Nov. 24, 2010 by Gary "Story Hawk" Henry

Every once in awhile James "Skull Hawk" Barker asks me if it's ok to query the Trail Hawks on our Yahoo e-mail group list about events not related to us.

I try to reassure him it's ok -- the list exists for the use of the members. He's hesitant because he's seen people get in trouble for doing that on other groups' e-mail lists. I think it's just politics. Sad that we have to have politics in running -- something that's all about friends and freedom, isn't it?

So for the record, in writing, here are the politics of the Lawrence Trail Hawks.

The trails belong to all of us, and nobody owns the days of the week or the hours of the day. We have set times and days for our runs, but if Hawks want to run earlier or later, they can. If Hawks want to use our e-mail list to invite other Hawks, or non-Hawks to run with them, earlier or later, or some other day, they can.

Any other group or individual can -- in fact is welcome -- to run at the same time and place as we do. Run with us or apart from us. Whatever floats your boat. Personally, I believe trail and ultrarunning is about togetherness and inclusiveness.

You don't have to join the Hawks to run with us (but there are perks).

If Hawks want to promote the races of other groups using our e-mail list, they can.

If Hawks want to form a separate group, and still belong to the Hawks, or not belong to the Hawks, they can. We'll do what we can to support the new group and help it find success.

If you run with us or attend our events and want to invite our members to join your group and do your runs, and attend your events, you can.

We don't own other people or restrict access to anyone in any way. Ever. Period.

Hawks don't need my permission -- or ANYONE'S permission -- to do any of the preceding.

You don't have to agree with me on any of these points. You can be mad at me because I ran your race and invited another runner to come out for one of our runs. But if you try to impose your will on others like that, if you try to restrict and control what should be free and for everyone -- you will find yourself increasingly isolated and desperately unhappy.

I've seen it happen, and it's a prospect I do not relish.

About the only guideline we do push is our club motto: "Kindness to life and land."

Just follow that standard and everything else will take care of itself.

Trail Hawks Ridgeline aid station at Heartland100, 2018

Trail Hawks Ridgeline aid station at Heartland100, 2018