The Original ‘Why We Run’ by Jean Nesbitt

The Original ‘Why We Run’ by Jean Nesbitt

We run in the snow, we run in the heat, we run in the rain,

We run after root canal, we run after being on a plan,

We run with the dogs, we run away from the dogs,

We run after a half mile swim, we run on our birthdays,

We run when our knees hurt, heads hurt, ankles hurt,

We run 6.2

And then we run it again.

We run for two, we pay a sitter, we hand off our kids to run,

We run for pizza, we run for beer,

We drive miles and miles to run,

We run for a PR…or not.

We run fast, we run slow,

We run as a leader, we run as a follower,

We run for ourselves and we run for each other.

We run in RED.

whywerunmagnet - Edited

Becoming a Selden Hills Warrior by John Graziano

While the Selden Hills is a place that we run to get our hills training in, it is just that….a place. We like to say “It’s just a hill, get over it.”

However, a Selden Hills Warrior, is a state of being! Warriors are defined as a tribal class of people who specialize in warfare, or combat. Selden Hills Warriors are no exception. We battle those hills with our hearts. We get through the challenge with our fellow Warriors at our sides, ready for victory. We become stronger in number, but the tribe remains one family, in unison with each other’s footsteps. Warriors do not go silently into the night, and surprisingly haven’t been arrested for it.

To be a Warrior, you can simply run the hills course. It’s a challenge worth the name. But, to BE a Warrior, to share the essence of the tribal team, you must be willing to sacrifice your heart to the tribe. Once you do, the state you live in will be the most euphoric state of awesome, with tribal Warrior friends that will defend you, push you beyond your limits, acknowledge your accomplishments, and share your enthusiasm!

You can run the hills for the experience, but once you become a Selden Hills Warrior, that experience will become a lifetime of battles won!

Of the Seven Sisters and the Warriors Who Run Them by Sarah Thompsen

Of the Seven Sisters and the Warriors Who Run Them By Sarah Thompsen

We stare down our foes, our friends by our side. Fast or slow, either way, one hell of a ride. Through sweating and swearing, we forge on ahead. It’s us vs. the road, the hills vs. our heads. Why do we do this? Embrace all this pain? Why keep coming back again and again? The answer is simple, though hard to describe: Where friendship and family now coincide. It runs this deep Red, as the blood in our veins, It touches our spirit and gives us our name: We who are Warriors, stand side by side. We let no one fall, leave no one behind. So if you would stand with us, run with us, please do! You’ll make us all stronger, as we’ll do for you.

The Battle of the Selden Hills Warriors & the Seven Beasts- featured on

This story was published on, written by our own Jamie Franchi after the Run for the Hill of it Race. 

They call themselves the Selden Hills Warriors.

If you ask me, the word “warrior” gets thrown around a little too casually these days. This isn’t Sparta. We don’t wear armor or battle with swords. These are mostly corporate folks, after all, running in their spare time. Athletes, certainly. But warriors? Let’s just say I had my doubts, right up until I pulled into the parking lot that now houses a brand new Aldi’s on Middle Country Road, where runners crowded around a light pole marked with a Selden Hills sticker, their starting point for the most treacherous running course on Long Island.

Behind my sticker-less minivan, athletes decked out in matching red gear stretched their limber bodies, readying themselves to tackle the nefarious “Hills of the Seven Sisters,” the steep mounds that mark the tough terrain of this 10k course, known to these runners as “The Seven Beasts.”

“These are serious runners,” I texted my friend Mike “Chicken” Butitta, a runner whose boundless energy and enthusiasm for every single thing in the world, especially these hills, piqued my curiosity back when my running sneakers were safely in my closet, collecting dust. “I’m not getting out of my car. Let’s go to IHOP instead.”
Chicken has been a Hillbilly (as they call themselves) since October 2013. At first, he ran to take off excess weight and to get in better shape. He runs local races with his wife (and my friend) Kelli, setting achievable goals and then smashing them. But something about the Hills calls to him. Later I found out what.

Alas, that Sunday morning, Chicken didn’t have his phone with him, and would not receive my text until long after I’d finished the 6.2 mile run and was icing my sore knees on my couch at home. That turned out to be a good thing, because as delicious as Nutella pancakes are, had I turned away from the Selden Hills running group that morning, I would have missed out on a life-changing experience with some of the most incredible people living right here on Long Island.

“I love all the inspirational stories that people on the Hills have and I love that so many are just nice,” he texted me later when he had his phone. “Some of the best people I’ve met anywhere. They are so supportive at races or anywhere you run into a fellow Hillbilly.”

Humble Beginnings

Lou LaFleur, director and organizer of the Selden Hills Warriors, doesn’t have a long history of running. In fact, it wasn’t until 1999 when he was 43 years old and saw a sign for the Shelter Island 5k hanging in the post office where he worked as a federal agent that he decided to try it out. It was a tough race, but he was hooked. He currently competes in approximately 50 races per year and serves on the board of directors for the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC).

By 2010, LaFleur was looking to increase his times with varied training: track work, some tempo runs, long runs. He’d read in Runner’s World that running on hills provides a complete training. The only problem? We live on a flat island.

Or do we?

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Scream Machine Recap- by Michelle Berg

Scream Machine Recap- by Michelle Berg

Lately, the last thing I ever want to do is run. Yep. Me, this girl, has lost her mojo. So, what made me decide to take on the 25K Scream Machine course?

Lack of oxygen to my brain? I had a lobotomy? I’m a pod person? Peer pressure? The compulsive need to want to be part of the “first crew” to run. How about none of that, or maybe, all of it. Read more

Warrior Story- Sarah Thompsen

Wonder Wednesday

At the first Cherry Ave 10k, in 2014, a cold and cloudy day where only the award winners hung around, I was chatting with a few of the ladies as we waited for our bling. I didn’t take note of their names, if we even introduced ourselves. Six or seven months later, after looking back randomly at the race results (and then with the ensuing conversation), I realized that I’d been hanging out that day with Victoria Gianninoto and Shelly RB and Marie Trav (who made quite a fabulous Alice in Wonderland). Brianne Langstaff I remember flying past me on the course in a cape. I also apparently met Margaret Rivero at the 2015 Brewery Run and chatted with her the whole way back from the finish to the party! And of course when I first saw NFBE at a race, I was momentarily confused, because “isn’t that the UPS guy!?” kiki emoticon
So my question is, did any of you meet any of your fellow Warriors before you MET them?