The Water Buffalo origin story

Finding your running tribe

Written by Judy Proteau

As I sit here on the eve of my birthday, I think about how important it is to find your tribe and how integral they can be in helping you achieve your running goals. I think about how tirelessly so many members of the club work to create an environment that is warm and welcoming to runners of all ages and abilities. I think about the late Jeremy Eschelbacher who inspired many runners to go after their goals with humor and love. Here is the story of the Water Buffalos and how they became an unsanctioned faction of the Highland City Striders.

So it all started when a group of us decided to do an ultramarathon.

We had decided that none of us would EVER consider doing this alone (now THAT would be crazy) but as a group it seemed like a good idea. It was noted on several of our runs that some of us were like gazelles on the trails, hopping, floating and gliding along effortlessly. Others felt more like buffalos smashing through the trails, and in the rain and snow it was more like water buffalos squashing their way across the terrain. A few of us lamented that we didn’t feel like gazelles Jeremy chimed in “Well everybody’s got a water buffalo.” Not all of us understood what this meant so he enlightened us by singing the Veggie Tales Water Buffalo Song. Shortly after that we had the shirts made with “Got Water Buffalo” on the front and Ultra Runner Water Buffalo Faction* *An un-authorized division of the Highland City Striders. When the mood struck or prodded enough Jeremy would entertain us with the Water Buffalo song.

While Jeremy is no longer with us, we think of him often and hope that you can find your running tribe with the Striders and go after your big, audacious goals too.