My fixation with running to work began almost a decade ago during my first year in grad school. As a country bumpkin new to public transit in the city, I was floored by my long bus ride home. I summoned my inner John Henry and decided to race the bus home one day, winning narrowly when the driver stopped 2 blocks from our apartment to help an elder exit. Since then, I’ve run through Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oakland, and Phoenix regularly to and from work. With a busy schedule and growing family, run commuting has helped me maintain a balance.
Each place has its unique charms: the Twin Cities’ tree-lined streets, the Bay Area’s gorgeous views, and the Valley of the Sun’s unheralded open desert space. And there were downsides: ice, the horrible tunnel under the Oakland estuary, living in an oven 4-5 months a year respectively. Over the years I’ve fiddled with running packs, pondered routes, and showered in some unusual places. Now back in western South Dakota, I revel in running along scenic single track and smooth BLM roads with a few hidden Cat 4 climbs and plenty of views. Wherever I’ve been, running to work has made me feel more connected, engaged, and grateful. Now I better go see if there’s a bus I can chase down :).