The Endurance Society Running Club of Vermont
(Framingham, MA, USA)
Endurance Society Membership
I actually hesitate to refer to them as The Endurance Society Running Club as they are so much more like family to me, and to many others.
After having gotten involved in various obstacle course races, as well as the more usual, local 5k and 10k races, I found myself surrounded by people who were constantly testing themselves physically and mentally. And, no matter the scope of the challenge, they were among the most optimistic people I'd ever been around.
It was contagious.
I found myself signing up for events and races that I'd never believed I would.
And, I loved every minute of the events, as well as every minute of the training for each.
Most of the time my own optimism and enjoyment during the events was because I was rubbing elbows with other athletes, who also became great friends, for the many hours of whatever activity we might have been involved in. When you're on a 20-mile loop overnight on the rugged trails of Vermont, you can't help but build bonds with those suffering alongside of you.
Part of the adventure, however, is that you're never quite sure what the actual experience is going to be like. There have been plenty of times, as I've returned most years for the Infinitus 48-hour trail race, that I've been solo for what sometimes becomes 6-10 hours of a 20-mile loop, with nothing but the sights and (eery) sounds of the wilderness, and whatever wildlife is out there with eyes on me. Haha!
Though the popularity of The Endurance Society has grown over the years, the original race directors and creators, Andy Weinberg and Jack Cary, ensured a small organization feel, where they know your name, your story, your training, and are also the most encouraging (sometimes hilariously so) as you are in the ebbs and flows of confidence related to your race.
When I'd owned and operated a Personal Training studio in Watertown, MA, our community of members would often select races that we'd wanted to put on our event calendar. What was great then, and is still great today, is that The Endurance Society often offers various choices of time and/or distance for the events that they supervise.
An example of this might be Infinitus, where in 2019, they had the following options:
- 8-mile (2-hour cutoff)
- Marathon (12-hour cutoff)
- 88k (24-hour cutoff)
- 100-mile (48-hour cutoff)
- 250-mile (120-hour cutoff)
- Deca-Marathon (10 marathons in 10 days, 240-hour cutoff)
- 888k Relay (2 or 3 person teams, 216-hour cutoff)
- 888k (240-hour cutoff)
So, no matter one's fitness level, level of ability, or level of crazy (haha!), there was something for everyone to challenge themselves with, and to enjoy.Beyond Infinitus, The Endurance Society also offers:
- Extremus (a group Winter trek)
- Frigus (a snowshoe race on ungroomed trails)
- Pico Skimo (Skin Up, Skin Down, Repeat)
- Glacier Grinder (a Vermont Dirt Ride) - I used a fat bike for my first go at this one!
- Sky Run (Let's Get Vertical)
- and, others...(including involvement each year in The Penguin Plunge, supporting Special Olympics Vermont).
Though I'd missed out on attending Infinitus this year, I don't imagine that I'll be missing it next year. For me, it is one of the most uplifting events of the year, where I see friends succeed in achieving goals like achieving the 100-mile distance for the very first time, usually after several years of attempts.
However, it isn't only distances of 100+ that are inspiring. I've seen friends complete their very first 8k or trail runs here, first marathons, and more. It is just a great way to see the human spirit in action, and to walk away knowing that good exists in what is sometimes a very strange world!
I hope you'll come join us at an event of The Endurance Society