Hello Runners! My name is Michael Murphy. I am the owner and event director at Willalatin Running Company. I have been a runner for over 20 years and have worked in event management for over 15 years. Despite running for over 20 years, I have never, and still do not, have what most would think of as a traditional runners body. And I'm good with that. But it has been an interesting journey, and I've shown up to many races and have been treated like an outsider, even though I was running paces that were much faster than many of the runners who had more traditional runners bodies.
I love running. I love seeing people work hard and reach their goals. I love working hard and reaching my own goals. But I feel like it's time that we put to rest the notion that there is a single type of runner. Runners fit into all categories. And my hope is that runners within all categories will feel comfortable and welcome at our events.
Have you ever been to a running race and looked around and felt like you didn't fit in? Have you ever been dismissed or treated with disdain by another runner who felt you didn't look or talk like what they considered a "real" runner? Have you ever finished a race only to find that because you were running a slower pace per mile, no one was left at the finish line and the after party was already mostly over? Sadly, too many of us have had these experiences and more that left us feeling like no one cared about our running journey and uninterested in continuing to participate in running events.
Our Philosophy at Willalatin Running company is to provide inclusive opportunities for runners of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds, and paces to enjoy healthy and fun running events. While we welcome runners of all paces, there are plenty of running companies out there that are offering races that are focused on whose fastest and whose furthest. We're focused on YOU!
It doesn't matter if you run a 4-minute mile or a 30-minute mile, you're working hard, and should be recognized and rewarded for your hard work. We've been acculturated to believe that those running faster are working harder; we want to debunk that myth. Those with faster paces are working their muscles in a certain way for a shorter period of time, and those with slower paces are working their muscles in a different way for a longer period of time.
ALL of the races that we offer will have staggered starts, based upon your pace, that will help ensure that everyone finishes around the same time. We don't give preference to faster paces like most races, because we believe that celebrating speed only reinforces the idea that they're the only ones working hard. We will encourage finishers to wait at the finish line and celebrate each new finisher so that everyone, regardless of pace, feels recognized. And then all finishers, of all paces, will go to the after-party together, not allowing some to celebrate while others are still working hard.
All of the races that we offer will be measured in miles. Races offering distances in kilometers are immediately turning many people off who are unfamiliar with the conversion, and therefore once again telling many non-elite runners that they don't fit in. We will always offer a variety of mileage options, to give everyone a chance to participate, from beginner to seasoned runner.
We also provide free registration to those who are able to pay nothing at all. We ask that those who wish to run but cannot pay the minimum registration fee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.