Runners are independent beasts and we pride ourselves on our self-reliance. We do not need extensive equipment, nor do we rely on teammates, and like nothing more than the freedom of slipping on a pair of shoes and gliding out the door for a 15-miler. Alas, in the long run our independence is illusory. Eventually, we require the help of others. The precipitating factor may be an injury, illness, or simply the need for more structured training.