Our latest Brooks competition winner shares what makes her Run Happy

With my best friend living in America, video calls provided the best way to catch up. We both enjoyed running, I encouraged her to enter her first half marathon and she encouraged me to try triathlon. Then she found a race that she knew I had to try – the Ragnar Relay.

Angled Polaroid RuthIt is a 200 mile non-stop relay, shared between 12 runners. Without thinking, I signed up. I was to run three legs; 4.2 miles, 7.1 miles, then 3.9 miles. The only hitch being that my 7.1 mile run would fall in the middle of the night and when I wasn’t running, I’d be sleeping/driving/supporting other runners in a van with five other friends.

I’d trained, covering both different distances and hills (did I mention that the first leg was uphill for the first half and then straight back down for the second half?), and running multiple runs on the same day. But nothing could prepare me for running at 1:30am.

With a headlight on my front and a flashing red light at my back I nervously set off. I was so worried about this run – I am prone to getting lost, I’m running through towns at night in Maryland past cornfields and how would my legs feel on this “undulating” route considering the last run I had was all uphill?

Angled Polaroid 2 RuthWhat I didn’t imagine was how peaceful and contemplative it would be. My legs felt strong and I was so proud of them for carrying me through, thinking about all the work that had led up to this event. I had never felt more alive. The run I had been dreading turned out to be the best run of my life. Run. Sleep. Repeat.

WHAT MAKES YOU RUN HAPPY?

Brooks believes in the transformative power of the run. The run can turn a day – or a life – completely around and can flat-out change the world.

That’s why each month they’re rewarding one AW reader for sharing what makes them Run Happy. We want to hear all about your Run Happy experience, whether it’s a first race, a new PB or a moment that changed your race around. It can be anything.

Each month we will pick our favourite story. Not only will it appear in Athletics Weekly, but the owner of that story will receive Brooks kit including footwear, a jacket and a tee.

Click here for further details and to submit your story.

On Twitter? Why not get social?! We’d love for you to share your stories and pictures on Twitter too – just tweet @AthleticsWeekly and @Brooksrunninguk using the hashtag #RUNHAPPYRACES.