I was putting my bib and photos from my latest race onto my race board and I counted up all of my races – I’ve done 26! My first race was June 2009 and my most recent race was in April 2013. Why do I do these races?
Firstly, it gives me a goal. I would still run if I didn’t have a race to train for, but training for a specific race lets me have a set plan. After my half marathon a few months ago I decided to just run for fun, no plan, no tempo or interval runs, no hill training. I thought it would be so relaxing, but you know what? It’s not very interesting, sometimes I didn’t even go out for my runs. I really need a plan.
The second reason is that I get some good stuff. Usually a nice shirt, some free samples, sometimes a medal. I love my race swag. I’ve gotten throw away gloves, lip balm, water bottles, a bandanna, and a rubber chicken.
I can’t even remember the last time I bought a running shirt since I have so many race shirts. There are actually now too many to fit in the drawer.
I also like the race atmosphere, it is exciting and full of energy. Lots of runners just pulsating with energy, hopping or running in place, doing jumping jacks, stretching, and talking. Lots of talking. I can’t talk before a race, probably because I’m so anxious, and I don’t talk in the morning anyway.
And then, the best part, crossing the finish line. That is always the highlight of the race, no matter the distance.
I’ve done 5k’s, 8k’s, 10k’s, 10 milers and half marathons. I almost broke 30 minutes in a 5k in 2009, and I would have if it hadn’t been such a crowded race. I finished in 30:16, that was the fastest I’ve ever run a race. I would love to break 30 minutes, but I’m not getting any faster at my age. I’ve never broken a one hour 10k either. But at this point I’m not running for time, I just want to get out there and do the best I can.
Why do you race?