Lot of people might feel scared thinking about spending just a few days abroad. The majority has difficulties facing homesickness and the distance from their friends and family. Believe it or not, I was enthusiastic to start my experience in Ireland just because I was sure I would find a lovely environment, just like it happened 4 years ago when I arrived in Germany and found the running club Spiridon. This time the name of the club/team was Crusaders. I’ve joined it just a few days after my arrival. The first Sunday in that new country I decided to join some Crusaders who were going to do a long run in the Phoenix Park. After running together for 90 minutes they had shown me the biggest park in Europe and I had several surprises like to see 50 deer just 50 meters away from me while I was running and chatting with friendly people. After that, they asked me to join them for the lunch they share after every weekend-session. Fantastico! Just after a few hours, I already felt at home. Yes, just like Zuhause or a casa. This feeling had been confirmed from time to time during my stay. We used to have training together on Tuesday on the track and one on Saturday in the Phoenix park. Of course, I also had the opportunity to race as well. Obviously, I did cross-country-races. These are the highlights of the year and every Crusader participates. The first one impressed me particularly because I was running in a team together with 17 other girls. It was a cold day but a dry one as well. After my second race, I understood what it means to do cross country in Ireland. We just run 6K through muck and afterwards I was covered with muck. It was really a tough course.
In Ireland, there are different levels of championships in cross-country: novice, intermediate and senior; ranked from the lowest to the highest level. For each level, there is a competition in the county, in the province and at national level. I ran and won the Dublin Novice and got bronze with the Team. In the Dublin Senior, I finished third and got gold with the team. Unfortunately a few days later, I got injured-that was such a shame and such a bad timing!!! I just had a strain in my calf and it was such an annoying injure. Due to that, I had to do a lot of alternative training and couldn’t do the races I wanted to. Just before leaving, I decided to start at the National Novice Championship in order to say goodbye to the club, even though I didn’t get the result I wanted. This injury helped me to understand how deep the relationship was I had built with these people in such a short period of time. They were always supportive and never stopped helping me.
Sociology tells us that social roots allow people to feel at home. It is not the place of birth but the environment in which you are involved that let you feel at home, Zuhause, a casa.
Thank you Crusaders and happy to see you again German runners :)