2017 Harvest Moon Hustle | When Running Became So Much More by Emily Estes

This is a guest blog post written by Emily Estes, founder of Sage Nutrition. You can find more information about Sage Nutrition here.

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It’s funny how things change as we get older, huh? Like a love for running… I never would have imagined I would have those words coming my mouth.

As a freshman in high school I joined the cross-country team. I wouldn’t have considered myself a runner at the time, but my sister was on the team and it seemed like the place to be. I remember the constant challenge to push my way through practices. Chasing hills that felt like mountains. Running on the wide-open country, dirt roads. Remembering my sister’s constant reminder to just breathe…

It wasn’t the hills or the country roads that I loved the most. It wasn’t even the fact that I was running. I feel the nostalgia rising as I remember that what mattered most was the community. We had a small team. Just enough runners to compete as a team at meets. There were the road trips, spaghetti suppers and lots of laughter, support, encouragement. Most of all, there was a sense of community amongst our team. Being a small team meant we needed each other and created a camaraderie I hadn’t experienced on any other team.

After my senior season, the running stopped. I didn’t have the motivation or desire to keep it up and quickly fell out of the routine of running. Coming to college changed me. College came with a lot of stress and anxiety. Running became an outlet and offered a sense of freedom from the swirling emotions around this new stage of life and the struggles that came with it. There was a piece of time that running was about managing things in my life – not about the enjoyment.  As I found a new norm in my journey and discovered the path that I running toward with my career, running has become so much more.

I did a few races before I found BRIN. The series of three 10k’s was intriguing and sparked a new excitement for me. It was a distance that allowed training to more easily fit into my schedule and an opportunity for me to run with friends. I signed up for the first time in 2016 and so long as I have an able body, I hope to continue running this series… (if I can beat everyone to the registration, that is!) This amazing organization has created an experience that brings a lump to my throat when I have the chance to see thousands of people together celebrating the ability of the human body to carry them to their goals.

This year has been incredibly special to me because I have had the opportunity to not only participate in these races, but also sponsor the BRIN series. All the times I was running and not knowing why, led me on a journey to a career that allows me to help others in their journey of health, nutrition and fitness. It was easy decision to decide to sponsor BRIN as that sense of community I experienced long ago in high school is exactly what I feel when I attend their events. In so many ways, it feels like I come home when I enter the sea of runners throughout Nebraska.

The 2017 Harvest Moon Hustle will round out this years series and lead me to another Blackout Medal! This race is especially cool. The chance to get out of the city, run under the big night sky, and share in community is something that is so special to me. Not only do I get to see participants before and after the race, but I get to run alongside this community as we all check another race off our list for the year. To me, this is so much more than a race – and though we may not share a spaghetti supper at the end, I hope to share some cheers with you as we celebrate the completion of one of the greatest runs in Nebraska. I’m so appreciative that I have the opportunity to play a small part in bringing this race to the community.

I hope to see you before, during, and after the race!
Emily Estes