Ray Hausler

Hope For Every New Day

Running With The Pack Again

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I’m becoming a runner again.

But I’m not doing it alone. Sure, you may see me out on the trails by myself. But with my fancy running app on my cell phone every mile I put in is being shared with my boys 2200 miles away in California.

They are sharing their miles with me as well.

The truth is I could probably have some running partners here where I live in Indiana. Bloomington is a fantastic runners town. With its vast network of trails, Indiana University, and proximity to great state parks with beautiful trails, there is no shortage of places to run, nor is there a shortage of friends to run with.

But my boys in California are my boys from when we were a team. We’ve done this before together. And now, we are getting an opportunity to do it all over again. I am not sure I would be doing it if it weren’t for them.

The fun thing though, is that we’re all getting the running bug. We’re really becoming runners all over again. Even those of us that claimed to hate the activity are discovering the joy that comes with running.

We started coming together in 1989. A crazy collection of eighth, ninth, and tenth graders who happened to live on the south side of Vacaville as Will C. Wood Junior High was making the transition into a high school. Over the next four to five years we would become the Cat Pack. We would have some success, but more importantly we would become friends, brothers, teammates.

I have a vague recollection of what we did on the course, but my greatest memories were the times together just being friends. Several of us grew up in the same neighborhood, but you didn’t have to be from our neighborhood to be part of the crew. As new friends joined the team we all became the pack.

College took a few of us separate ways, a crazy crew moved to Sacramento and lived college life together there forming a loose gang to become known as the SPP (Shaq Phool Posse).

There are stories there I have heard and some I don’t need to be told of, but that posse has been the glue that has held us together.

A few years after college the SPP Fantasy Football League was formed and that has been our main source of contact for over a decade.

Until this year.

We have started to run again. Some in San Diego. Some in Sacramento. One in New York. and me in Indiana.

The guys before the Christmas Relays in San Francisco



There is something special about running with your teammates. There is an accountability that comes with having brothers alongside of you when you are setting off on a grand adventure.

That is why it has been better running with them now. Because we have been down this road together. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We know how to best support one another.

We are imagining toeing the line together again. A few already did in San Francisco a few weeks ago. There are more races in the works.

It’s good to be with my team again.

Who are you running with?

Author: Ray Hausler

I am husband to Michelle, father to Stephen and Elizabeth. My passion is seeing young people grow as beloved children walking in the way of love. I fulfill that passion every day as Student Life Director at The Quest, and as a track coach at Novato High School.

One Comment

  1. You and these boys (and the girls) inspired me to run! I have a few buddies I have run with for the past few years. In a few days I’m running a half marathon with one of them for the third year in a row!

    This year I also joined Cypress Running Club here in Texas. Now I run with athletes from all back grounds and skill levels. In addition I’ve made new friends. We hold each other accountable to show up and run. We push each other to finish that last mile. I highly recommend if you want someone to run with to google your local running club or inquire in your local running gear store.

    Though I’ve never run with you back when we were in high school, you and the pack are with me when I run. Sounds cheesy but it’s true. I probably still couldn’t keep up. Thanks for sharing.

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