÿ™‚
katieRUNSthis recently posted..Iโ€™ll pass on the crack Running is my habit

8 Kara May 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I wish I had a buddy for my marathon. I ran that alone and it kinda sucked. I’m running my 50K next month with a blogging buddy and it has been so fun getting to know her during training runs. We’re actually doing 22 miles together this weekend, wheeee!
Kara recently posted..Random Tuesday Musings

9 Sarah K May 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Your race stories always remind me to push myself. I have my first 10K coming up that I’m running with my dad. It’s the farthest I’ve ever run and I’m super nervous about it.
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10 Freya May 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm

ah you are so so lucky to have a race buddy (or 10!)! I’ve never had one – my first marathon was alone and towards the end it was SO tough. I know if I’d had someone with me to push me through, I could’ve done better. It’s kinda gutting missing out on that kind of support ๐Ÿ™
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11 Kristy @ KristyRuns May 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I’m usually a solo racer. I like to meet different people during races because I don’t run with music. It’s getting harder and harder to find old school folks without ipods these days though! ๐Ÿ™‚
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12 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I have ran races with Jason, with my Dad and with 2 of my sisters — it is fun to be with someone, but I actually enjoy running alone better — I can zone out and just run!
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13 Dori May 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Your blog is awesome from an iPad! I loved seeing myself in this post. I also love race buddies and my friend Melissa and I always push either so much harder than if we were on our own. I hope we can run the NYC Marathon side by side but her wedding and my injury might set that back a year…. We will see!
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14 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Awww, these are such great family memories! Like many of the commmenters above, I too am usually a solo racer, but like to use the pace bunnies to make sure I’m going at the speed I need to make my goal times. Having said that though, I think I’d love to find a running buddy that would push me a little harder than I can push myself!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..April Goal Check-In

15 Meghann May 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I plan to do a whole other post on race pace groups ๐Ÿ™‚

16 Kerry May 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Love running buddies! I had the pleasure of doing ragnar both years here with Bobbi! And the bay area is full of running buddies – I get to see Aron every week at Lululemon, and other runs. The community felt is amazing among the runners here – a fun group!

17 alison May 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I generally prefer to run alone, but I did run a marathon with my husband. He was a good buddy during the race, but our training runs weren’t always puppies and butterflies. With that being said, I’m glad I got to cross the finish line holding his hand; it’s something we’ll definitely remember fondly.
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18 Margaret May 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm

My older sister pushed me to a sub 2 hour half marathon and trained with me to run my first marathon this past January… in Disney! Too bad she left me in the dust for that race while she pushed to BQ. I always do my best with her by my side though and it’s much more fun!

19 Lauren May 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I love running with friends, but I’ve never raced with anyone except my dog!

20 Katy (The Singing Runner) May 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I’ve never ran a race with a buddy but this summer, my mom is running her first 5K and I will be there right along with her! ๐Ÿ˜€

Also, the two of us are doing the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon RELAY together. I didn’t want to do an entire half- marathon since it is the week before I run the Chicago Marathon, so she happily volunteered to be my relay partner. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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21 Grace May 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Aww I love this post. I don’t have very many running friends but it just so happens that I do have a running buddy for my first marathon, Disney 2012! I am really hoping that it will go better with a friend since I am pretty nervous!

22 Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy May 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

i definitely need a buddy! training by yourself can get lonely!
Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy recently posted..I finished!

23 Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy May 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

anyone need a running buddy in NJ?
Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy recently posted..I finished!

24 Ali May 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I love to run with a someone–in fact, I have gotten to the point where I enjoy chatting while running so much more than just running itself. My sister and I trained for and completed our first marathon together and it was so much fun. We got even closer than we were before and it was so nice to always have the extra encouragement.

25 Tessa @ Amazing Asset May 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm

What a nice post, it looks like you are having so much fun in all of your pictures ๐Ÿ™‚
I have a friend that I often race with but I wouldn’t call us “buddies” during the race! We are both quite competitive and end up working off each others drive to win…which actually works out well!
Tessa @ Amazing Asset recently posted..Dear Bathroom Scale part 2-

26 Meg L. May 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I am all about the running buddy! My husband and I trained for a half marathon together when we were engaged and then a month after the wedding we completed the half together. There is no way I would have ever even trained for that half w/o him, let alone compete in one and be a finisher!

27 melissa (fitnessnyc) May 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Awesome post! I hope we run together soon! During my last marathon, my good friend ran 11 miles with me, then another friend ran another 8 and a third ran a few of the final miles, it made it seem like fun not work!

28 Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run May 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm

My friend Michelle and I do all our races together (but we don’t run them together). But we will run together in Savannah and I’m SO excited for that. We did a 15 mile run one day together and it really keeps you going having someone by your side.

I just wrote her an email saying I think you wrote this post for us and she responded, “I know! I was just going to write you an email saying the same thing!” ๐Ÿ™‚
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29 Michelle May 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

And then we posted at the same time….LMAO.
Michelle recently posted..What Motherhood Has Taught Me

30 Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run May 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

LOL. Jinx. You buy me a coke. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run recently posted..Weekend Recap

31 Michelle May 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Have you been reading the emails that Paula and I have been sending each other?? We were just discussing how we can’t leave each other during the Savannah marathon! We have run 7 half marathons “together” but not really together (it’s my fault not hers). I’m definitely looking forward to training and running with her in November!
Michelle recently posted..What Motherhood Has Taught Me

32 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I’ve always loved the idea of running with a buddy, but I think I’m more suited for solo running. I hate talking, and love to just zone out.

But maybe I’d need one for longer miles!
Liv @ The Salty n’ Sweet recently posted..On Modern Love

33 Carolina May 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

It’s SO much easier to run with a buddy! Training is much more fun too when you have someone to join you, especially on the long runs.

Speaking of long runs, which marathon training program do you use? I’m doing my research before I start training for mine next week ๐Ÿ™‚

34 Meghann May 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I really like the McMillan training program. It’s great for cutting down time.

35 Chelsea May 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm

What an awesome post! I have never really had a race buddy…now I need to desperatley find one!
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36 Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life May 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I just ran my first 10K this past weekend and had a race buddy with me almost the whole time. It was GREAT! ๐Ÿ™‚
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37 Katie G. May 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Great post! I’ve never run a marathon (yet), but I always love having run and ride buddies for 5k’s and bike rides! It makes the time go by so quickly and so many good stories and shared memories at the end!

38 Emily @ Savory and Savage May 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I have never had a race buddy but it does sound like a great idea!

I should sign up for one of the running groups in my area so I can find one ๐Ÿ™‚
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39 Alaina May 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

My husband is my race buddy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I ran my first marathon with him and I don’t think I would have been able to get through it without him.
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40 Megan @ On the Road Again May 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Although I’m normally a solo runner, I love me a good race buddy. I met up with a friend at mile 5 of the Detroit half last fall, and we pushed each other to a sub-2 hour finish. I never could’ve done that without her by my side!

41 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I ran my 2nd marathon with my sister and it was AWESOME. It was her 1st, and she said it really helped (yah) ๐Ÿ™‚ Super fun.

42 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Aw, I’m so jealous! I would die for a training / racing buddy. I have done a few races with friends / family members, but I’ve never actually finished a race with anyone! If anyone reading this is running the Chicago Marathon this year and wants to finish in about 4:30, I’m your girl, haha!
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..OC Half Marathon

43 Alexa @ Simple Eats May 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I can’t believe all of the races you’ve ran, it’s super inspiring! I love running with my boyfriend, he makes the time just fly talking and joking with him.
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44 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I do love race buddies! It makes the time fly by so fast. One thing all of my buddies and I do before a race is make a pact that it’s okay to leave one another if our paces get off during the race!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..realist ravioli

45 Sophie May 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I definitely am not a runner (!!) but am starting the C25K challenge this week with a running buddy – I hope he can keep me more motivated than my iPod does! Bring it on! ๐Ÿ™‚

46 Kristen @ Random Ramblings May 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I just ran my first Half with my best friend! We did most of our longer training runs together and stuck together during the race. We run almost exactly the same pace so it’s perfect! We both listen to iPods while we run, but just knowing that she’s there keeps me moving! ๐Ÿ™‚
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47 Jaclyn May 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Race buddies are the best! I ran my first 5K in 2001 with about 30 of my sorority sisters. Then I fell off the running wagon and ran my second “first” 5K in 2010, solo. After that I ran a 5K with my dad and an 8K with my sister-in-law. Both races were SO much fun and I know I ran faster to keep up with my race buddies. I just ran a 10 mile race solo and while it was an amazing experience, I know it would have been more fun with a buddy (although I saw my husband several times on the course). Now I’m training for a half marathon, which several of my friends are running, although I’m not planning to stick with them during the race unless it works out that way. It helps SO much to have someone pushing you!
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48 Christine May 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Nope, and I won’t! I like the alone time and handling the process of racing alone. I think that’s my personality, though- I receive a task, I finish it, and I move on to the next one. I don’t depend on others, I’m horrible at delegating, and I don’t want to feel like I’m holding anyone back or being held back by anyone. I am very social, just not with work or exercising!

That being said, I think it really varies person to person. I totally get the appeal, it just isn’t for me! Funny thing is that I’ve been trying to convince my sister to join a running group ๐Ÿ™‚
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49 Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

my first race was with my best friend! I will never forget it!
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50 Amy May 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I am not a runner, but this post makes me want to start!
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51 Ashley May 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I just ran my first half marathon with my dad and sister! Great race buddies!

52 Cara May 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I miss race buddies! I had several from my cross country team, but since I came to college 4 years ago, I don’t have any. Everyone thinks I’m nuts for running so much!
I love that you have all those race buddies, so much fun!

53 Hilary May 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Well…sort of. I ran my first marathon ’cause my friend asked me to…but her pace was WAY faster than mine, so we didn’t run it together at all.
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54 Lee May 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I have raced with a friend several times. I have trouble talking while I run though and usually end up listening to music instead. It’s still nice to have the person there even if we’re not talking though.
Lee recently posted..Saturday Morning-Afternoon

55 Bobbi May 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

SDRR was by far my most favorite marathon!!!!! I love running with you girl! I really hope we get to do another a marathon together one day NYC!!! Love this post. Brings back such happy memories!

56 Melissa @ TryingToHeal May 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

be my race buddy in San Diego in june, hm? ๐Ÿ™‚ i’d love you even more.

btw, when’s your bro moving out here and where?

57 Meghann May 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

He’s moving the first week in June. My parents are going apartment hunting with him this weekend. All I know is his residency is ad Cedar Sanai as far as where he’ll actually be living is up in the air ๐Ÿ™‚

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