Identical Triplets Form Their Own Running Group

One of the major draws of running is the individual competition involved. It’s unlike any other sport in that it’s personal. You PR for you. You run for you. You strive harder and do better for you.

Unless you’re an identical triplet — as I am. Sure, we run for ourselves but also because of each other. Evan, Dana and I started running freshman year at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, MO … almost by accident.

After a stint on the tennis court in the fall where deciding which two sisters would play doubles and who would play singles was what we spent most of our time doing, we moved on to basketball. With just five women on the court at once, we, being three athletes who look, play and act the same, got a lot of bench time.

We soon realized that in team sports we were viewed as our own team —a team within a team — and that wasn’t ever going to make us better athletes.

Then we found running.

All our friends were going out for track in the spring, so we followed suit. We ended up excelling at distance running: the 800m, 1600m and 3200m events. And for the first time ever, Evan, Dana and I shined in different areas, meaning we weren’t competing against each other for playing time.

Running opened a new door in our relationship and in our lives.

We were finally allowed to unconditionally support each other. We’d found the sport that fulfilled our athletic drive and matched our unique situation. Our running coach cultivated our natural ability into a passion and encouraged our relationship to grow with one another while also bettering the team.

Running allowed us to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders instead of each other’s biggest competition.

To say all competition died within the trio would be a lie. But it was then, and continues to be now, the type of competitiveness that betters you, makes you reach your goals and then set new ones — the type that makes me proudly say, “Hell yeah, those two girls are my sisters, my best friends and my tribe.”

Now two and a half years out of college, we’ve fallen in love with running all over again. This time it’s the half marathon, and you better believe where you’ll find one of us on the starting line, you’ll find all three.

No longer being a part of a true team, we’ve found a way to form our own version of one. We do long runs together (causing every passerby to stare), we hold each other accountable without judgment, and when it’s necessary, we use a little tough-love.

When we finished the Hospital Hill Half in June, our first half marathon post-college, we held hands for a 1:56 finish — four minutes faster than our goal. That handhold wasn’t for show, it wasn’t for my mom and dad who most definitely teared up watching — it was for us.

We’d been there for each other starting with the first high school track meet, through tough cross country courses, during injuries and mental set backs, we were next to each other for the exhausting training runs and all the way through the very last stride of 13.1.

That handhold signified the support we have for each other, that it’s undying no matter the conditions, it’s there every run we run, every step in life we take — whether it’s physically together or not.

Our next race is The Good Life Halfsy in Lincoln, Ne., on Nov. 6. We’ll be running it together of course, as together is the only way we know how.