Only 3 more days to enter my giveaway!
My dad always tells me how silly he thinks it is that I pay to run, when I could just as easily go out and run that loop for free some other day. And he does have a valid point. But there is so much more to it than that. Of course there is the competitive aspect. You try to go out there and give your best performance. I personally am not competitive enough to go out there and win anything, but I like the challenge of pushing myself to see just how fast I can go. Racing brings a totally different mentality than any other regular run. There's also the fact that racing gives you a chance to see how you're doing. Whether is be that you've been doing more speed work or you've dropped a couple of pounds, it's nice to see those things pay off in terms of running times.
The other reason that I love to race is the running community. I'm a total Chatty Cathy and I love meeting new people. Racing gives me the opportunity to meet some like-minded folks who don't think running (or my obsession with running gear) is crazy. They don't look at you funny and most of them are super nice.
The trail race series I'm participating in is great for meeting runners because a lot of them come back week after week and you can get to know a little bit about each other. I was chatting with some runners before this week's race and I was telling them about how I enjoy doing triathlons. The woman I was talking to is a far better runner than I'll ever be (she's done all kinds of 1/2 and full marathons) and she was amazed that I did triathlons. That kind of just made me feel good. And when I came across the finish line, she was there cheering me on yelling "Go Triathlon Girl!" That just made me laugh!
I love runners who cheer other runners on. The shared experience really brings people together, in my opinion. Runners understand the challenges that other runners face. And I think, as runners, we tend to encourage each other because we like to be encouraged. I think I personally don't do as good a job at remembering to cheer people on once I'm finished. I'm going to make a conscious effort to cheer on other runners when I'm done because I know I appreciate it. I also appreciate when I'm out for a run and I pass other runners and they smile or say hello. That always makes me feel better about what I'm doing.
How's the running community where you live? Do you race? Why do you race?