2011 is going to be a very exciting year for me in the running department.
In 2011, I want to:
- Run a marathon (69 days and counting!!!).
- Run a half-marathon (I know I’m doing it a little backwards. That’s just how I roll).
- School my 5K and 10K PRs.
Knowing that these are my goals for this year, I snubbed the Broad Street Run. A ten mile race? Why not just add 3 more miles and make it a half? I decided instead to the the New Jersey Half-Marathon, which fell on the same day as the Broad Street run (and which would require time off work/hotel).
Then I stopped and thought about what I was saying. Apparently, only “real” races were allowed on my race calendar and a ten-mile race did not qualify as a “real” race.
My mind drifted back to something my aunt had mentioned to me earlier this week. She told me how dumb it was that I pay to run in races on the same streets that are free every other day of the year.
Immediately I wanted to respond and let her know how dumb I thought that mindset was, but I stopped myself. I wanted to have a clear and concise answer for her. I wanted to tell her why I raced and maybe that would help her see.
I gave a laundry list of reasons why I loved races. The list included:
- The other runners you meet. I have met some really awesome people during races. Some I’ve even kept in touch with and still run with to this day. Can you meet people when running alone on an ordinary day? Sure. But when you meet someone during a race, you have that shared experience forever.
- The crowd. Maybe this makes vain, but I really love the encouragement from the crowd. I definitely don’t get that on my normal runs (though I do get the occasional cat calls and honks).
- The volunteers. I love the volunteers at races. I could never sit at a race and hand out water even though I know how important it is. I would be too jealous. I’d have to jump in. Race volunteers are way under-appreciated. Also – for smaller races with no crowds, the volunteers give you an ego boost with applause and cheering as you go by! They rock!
I thought about this list again today when I realized that today was the start of registration for the Broad Street Run. I realized that all the reasons I said I love racing were completely applicable to the Broad Street Run.
So I registered.
Distance race #2 of 2011:
Why do you race?