RunLoft was founded in the summer of 2012 by Brent Hanson. Having written in various online websites since I created the now non-existent “Hoops World” website in 1996 using a free Geocities account and an “HTML for Dummies” book. I’ve written much about running on my personal blog – brenthanson.net – along with the website I created to talk about sports – crtside.com.
Having quit football after 8th grade, I was approached on a few different occasions by a few different coaches to join the high school cross country team. Every time, I completely shut them down. Why? Because running… well, sucks. Right?
Never have I been more wrong (although it was close when I predicted that “Pearl Harbor” would be one of the best movies ever).
In the winter of my last year of college, I was frustrated by my sedentary lifestyle (and more importantly, my gut). I decided to go through a 12-week training program I’d done four or five times in the past in high school at a fitness club in Fargo, ND. I was in such wonderful shape that I made it about a quarter of the way through the first session and had to excuse myself to go throw up in the bathroom. Somewhat embarrassed, I decided I was going to have to come in to run on the treadmill on my days off. Six weeks later, I had dropped about 15 pounds and was on the start line for my first 5k which I finished in a painful 26 minutes. No matter, I was hooked on the sport of running. I walked a block home from the starting line and immediately signed up for the Twin Cities marathon in October.
Since that first race, I’ve grown to love the sport that I wouldn’t give a try in high school. It has taken me some amazing places. Through coaching cross country, I’ve been a part of 8 (and counting) state tournament appearances for both our boys and girls teams. I’ve helped coach two state champion teams and two individual state champions. More than that, though, it has allowed me to meet literally hundreds of the most positive people I’ve ever met. While I’ve run 100’s of races since that first race (many more poor than good, for the record), I’m forever thankful I stepped on the line to run that first race.
RunLoft will hopefully serve as a place for me to help contribute the sport of running. I’d like to do whatever small part I can to help promote the sport of long distance running. I can’t count how many times I’ve been at a race with some of the 5-10 best American runners and nobody even notices. Running is one of the most participated sports, but only a small percentage of those who even run marathons follow the sport closely. I’d really like to see that change.
The secondary purpose of the website will serve to motivate me in my attempt to drop time from admittedly average PRs. I’ve read countless stories about Olympians who were talked into joining the track team in 10th grade only to go out and win their first varsity race by 30-seconds. I am not that guy. I’ve literally coached hundreds of kids who are faster than I am. I’ve lost to thousands upon thousands of runners who are faster than me. But I’m not competing with any of them… I’m competing with me.
I don’t run to experience the mythical “runner’s high.” I don’t run to maybe win an age-group award. I run because I want to improve on my best time… even if it’s only by 1/10th of a second. And when I do improve on my best time, I’m looking for opportunities to improve that best time again. Even if I’m going through a period where I’m not in shape and know that a PR isn’t possibly, I run with the idea that this race is the first step in the necessary progression to someday improve that PR once again.