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What Are Friends For?

When I was a 19-year-old university student, I met the 50-year-old mailman of our university. He’d never had an opportunity for higher education, and we had absolutely nothing in common except for the fact that he was a runner and I was a runner.

He’d never met a female anywhere in his entire life who ran. And I never met anyone who had run the Boston Marathon 15 times. He wanted to encourage me with running, the thing he loved most. And I wanted to learn from him about running, the thing I was beginning to love most.  

So we ran together, slowly, he teaching me how to run by running longer and longer. We told each other the most amazing things about ourselves, sharing arguments and aspirations, and tolerating each other’s idiosyncrasies. We did the marathon distance together in practice, he helped me register for the Boston Marathon, we ran every step of it together, and because of that, we changed women’s running forever.   

We had nothing in common; we had everything in common. He was my best friend. He showed me a vision well beyond running, but it was running that got me there. He was my friend for life, and I was with him when he died. Now he’s with me, the wind at my back, every time I lace up my sneakers.

This is what friends are for, and this is what 261 Fearless Friends are all about. You may not even know each other now, but you can discover each other in the first place by being a part of the 261 Friends Network. At the same time you sign up, you are also helping many other women around the world have an opportunity to run by supporting the 261 Fearless organization. We may never have run before, want to start, but don’t know how. You can find a friend at 261. You may discover that your new friend lives near enough to you for you to run or walk together—what a joy that would be on a dark night or a cold rainy morning!  

Or, you may never even meet your new friend, because she lives in Austria and you live in Arkansas. But maybe you start talking and you decide to form 261 clubs in your own communities so you can learn from others and pass it on. And then maybe you decide to run a 5K in Klagenfurt, Austria or she decides she wants to run the women’s 5K in Conway. Arkansas. You cheer each other on.  You share the moment.  It’s happening with 261 Friends! 


Women runners who travel also will be happy to find a 261 Friend at their destination. It’s often worrying where to run in a foreign city, and having a native guide helps you better discover your new surroundings because you feel safe in your adventure.

Lastly, with a 261 Friend, you are never alone out there. There is nothing greater than this. Join us, dear friends!

Love, Kathrine

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