Three years ago a passionate running coach started a run group of 4-5 runners and it has since turned into a group of over 200. Happy Running in Apex, NC is my tribe. The group is lead by our truly humble coach, Holly Kane, who is an incredible marathoner in her own right (She may not live in a 5:20 mile world, but she’s a lot closer to it than we are). It certainly helps that she has her USA Track & Field Certificate and reads ALL the running books. She knows and loves running and wants to share her knowledge. Every Tuesday morning at 5:30am we meet for a running workout–it alternates between hills and speed work. We average 20 or so runners each week.
What makes this group so special is the variety of runners. We have runners who can clock 67 sec 400s around the track, others who can power up hills, some who bring their dogs (that can RUN), and some run/walkers. All paces and ages are welcome and the group will push each other to excel. The encouragement is infectious – a quick shout out to someone as he/she is powering up a hill can be all the motivation needed for a final surge. It’s so dark, it doesn’t matter how steep or long the hill is, just chase the person in front. If you happen to be the leader of the pack, no worries, Holly is at the top as your personal cheerleader giving advice, correcting form, and genuinely happy to be supporting you before you begin your day. Speed work weeks are just as
hard fun as the hill weeks. Speed work can be as challenging as mile repeats, Yasso 800s, or as creative of a combination Holly can dream up (one time she mixed in 100m sprints in between mile repeats; strangely enough, we all showed up again the following week). We finish within an hour, do a quick core routine and stretch as a group before we head home and collapse , shower, drink coffee, and really deal with the morning routines of life. It’s worth getting up early and getting it done.
I have met my dearest friends from this group. Weekly runs have turned into other weekday runs, brew runs, and long runs on the weekend. We’ve shared recipes, brunches, dinners, Christmas gifts, and celebrated each others achievements. We’ve cheered when several made it Boston, and vowed to run more miles and help pace others who want to get to Boston. One of the highlights from this group was when we all registered for a coastal 10k at Ocean Isle Beach in January 2018 (more on this later). We shared a house and had a blast representing Apex.
For locals who are looking for a run group, we would love to have you join us
bright dark and early. We alternate between Scott’s Mill neighborhood in Apex or at Hunter Street Park in downtown Apex. We meet rain, sleet, snow, wind, humid, and hot. We won’t meet when it’s thundering –Holly’s only rule. Our facebook group is Happy Running and you can join for additional details.