So you want to join a running team. Great! Now—what team should you join? The choice ultimately comes down to what sorts of people you want to have around you while you’re grunting and sweating and hate-loving yourself all at once. As two members of a nearly-all-female running team, you’ll see that we had very different reasons for joining, but very similar reasons for staying.
Anoush: When I first moved the city, I was determined to be social, meet people and hopefully find myself a hunky runner boyfriend. As I looked at teams throughout the city, my thoughts quickly turned from, “I like teams with cute boys,” to, “Who am I kidding, I am way too competitive to look cute at practice.” That’s when I stumbled upon Gotham City Runners. They looked like they were co-ed from afar, but AU CONTRAIRE. We have a few dudes, but the team primarily comprises badass women. Beyonce actually claims our team as inspiration for the song “Who Runs The World.” Crazy, right?
Allison: I never intended to join a running team. My running “career” started at my first job out of college, where the friendliest people I met just happened to run at lunchtime. Then, one day, through a coworker of mine, I met the coach of Gotham City Runners, Josh Maio. In the course of conversation, I told him my half marathon time, and he replied, “I could help you take 6 minutes off that.” Say what? Yes please! So I initially joined the team for the coach and his promise, but I stayed for the athletes—most of whom happen to be women. They are some of the most determined, inspiring, interesting people I’ve ever met, and running would frankly be a lot harder without them.
Here are ten reasons why we choose to run for an (almost) all-women’s running team—and why you might want to, too:
- You will always chase and be chased in workouts without anyone staring at your ass. Okay, just kidding; we totally compliment each other when our running shorts look particularly good. If you’ve been doing your squats, you deserve that new pair of shorts. Trust us.
- No need to worry about impressing anyone at practice. Farting, burping and yelling—all a-ok. Yeah, sometimes I eat kale before I run. Deal with it. Ha!
- Besides the freedom to perform all bodily functions, we also have free reign to discuss periods, pregnancy, peeing and other activities that a lot of men would rather not hear about. We all agree it’s impressive to pee during a race. Peed 5 times last race? Tell me MORE.
- Need a shoe recommendation? Booty shorts? A new bra that doesn’t chafe? It’s a near-certainty that someone else on the team has tested out this gear and can give you the lowdown.
- Forgot a sports bra for practice? Someone will have extra. For some reason, guys never seem to have those.
- All-women’s team = built-in group of girlfriends to hang out with after practice and on the weekends! Also, when you meet their friend groups, it’s guaranteed they already know you from Instagram or Facebook. “Omg you’re the psycho who keeps her company at 5 a.m. Thank you for that,” one might say, to which I reply, “Omg you’re that psycho work friend she keeps talking about.” KIDDING. What is said in the park remains in the park.
- Looking for a job? Or thinking about looking for a job? Or know someone else thinking about looking for a job? If there isn’t a woman actively engaged in your career of interest already on the team, then we probably know someone (who knows someone, who knows someone). Our loyalty runs deep.
- If you have a love-life question, someone on the team will have a love-life answer. But be warned: most runners are incredibly weird, so recommendations like, “You should race him on your first date,” should be taken with a grain of salt.
- No issues of team-cest and, therefore, no consequential drama when relationships go south. Sistas before mistas!
- We share a collective pride in the ability to intimidate men. (Many have come and run with us, and few have come back). Shout-out to the badass men who continue to come to practice. We sincerely hope you beat us in a race sometime soon. For now, just keep trying.