CONTRIBUTED BY ANNA TIENTER
Have you been looking for other women to share some fun and exercise with? How do you feel about mud, puddles, overgrown weeds and trail? And very small unassuming spiders?If all this sounds like it is right up the alley you call fun, come out and try our Women on Okinawa Trail, WOOT run.
A group of us women began meeting about a year ago to run trails around Yomitan together. Our only goal was to have fun and run off road as much as possible. After many months of consistently running and training together, I can vouch that we have hit our goal long ago.
The women who join us every weekend are mothers, wives, Marines, dependents, single. We have fast runners, medium speed, run/walkers and even a group of walkers is out with us. Some of us are training for an ultra marathon in New Zealand in March (a group of 7 WOOT runners are going in fact), some are training for Okinawa City marathon (a group of 12 or more of WOOT runners are running that too), others are just coming to have fun.
Every Saturday in the early morning, we gather at a parking lot and catch each other up on our lives a bit, cover what we are going to run that morning and head out. Each run is different due to who shows up, where we go, what the trail looks like, and what the weather holds. With our last year of rain on Okinawa, there have been many runs through the mud.
There are anywhere from five to twelve or more runners out every Saturday, although our FaceBook group has over 100 members now.
For our male counterparts, every four weeks or so, we have a Family/Friends on Okinawa Trail, FOOT run. No, you don’t have to go barefoot (although that is all the rage now). On FOOT runs, we have had husbands, sons, friends come out and enjoy too.
If you are interested, look us up on Okinawa Hai Society, WOOT, Women on Okinawa Trail. We also have a FaceBook group (you know that really huge impersonal social networking site that has nowhere near the personality of OkinawaHai?) by the same name. Every week, we post the run we are planning, where we will meet and what time. Distances do vary and you are welcome to turn around at any point, as long as you let someone know so we know where everyone is.
You also need to carry a cell phone, a hydration system of some sort (carry a water bottle even) and we recommend you wear long socks or pants and gloves.
Are the spiders still on your mind? Hint: second place is not bad sometimes. If you let another woman take the lead, she’ll break all the webs and scare those little guys away. Look forward to running with you soon!