The Norman Transcript

Homepage

July 5, 2014

For love of running and country

OKLAHOMA CITY — It was still dark when Jan Haddad rode her bicycle into the driveway at the Calonkey residence Friday morning. Haddad was there to catch a ride to a 5K in Oklahoma City with fellow runner, Steve Calonkey.

To the multitudes who were still fast asleep in bed, heading out to Stars and Stripes Park at 5:30 in the morning to run a race with a 7 a.m. start time might seem a bit… well… out there.

But to Norman runners, Calonkey and Haddad, most holidays — summer and winter — start with a competitive run somewhere.

“It’s fun,” Haddad said. “What else are you going to do?”

For a non-runner, getting up at “o-dark-thirty” and running so hard you’re not sure whether you’ll pass out or puke first may not sound like entertainment. For those who are hooked, however, the runner’s high, sense of accomplishment, friends and fitness are well worth the price of an entry fee.

“We love to run, and we love to compete,” Calonkey said.

Calonkey and Haddad are fast. Both tend to be early finishers and often win their age groups.

But it’s not just about speed for this group of friends — Calonkey is excited his buddy Don Sickles, also of Norman, started running a few years ago. Sickles runs a 5K about six minutes slower than Calonkey, but that doesn’t matter. Friends encourage each other, share running tips and track each other’s finish times.

“It’s a great group of people,” Calonkey said. “Runners don’t have an agenda.”

Haddad agrees the camaraderie is one of the biggest benefits of running. While Haddad and Calonkey run close enough to the same pace that they often train together, running friends come in a variety of speeds — the real competition for any runner is always against yourself while trying to mark a new personal best time.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines

Sports

Opinion

Features

Must Read

Big 12 Media Days
Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Business

Photos


Facebook