Originally the IRC was dubbed the “Two Idiots Running Club.” This was back in the summer of 2007, in Ozark County, Missouri when Charley Hogue and I started running together and training for our first marathon. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing or how hard it really was to run 26.2 miles. We started running long on the weekends. 15-20 milers in the summer sun. We were rarely able to or smart enough to go early before it got hot and generally would end up partially dehydrated due to the heat, lack of enough water and a very fast pace. Rest days were rare and easy training days were even rarer. We had a lot of fun, mixing smaller races into our “training” plan and adding 10+ miles after the race.
So many people gave us a hard time about our running and questioned why we would put our bodies through the abuse. “I don’t even like to drive that far.” “Were you getting chased by someone?” “You ran how far? WHY?” and the always necessary Forrest Gump references became a part of both of our lives. We laughed about this on our long runs and thought about all the things that people would never understand…. running in the heat, bloody nipples, chaffing, pushing through small injuries, monster blisters, black toenails, lost toenails and paying money to run 3, 6, 13 or 26 miles for nothing more than a t-shirt. We jokingly started calling ourselves idiots. Naturally this became the Two Idiots Running Club.
It wasn’t long before we both graduated from marathons to ultras. This opened our eyes to an entire new world of stupid things. There were so many people, much like us, that had more desire and heart than brains. I signed up for my first 50k the night before the race. I hadn’t trained, logging only a 12 mile run for my longest training run in the 3 months prior but Charley was doing it and I didn’t want him to run a distance that I hadn’t covered. Dumb but it wouldn’t be the dumbest thing I’d ever do….
As we came to know other runners in the area it was very clear there were many Idiots just like us out there. After Charley took a job promotion and moved, he found a new training partner to corrupt, I met Jon Wilson and we started running local trails together. Wilson was the perfect fit for our club. It was decided to rename to “club” to include all the new Idiots. Turns out, there are a whole bunch of them out there.
For now most club meetings will be in a “virtual” sense. The facebook page should help bring it all together and we can all share advice and tips as well as track each others training progress. Hopefully this will help motivate and inspire new runners to push a little harder and expand their own perceived limitations. Runner’s at ALL levels can learn from what others are doing. I know this for a fact. Sometimes a new runner will bring a fresh perspective to training that a “seasoned” veteran may have forgotten or just never learned. It’s all about encouragement and support.
This “Club” is for us. ALL of us. Doesn’t matter if you run one mile or 1,000,000 miles. We are all on this journey together. We want to know your story. Everybody has one. Tell us about your experiences and accomplishments. If you’re like me, you’ll also have a few blunders/mistakes to share. Those are always awesome. The only thing I ask is that if you want to share your awesome technical terms… don’t. I hear “lactate threshold” and I have visions of a baby choking during breastfeeding. Don’t try to explain fartleks either. There is a place for all that but we want to know about bloody nipples, chaffing in weird places, tripping on your own foot, why you returned from the trail with only one sock and all the other nonsense we can’t find in the magazines.
One last thing….. Some people have taken offense to the idea that we call ourselves Idiots. Funny thing about this is that it is ALWAYS the people that call us idiots for doing what we do. Hmmmm…. Whatever. Runners “get it” and that’s what really matters. True Story.