Of course, most of those who know me are probably saying "It's about time!". But I am not talking about THAT kind of Asylum! I have so far been successful in avoiding the men with the extra long-sleeve shirts.
No, the asylum I am talking about is membership into the Half Fanatics Running Club, an international group of almost 2000 people who love the sport of running, who love to talk about running, who read about running, who are passionate about running, and who love the Half Marathon distance. They refer to its members as being part of the 'asylum' because of their passion for the sport and the distance (a passion many non-runners don't really understand). In other words, people like me!
In order to become a member, you must meet at least one of several qualifying criteria, all listed on their web site. The criteria also determines your 'ranking' in the group -- from 1 to 10 'moons' --. When I ran the Chicago Polar Dash last weekend, I ran the last couple of miles within a gentleman named Michael Hoyt who is a 10-Moon Half Fanatic. He recently completed the achievement of running 52 Half Marathons in a 52-week period! Wow!
As of yesterday, I became HF Member #1852! I am pretty proud to be a member. Whether I will move up the rankings is yet to be decided, but there is no doubt that there will be many more Half Marathons in my running future. And I am happy to be grouped with like-minded people, several of which are my friends, who I know will help me along the way.