I’d like to start by saying I hate running. I’ve never been particularly good at it, my asthmatic lungs and I are a prime example of Darwinism, had modern technology medicine not been created. I do, however, love the Vermont City Marathon and the Patagonia Burlington 5 person relay team I’ve gotten to be a part of for the past three years.
In 2017, the first year I was asked to be on the relay team I said yes and instantly regretted it. I was hopelessly under prepared to run the whopping 3.4 miles of the first leg. I had about a month or so to train, and race day came and I would have said I was in no way ready to go. I ran my leg at a nice little pace averaging 10 minute miles, something that is unimpressive to some but the fact that I kept running for the entirety of the leg was good enough for me.
Like I said before, I would never consider myself a runner, but the atmosphere of the Vermont City Marathon, and the excitement our team has toward this event is invigorating. Now in my third year running this race, I am simply amazed by the crowd the marathon draws. Old, young, first time marathoners, marathon veterans, halfers, running for a cause, running to prove something, running for pleasure, or in my case, finding a small amount of love for running just once a year.
Our marathon team throughout the years has allowed us to reflect on in-store team changes. There’s always a few of us who willingly sign up again each year, while waiting to see who else would like to join. The group is always a little different, who look to have fun with the people we enjoy being around, but also take the task at hand with some seriousness. In this case, running each of our legs in a competitive style, without having specific expectations of our teammates; but rather knowing they’ll get the job done at their own pace.
One of the most exciting parts of being on the Patagonia Burlington relay team, is how we choose a Patagonia piece to highlight each year. Last year, we chose the infamous Baggies, because we celebrated their 36th year. This year we chose to highlight the Capilene Cool Trail Shirt collection and Nine Trail Shorts. We were super excited about this, so this was a chance for us to highlight and share our excitement with the community.
I find myself constantly thinking about the phrase “a whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and I think this is showcased wonderfully through our participation in the VCM, but also how we function as a local business.
I’m happy to say I finished the first leg, my part of the relay this year, in around a 10 minute mile time again- not much has changed in two years, and I can say that next year will happily, and most likely be the same.
- Gabby Albornoz Patagonia Burlington Sales Associate