My Military Life: How Fall Runs = New Friends!

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My Military Life: How Fall Runs = New Friends! - This fall use running as an excuse to meet and make new milspouse friends.Recently, I participated in my first Color Run® with three friends. The bright fall colors lit up the road as we pounded the pavement alongside the Kansas fields filled with sunflowers, agriculture, and livestock. I couldn't help but feel completely giddy at the breathtaking views I was witnessing for the first time in a place I’m just now starting to call home.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just last fall I was running next to the Chattahoochee River instead with an entirely different group of ladies at the Paint the Town Pink® race in Georgia. And one year prior to that, it was the 9/11 Remembrance Day Run on the Tank Trail in Germany. Each race holds a special memory linked to the duty station where we were assigned and the wonderful people we met there.

Three duty stations in three years has been tough. But I can say in all honesty that running is the one thing that has kept me sane. Not only is it a great way to explore the new area, it’s also an instant bond when trying to meet and make new friends. Between the city fun runs and the community runs on post, there’s always an opportunity to register for a race.

Fall is a great season for running. Guaranteed, in October you’re bound to find a Breast Cancer Awareness Run or in November some type of Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Use these races as the perfect excuse to round up your friends for a group activity. These community runs are ideal for all levels and abilities. They aren’t about being super star athletes, but rather a fun way to get out of the house and do something together.

Get started by searching your MWR or city website for the next community race. Select the race you want to run and then send an invite to your friends to join. Organizing a support group in advance will hold you accountable to actually complete the race. If you want to try something fun, consider downloading a free running app to help you train socially prior to the actual event. Make sure to take lots of photos before, during, and after the run to share on social media later. These will become prized possessions as you move from one duty station to the next.

Here is a collection of photos shared by the InDependent team highlighting some of our favorite memories of races enjoyed at the duty stations we’ve been assigned throughout the world:

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Kimberly - September 2006 - Orange County Race for the Cure with milspouse friend Leanna while stationed at Ft. Irwin, CA

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Kimberly - September 2014 - Oktoberfest 5k with daughter while stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA.

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Michele - September 2014 -- Manhattan, Kansas Color Run with mispouse friends Chris, Katie and Becky while stationed at Fort Riley, KS.

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Leslie - October 2011 - Leslie's first run after moving to Germany. She and her pup Bear made a number of great friends at the USAG Schweinfurt Breast Cancer Awareness Run, including Iris

What race(s) are you planning to run this fall?

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{Compensation for this post was provided by Operation In Touch via MSB New Media. Operation In Touch offers special savings, coupons, recipes, beauty tips, and editorial content tailored to the lives of active military families. Check out their website or find them on Facebook and Pinterest. Opinions expressed in this piece are my own.}