Flagless no more

Did you know that traditionally, blue on a flag means a symbol of vigilance, loyalty and perseverance? All characters of our RunPals. Watching and helping support each other and keeping going, despite challenges we face, in achieving success.

Yellow means generosity, which you could say is the time you all give up to each other and the group to help support each other. 

White traditionally means peace and honesty. Whilst maybe we can’t find peace when we’re climbing the steps for the fourth, fifth or sixth time, we can find solace in togetherness. RunPals is a place people can come, leaving their other lives behind whilst we run together. 

Isn’t it coincidental that our colours are blue, yellow and white? 

One year ago, we were flagless.

It might not seem like much, but when, as a group, we turned up to our first Weakest Link Relay, we could see all of the other running clubs had their flags held high. 

And I was jealous. Like really jealous. I wanted a flag, bigger and bolder than theirs. Not, you understand, because of my competitive nature, but because I saw having a flag as having an identity. 

Something we could rally behind. Something that others may take us more seriously with, if we had our own flag. Something that could be flown so high that people could see it from afar.

But, as an entirely free to take part in group, it’s not like we have any cash reserves to pay for things like that. So I left thinking, one day, one day we will figure out how to afford our own.

“A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation’s flag, sees not the flag, but the nation itself.” Henry Ward Beecher

Until RunPal Lyndsey suggested crowdfunding for them. I explained how I didn’t want to ask for money from people but she was adamant that you lot would help support something so special for this group. And she was right! 

Within a few weeks, with the gracious support of you amazing pals, we’d raised enough money to buy two flags. And not just any flags... the tallest flags I could get my hands on. 

Oh wow, am I really writing a post about flags? It seems that way. Bear with. 

Fast forward 365 days and we are back at the Weakest Link Relay Run, put on by our good friends at the Jog Shop, with our two flags held high.

Before the event began, I walked away from you all. I went up the slope, sat down and just watched. 

We were a group that barely existed 18 months ago and today, people that didn’t know each other were dishing out hugs and laughing in preparation for the race. Young, old and every age in between was getting ready to run together. Smiles everywhere. Laughter too. It was pretty special to watch. 

Throughout the event, everyone was cheering. Encouraging each other. High fives were being thrown. Guess which group was the loudest? Guess which group was the happiest? (Ok so other groups were happy too...;) 

Then, as the last group approached the line, Conrad and Adam picked up the flags as a sort of special escort and celebration with the pals, that we’d made it over the line. It was pretty special to witness. 

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People were coming up to us, asking who we were. What we stood for and what we do. If I was quick enough at the time, I would have said we stand behind our flag. It means everything there is to know about our wonderfabulous pals. 

Plus, it looks really good in pictures. 

And there you have it folks, a blog about flags.

Thank you Lyndsey for getting the project under way and thank you each of you for helping with donations to help us buy our first flags!

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Matt Coyne