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Oct 18, 2023

If You Build It: The #SummerTimeFine Long Run Series

The BGR! Houston #SummerTimeFine Long Run Series is another example of how teamwork makes the dream work. Rewind to one year ago when a small but mighty group of sole sisters were inspired to complete the six Abbott World Marathon Majors. We all came together at various stages of training, fitness levels, and knowledge on how to really successfully conquer and complete this journey—there’s a reason why less than 1% of the world’s population has stretched their minds and bodies to take on such a feat. But we definitively decided and then commenced training for our first race in the marathon majors series. 

We convened at our favorite run spot, pushed start on our collective GPS devices, and took to running day after day, week after week in Houston’s unrivaled heat and humidity. Unfortunately, training for fall runs must start in the summer. And training for a marathon—especially in Houston’s sweltering temps—is not for the faint of heart. We laughed and whined and grimaced, but we got it done, albeit a bit haphazard at times. 

So, in an effort to inspire, assist, and educate the next crop of half and full-marathon hopefuls, Houston Run Coordinator Brandi LaFrance birthed the idea of the #SummerTimeFine Long Run Series, enlisted a few other faithful and kicked off a 7-week training plan that focused on consistency, nutrition, hydration, and motivation.

Throughout the series, we survived the early mornings, the injuries, and the elements, together. We ran and whined and grimaced but with a resolve of resistance, support, and results. Not showing up for ourselves and each other was not part of the plan and failure was not an option. I am my sister’s keeper became our mantra and our mandate. 

We showed up for each other and shared our ideas, advice, opinions, and energy in an effort to help us all level up our runs, and added a bit of tough love, as required and needed, along the way. 

Our warrior spirits transcended any obstacles, and the training series culminated in 40ish BGR! Houston sisters converging on Portland, OR to tackle The Bridge of the Gods Half Marathon in Cascade Locks, OR. 

The initial connection continues to bond us and continues to be our common thread—-to do better, and be better, together. 

By: Joy Harrell @joyrunsrealestate

Joy Harrell is a licensed real estate agent and co-owner of The Sift Sisters bakery based in Houston, Texas. She is a native Houstonian and graduate of the University of Houston—go Coogs! When she is not helping people buy, sell or invest in real estate, she can be found hanging or traveling with her hubby, running or biking the streets and trails in and around Houston, mentoring girls, or testing new food and cocktail recipes.