Seriously, it was 22 degrees this morning in Dawsonville for the Reindeer Run 5k/10k. What possesses a relatively sane person to wake up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning in December, drive north for 1/2 hour to willingly run outside in below freezing weather with a hundred or so strangers?
That is what I was asking myself this morning. It’s the same question I asked myself this summer when I decided to do my 1st 10k…in June…90+ degrees. Why am I doing this???
My usual answer is “I just have to” …and that’s true. But as I was driving home from the race today & feeling great, I started thinking why do we do this? Here are some of the reasons I came up with:
- Health – We all know the benefits of running and/or walking. The older we get, the more important taking care of our health & fitness becomes. I surmise that everyone at the race today knows someone who isn’t physically able to run & we appreciate the ability to do so. Out of curiosity, I checked the race results & confirmed that 51% of the runners in the 5k today were in their 40’s & 50’s. As we get older, we do everything we can to stave off the grim reaper for as long as we can (not something we thought about much in our 20’s!) For many of us, running is one of the avenues we have found to help us live long and healthy lives.
- Camaraderie – Even though running is a solitary sport, when you combine it with a race you become part of a group and a shared experience. At the race today, I saw running groups, families, couples, friends, all hanging out together…stretching, laughing, encouraging, taking selfies. Smiling even though it was 20-something degrees! And then there is me. I come to races by myself most of the time. When I first started running, my husband would come to all my races, but that was 7 years ago and it’s no longer necessary, so he’s gets a pass, especially when it’s 20-something degrees. He still comes occasionally & I love having him in my pit crew. Sometimes he even does races with me. But even when I’m by myself, I have the camaraderie of the Five Star family. I’ve done so many races with this group that I know the Five Stars(s). They are a great group of people & I always enjoy hanging out with them.
- Holiday – Celebrating Christmas with a 5k is a fun way to celebrate. Pictures in front of the Christmas tree, a fun Christmas t-shirt & who doesn’t love an excuse to wear a cute running outfit and/or reindeer ears?
- Obsession – I don’t know about other folks, but for me running races is an obsession with me. Ever since my 1st 5k in 2009, I’ve been hooked. I love small ones, large ones, close ones, far ones. I’m a walker/runner and slow as heck, but I don’t care. I love being an athlete in my 50’s. Not to even mention that sometimes I get pretty bling! What’s not to love?
What are your reasons for running?