Skip to content

Miles, Smiles, and Laughter: The Journey of Friendship in Running

Miles Smiles and Laughter: The Journey Of Friendship in Running With Becky Robsinon and Sarah Nocella Run Tri Bike

When we hear running stories, we often read about relentless determination and resilient journeys. There is another side to running that we don’t often read about. The unique and heartwarming story that goes beyond the hard work. We have running groups and friends but those stories tend to stay personal and not in the public eye. This story is different. It’s a story of two friends, Becky Robinson and Sarah Nocella, who, after 14 years of friendship, have recently discovered the joy of running together. They chatted about their individual journeys as well as the camaraderie built through shared miles, smiles, and laughter.

The Beginning of a Friendship Through Running

Becky, a seasoned runner with over three decades of experience, initiated her endurance sports journey in 1993. The catalyst? Her husband’s love for running. Living in Wheaton, Illinois, the couple explored the Prairie Path together, with Becky initially finding the experience more challenging than enjoyable. However, perseverance led to triumph, and by her 23rd birthday, she ran her first 2 miles without stopping. Those 2 miles were hard for Becky but they would open her world to more than just 2 miles.

In contrast, Sarah’s running journey started merely four years ago, hiding in her basement and learning to run on a treadmill. Afraid of the intimidation that often comes with running, especially for someone just starting out, Sarah kept her running endeavors confined to the basement until Becky’s persistent encouragement coaxed her outside.

The Transformation: From Basement to Shared Miles

Sarah’s initial apprehensions were eased by Becky’s support, and the duo soon found themselves running together. The turning point was Sarah joining Becky for the last 2 miles of her birthday 50K. This gesture of encouragement marked the beginning of their shared running adventures. The magic of their friendship lies in the fact that while their running journeys began decades apart, they now stride side by side, creating a unique and inspiring dynamic.

Finding Joy in Every Step

Becky, reflecting on her early running days, recalls the profound impact running had on her marriage. A memorable 10-mile run along the lakeshore in the snow created a bond and shared experience that fueled her love for the sport. For her, running became more than a personal goal; it became a shared hobby, a connection with her husband that transformed hard miles into cherished moments.

Sarah, on the other hand, found joy in the simple act of running outdoors, breaking free from the confines of her basement. Her initial fear of being a slow runner was broken by Becky’s encouragement to find joy in every run, no matter the pace. Sarah said, “We make it fun. We talk about things, we laugh about things, we take different routes, we unlock new neighborhoods. We do all sorts of silly things to make it fun.”


The Power of Companionship: Running Together

As Sarah’s running journey unfolded, the companionship with Becky became a cornerstone of her progress. Sarah credits Becky for inspiring her to break through mental barriers and achieve milestones she once deemed impossible. Becky, in turn, finds inspiration in Sarah’s newfound love for running and the joy it brings to their shared experiences.

Endurance sports athletes often talk about their personal achievements. The story of Becky and Sarah is about how powerful companionship can be. The miles they cover together are not just physical. These mile represent a shared journey of the unwavering support that friendship brings.

Throughout the conversation, Becky and Sarah show support for each other. Looking to each other for details to ensure that the story they are telling is accurate. That type of connection only happens when you spend a lot of time together. The miles, smile and laughter they share are that connection.

Overcoming Obstacles: A Marathon of Friendship

As with any endurance sport, the road to running is not without its challenges. Sarah, having transitioned from a basement treadmill to conquering 10-mile races, reflects on the obstacles she’s overcome. Her commitment to improving, both physically and mentally, is evident as she shares the joy of achieving milestones and setting new goals. Becky, with her wealth of experience, recognizes the need for balance and ensuring that the joy of running is not overshadowed by the pressure to constantly improve.

These friends benefit from the time they share together. While Becky may have more years of experience when it comes to running she is also learning something new. Becky discussed rethinking about her approach to racing because of running with Sarah. “Maybe I should rethink why I show up at a race. What if my reason for showing up at a race could be making people laugh, and encourage them by being silly” Becky said.

Looking Ahead: Racing, Pacing, and Beyond

Becky and Sarah’s running journey is far from over. With upcoming races on the horizon, including a marathon for Becky and a 10K for Sarah, the duo continues to set new goals and challenge themselves. The prospect of pacing each other in races reflects not only their commitment to personal achievements but also their shared goal of making running enjoyable for one another.

Inspiring Others: The Ripple Effect

While their story is deeply personal, Becky and Sarah acknowledge the potential ripple effect it could have on others. Becky’s experience with a couch to 5K group in 2022 planted the seeds of pacing and supporting others in their running journey. As they continue to inspire each other, there’s a possibility that their camaraderie might inspire those around them to embark on their own running adventures.

Becky said, “That running group was the first time I caught the bug of what’s it like to pace others or what’s it like to slow down to try to help someone else finish something.” This mindset has Becky contemplating the path her running will take in the future.

Sarah added, “There’s a lot of value in it for us newbies. It really is. It’s encouraging when someone’s there with you and they’re happy for you and genuinely happy for you.” The ripple effect of having a partner with you during those hard times is enormous and it creates additional opportunities for miles, smiles and laughter.

The Essence of Running: Fun, Friendship, and Fulfillment

Becky and Sarah’s journey in running goes beyond the physical act of putting one foot in front of the other. It’s a story of friendship with joy found in shared experiences. When two individuals decide to lace up their running shoes the possibilities are endless.

Running stories often tell the tale of paces or miles covered. Their story stands out not for the speed at which they cover miles. It is about for the depth of connection made with every step. As they continue their journey—one filled with miles, smiles, and laughter—their story becomes an inspiration for all of us. We are  reminded that the true essence of running lies in the joy found in the company of friends. The shared adventures, and the fulfillment of chasing dreams together is unmatched.


Jason Bahamundi Run Tri Bike Magazine Owner Triathlete Ultra Runner Trail Runner
Jason Bahamundi, founder of Run Tri Bike, is a passionate and accomplished endurance athlete dedicated to proving that there is a spot at the starting line for everybody and every body. With a background deeply rooted in the world of triathlons, running, and cycling, Jason has not only excelled in his personal athletic endeavors but is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive world of endurance sports. This led him to establish Run Tri Bike, a platform that serves as a hub for enthusiasts to connect, share experiences, and access valuable resources. Jason's genuine enthusiasm for endurance sports, continues to inspire individuals to pursue their goals and embrace the transformative power of an endurance sports lifestyle.