Last weekend reminded us that winter still has us in its grip, and we got to thinking about Winter Warrior. For 31 days in January, thousands of people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut participated in the Marathon Sports Winter Warrior Challenge, which involved getting OUTSIDE for at least one mile of running or walking each day. Winter running at its finest!
We know what you’re thinking: but it’s winter! It’s cold and yucky out! Guess what – we live in New England. We’re hardy. There’s nothing like fresh air in the wintertime. And we believe that doing something even when it’s hard or you don’t want to makes you better.
We asked our Winter Warriors for some feedback about their month-long quest:
“In case you ever wondered if [organizing the Winter Warrior Challenge] was worth it – as of 12/30, I finished cancer treatment and this challenge marks a ‘reentry’ of sorts for me along with my family. Creating opportunities to embrace winter and stay/get fit is really, really important especially for people who are overcoming setbacks (which, maybe really includes just about everyone.) Thank you very much for all you do to make things like this possible. It means a lot to the community.” -Anonymous
“If nothing else, I got out and walked at least a mile a day, even if I was doing runs inside for the really cruddy days. So thanks for the motivation to walk to my town center to get errands done instead of driving, to bundle up appropriately in the rain and get out there and to keep a focus on being physical for an entire month. It was great.” -Lori S.
“I thought my trip to San Diego would offer me a few days of warm weather running during the challenge. Unfortunately, San Diego only offered me driving rain and 30 mph wind! I got outside for my runs in spite of the conditions.” -Erik H.
NO MATTER HOW LOUSY THE WEATHER, OR WHAT TIME OF DAY OR NIGHT, I ALWAYS ENDED UP WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE, GRATEFUL TO BE OUTSIDE.
“This was such awesome challenge. I signed up figuring that somehow, I could find a way to eke out a mile or 2 on my non-running days, but thought ‘no way could I do 3 miles a day – that was like doing a 5k EVERY SINGLE DAY. Well, I surprised myself and my husband when I quickly became hooked, and in the end, rarely did ‘only’ 3 miles in a day. It took a lot of creativity to find the time, and many of my miles happened at night, in the dark, but if I learned nothing else, I now know that there truly is a way to find a way to get the miles in. No matter how lousy the weather (and truly, it was not a bad January at all!), or what time of day or night I was out there, I always ended up with a smile on my face, grateful to be outside.” -Carol C.“I just want to say that I loved this challenge!!!! Although we had a great January there were days that I definitely would not of gone outside this month. Thank you for that! It wasn’t easy for me, but it pushed me to do something I wouldn’t have done before. Thanks for the Challenge!” -Gigi G.
“Some days I loved the challenge, other days I cursed it – but I got a minimum of 1 mile everyday outside. One of the days I got about 6 miles! When February 1st rolled around, I was relieved that I could now take the bus to work instead of worrying to get the miles in (it’s 2.5 miles to work) but then I found that I wanted the walk. This is great and I definitely enjoyed it more than I was expecting to.” -Annabelle B.
WHEN FEBRUARY 1ST ROLLED AROUND, I WAS RELIEVED THAT I COULD NOW TAKE THE BUS TO WORK INSTEAD OF WORRYING TO GET THE MILES IN…BUT THEN I FOUND THAT I WANTED THE WALK.