Why Race?

I recently had someone ask why I race. I definitely go on the record as a lover of running first and and lover of competition second. So, I found that question to be rather challenging. So this is my attempt to answer that question: why do I race (even if it’s just a few times a year)?

I feel that I can answer this is a few ways. There are a lot of things I do like about racing. You can meet really great people, feel companionship with a group of people striving for, and hopefully arriving at, a common goal. It’s nice to have aid stations and some kind of memento afterword, whether it’s a t-shirt, medal, or pint glass.

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It’s also really nice to get a change of scenery. Races make you travel most of the time, which is fun. Running through both Washington DC and my town gave me a newfound appreciation and it was an awesome to tour in a new way.

However, if I really was honest, I don’t think I would ever NEED to race. I’m not overly competitive or care that much about my time. I do find that I push myself a little harder when I race. It’s hard not to. People cheering and encouraging you is a natural performance enhancer. However, it’s what happens when I push myself that really is the reason that keeps me racing. When I run, and especially when I push myself, I find a new strength that I never knew existed. I develop a new respect for what my body is capable of, because you only know what you’re capable of after you go past the point of comfort and ease. I see a side of myself that I would see otherwise. In essence, when I run and when I race, I develop into a better version of myself, even if it’s just for a few hours. I don’t give up and I don’t focus on the past. I focus on what is happening, in the present, and how I can overcome one step at a time.

My wife jokes that I’m addicted to running. I would maybe just say that I’m am becoming addicted to the best possible version of myself at that time. And, I suppose, that’s why I race.

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10 thoughts on “Why Race?

  1. Great post, Bryan! I know a lot of folks who are bitten by the race bug and totally love every challenge that comes their way. I love how you view the experience as becoming a better you. That is a great way to explain the feelings that you have when you run and who doesn’t want to become a better “you”? Thanks for the inspiration today.

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      1. I think you came up with a brilliant answer. We don’t all have to have a huge and life changing reason why we do certain things, do we? But in the end you came up with the best answer ever. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to race a lot. Now, I haven’t raced in several years. For me, it was very similar as you…a change of scenery, push myself, but I also wasn’t content. Now, fast forward 3 1/2 years, I’m married, have two amazing step-sons and honestly don’t have the time or the money to race as much as I used to. Now, I find myself being content with just running. I don’t do it for the accolades or accomplishment anymore, I just do it because I feel better inside and out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome, Katy! I’m certainly getting there myself. Two toddlers and one on the way = a big time and money suck. I’d like to have one race a year, but that’s really just an excuse to do more long runs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joey! It helps to have a limited budget for racing expenses. When I decide to do a race, I make it an exciting event. I’m always just in it for the experience.

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