WHY DO I RUN: Ailish’s Story

Part of a series of runner profiles we’ll be featuring throughout the summer

Finishing my first collegiate race at Roger Williams

“You have to pick something. You should be doing something every season.”

When my sister and I were really young, my parents would enroll us in different sports and activities. They wanted us to be active. I tried things like ice skating, tennis, and soccer and found that I never really enjoyed any of them. When I was 11 years old, I made the decision, on my own, to sign up for my middle school cross country team. I made this decision because most games I enjoyed involved running. I really enjoyed the simplicity of it. It felt a lot like flying.

Having walked most of my first cross country race, I came in dead last. My parents thought I would be crying, but I walked up to them beaming, filled with pride over my strong finish. I had fallen in love with running and I have never stopped loving it since.

Running has taught me so much. It’s funny to think that at 11 years old, it had taught me one of the most important lessons: you don’t have to have the most experienced, be the fastest, or have the “perfect” build to be a runner–anyone can love running, anyone can be a runner.

Over the past 13 years, I have put my heart and soul into running and it’s shown me that, by doing so, you can accomplish what you want to accomplish. Your goals could be wanting to complete a marathon or running your fastest 5k or just going out and running a mile or two on a really hard day. These things can be done, it’s just a matter of putting the work into it.

I run for many reasons.

Running my first half marathon in December of 2016

I run because I love the kind, friendly, supportive, genuine, and inspirational individuals I meet.

I run because you get out what you put into it.

I run because you don’t have to be the fastest, most experienced, or strongest to be a part of this extremely inclusive community.

I run because it makes me feel good and accomplished.

I run because it feels a lot like flying.

RELATED CONTENT: [Why Do I Run: Katie’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Kathy’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Preston’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Joe’s Story]