I love doing 5k’s. It’s not that I really love running; I wish I did, but I don’t. I do my best to run, but sometimes I can power walk better and faster than I can run. But still I love doing 5k races. It’s not just the Finisher’s Medal or Age Group award I may win. Well…that is one of the reasons, but not the only one.
I love the running community. My races are mostly limited to 5k’s. I’ve done a couple of 4-milers and 10k’s but my go-to race is the 5k.
Because I do a lot of their races, the Five Star people know me and greet me when I check in. Even if I come to the race by myself, I know I will know them and feel part of the Five Star Racing community.
I’ve also met some really cool people at races. People I would have probably never met in any other environment. There is a camaraderie among runners and it’s easy to strike up a conversation with someone if you are both standing in the cold at dark-thirty on a Saturday morning when most people are still at home in bed. One unique experience I had during a race recently was sharing an earbud with a 13-year old girl who wanted to hear the Black Eyed Pea song I was listening to. I know that’s not common for competitive runners, but when I am trudging along in the back of the pack, I socialize!
Runners support each other and that support feels good. On out-and-back courses, I always cheer for the male and female leaders of the pack as they pass me. Most of the time, they are so in their zone they don’t notice, but every once in a while, one of them will respond with a smile or thumbs up. I love it! Likewise, when someone passes by me in the slow runner back-of-the-pack and offers a “Good Job” or wave or thumbs up, it makes me feel great! Lots of runners hang around the Finish Line after they’ve crossed to cheer on the people coming in behind them. That’s some runner love!
Running is an individual sport, but because we are social creatures we find ways to make it a group, a team or a community sport. We do races with friends, family members or running groups. Even if you are racing by yourself, you can feel a sense of camaraderie among the other people who have made the same choice to be there.
On the other hand…running is an individual sport and if you’re not feeling the social thing, you can do your race and skedaddle without interacting with anyone. Either way, you’ll have fun and get some good exercise.