I was reminded of my love of this aspect of running this morning when reading a blog post. It was about a "overweight, middle-aged mom" buying running shoes and how her fears about being treated as an outsider/intruder were unfounded. If you go to a running store to buy shoes, they will be helpful. If not, go to a different store. A good store will want you to succeed and join the runners. I was also reminded about the camaraderie in running by a tweet by a running friend who was loving an article in "Runners World" about mentoring/teaching running. She tweeted "Loving @runnersworld story on how #runnerds can help beginners get started. I love doing that! I'm so happy when I hear about someone's run." It's true.
Runners want to encourage new runners and are encouraged by their progress. When runners see someone faster, we just want to be them. We don't want them to fail, we want to follow them and get as good as they are. I've only been running a year and am amazed by the amount of help available from other runners. I thought running would be a solitary sport, but it turns out to be a team sport, just no other teams.