Running is a Communal Endeavor


At the GoGo Running All-Area High School Banquet, Dr. Wm. Richard Kremer spoke. We thought it was so powerful that it deserved a blog post. This the second post in a series of seven. Be ready to be inspired by his words:

Second, Running is a Communal Endeavor. That’s something of a paradoxical insight, for we think of running as the ultimate individualistic enterprise, and at one level it certainly is. Yet I am glad to see this area develop a running club, for the most successful runners need other runners to bring out their best.

European runners have long had the nurture and encouragement of regional running clubs, and it is one reason why many of them have been able to sustain their careers for long periods. It is infinitely easier to climb out of that warm bed to run on a twenty-five degree morning when you know one of your teammates is waiting outside to take the run with you.

As individualistic as it might seem, running is a lifestyle that needs the nurture and encouragement of a community in order to thrive, for runners draw strength from their teammates – and from their competitors. I remember some years ago running against the defending NCAA 400 meter champion in a 600 yard indoor race. Predictably, he left me in the dust the first two hundred yards, and I spent the rest of the race catching him. But catch him I did, and once I caught people on the home stretch, most couldn’t match my kick.

But most people weren’t Evis Jennings. I ran against a number of the world’s great runners in my time, and one thing I learned – all of the great ones had an extra gear that the merely good runners lacked. Evis Jennings drew from that extra gear and bested me by a hair at the tape. I was devastated; I lost the race. Yet, the more I reflected on the race, I had tested myself more completely in that loss than in many a win. I had lost, yet I had won.

Here is what you must understand about running: ultimately, every race is against yourself. Your teammates and your competitors are necessary instruments to help you in that process of competing against yourself, and they abet the process of eliciting from you the best runner that you can be. Paradoxically, runners need community to achieve the highest rungs of their individual talents.

Running is…


Dr. Wm. Richard Kremer, is currently the pastor of Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome. Dr. Kremer has spent most of a lifetime involved in track and field as a participant and coach. He would characterize himself presently as a “very slow recreational runner.”

Dr. Kremer was the indoor 440 champion of the state of Alabama in 1973 and was part of the Jefferson Davis High (Montgomery, Ala.) team that finished that year undefeated. He received a full track scholarship to the University of Georgia, where he competed in a variety of cross country and track events.

He placed fourth in the SEC Championships of 1974 and 1975 in the 600 yard dash, setting a school record of 1:11.5 that stood for many years. A summa cum laude graduate, Dr. Kremer was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Upon graduation with a double major in English and History, Dr. Kremer attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he earned a Master’s of Divinity and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. While in Louisville, Dr. Kremer ran for the Mason Dixon Athletic Club, continuing to win local and regional events while working on his Master’s. While running for the Mason Dixon AC, Dr. Kremer was part of a formidable distance medley relay team that included British Olympian Nick Rose.


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COMMENTS

  1. Running is Not a Sport - GoGo Running — December 17, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

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  4. Running is a Gift to be Enjoyed - GoGo Running — December 21, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

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