Four years ago, my siblings and I (along with a cousin-in-law) decided we would run the Ocean Road 10K together, and since then have upheld this as a much anticipated family tradition outside the typical holiday feasts. Here are 4 reasons why:
It Keeps Our Family Connected
My siblings and I are all close in age, so growing up, we were pretty tight-knit. Living under the same roof, it was hard not to be. We did a lot of things together, shared many of the same interests and friends, and always looked after one another.
Because of adulthood and responsibilities that come with that role, that all changed after we left the den. It didn’t help that our jobs took us to different states, and country for some period of time, causing our closeness to wane. But with technology and social media keeping us connected wherever in the world we may be, we are able to maintain our bond. Even more so when the topic of discussion is something we are all very passionate about!
Through group messaging apps, we can keep a conversation going, many times about the race: how we look forward to pounding the pavement of Ocean Road while enjoying the scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean; how the crispness of the Autumn morning has affected our performance in the past but not this time around; what we plan to do to improve PRs in the future, etc.
Looking forward to running the Ocean Road 10K adds another reason for our family to stay connected. Even our parents and other family members will chime in on the conversation to cheer us on!
It Helps Build Stronger Relationships
Our passion for fitness and running in particular has helped strengthen the bond we’ve been able to maintain by staying connected, which many siblings lose as adults because.. life happens!
Although we are all at different running levels, we train and work together as a team, share tips we find online and words of encouragement to keep each other motivated. We even tag-team other relatives to try to convince them to run the next race with us, assuring them that the Ocean Road 10K’s 6.2-mile mostly flat course from Pt. Judith Lighthouse to Narragansett Town Beach is the ideal 10K for novice runners.
Since we began running this race and working together on a shared goal, the relationship that my siblings and I have with each other is stronger than ever. Like how it used to be as kids, or maybe even better!
It Helps Resolve Trivial Family Problems
This may not work all the time, but running a race together has helped resolve some of the trivial issues our family has had to deal with through a little friendly competition.
For example, instead of leaving it up to our parents to decide which one of us gets to use the first-class plane ticket they won at a charity raffle, the race will decide for them. This gives us little more motivation to do our best while relieving our parents the burden of having to choose (and being accused of playing favorites).
Another example would be encouraging family members who haven’t spoken for months to resolve their differences. You have two teams of family members compete against each other for the average fastest time, putting those who are not speaking on the same team to
force encourage them to interact and work together. I’m certain they won’t hesitate, especially if a friendly wager is involved.
There are many creative ways you can apply running a race to resolve trivial family problems. And most of the time after the race is finish, you forget why it was a problem in the first place.
It Creates Other Opportunities To Get Together
Because getting together as a family shouldn’t just happen during the holidays! Whether it’s an annual or semi-annual tradition you do with your loved ones, running a race together creates an opportunity to get together where you leave feeling accomplished, not super stuffed.
And for many of our family members, this kicked off their journey towards a healthier lifestyle, so they get a three-month head start towards achieving their New Year’s resolution.
Make sure you choose a race that will accommodate varying fitness and running levels. That’s why Ocean Road 10K is our family’s race of choice because it’s easy enough that beginners can do it, but challenging enough that avid runners will want to as well.
This popular Rhody road race is also conveniently located in Narragansett, a cute little beach town in the southern part of Rhode Island, so you can turn it into a weekend family getaway if you don’t live in the area. Find out more or or to register for the next race at www.OceanRoad10K.com. You may just see us there!