Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why We Race Part 8

At the end of 2010, as people planned and posted their race schedules for 2011, I couldn't help wondering where all these people got their motivation. I have goals and experiences that I look towards in the coming year, but somehow racing just wasn't that important. Why?

I emailed a wide-ranging group of blogging buddies and sent out a general bulletin on the Endurance Athlete Project asking some simple questions:

Why do you race? Why are you willing to pay to run on public streets or trails, sometimes paying large amounts for travel and accommodations? Why are you willing to plan a race around a particular weekend? What ARE your motivators to race?

Part 1 was my introduction, while Part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7 began the sharing of people's responses. Here, in order of receipt, is Part 7 of the responses:

Angie Bee, Barefoot Angie Bee:
I like the structure of races.  The anticipation and camaraderie of the whole event makes it really fun!  Something about signing up and working towards that date keeps me on track where as I have a hard time structuring my training otherwise.
I love the t-shirts and medals but who doesn't!!  The price of race entry fee is what keeps me from racing way more often. Its pretty simple for me but I look forward to hearing what others say about it!

Valen, A season of resting (and training for Ironman):
I can only talk about me, but I found racing an exhilarating experience, I have too much fun while racing, maybe because not often I am running, or swimming or biking with 200 or 300 other mad guys from all ages, sizes and shapes from the whole of the country (and the world). Maybe it is also re-incarnation of the boy in me, still wanting to play around as much as possible.
Training, on the other side, it is more of an adult thing, I test my own discipline, and ability to go further, things I began to like as I grew older. There is a sense of adventure and also the sense of being in the process of reaching and breaking many physical and mental boundaries.

Amanda, Run to the Finish:
What a fun question...especially because I only do a few select races each year.
Why do you race? I run because I just love the way that it feels. I race only once or twice a year to prove things to myself, i.e. I can run farther or faster. It allows me to continue proving to myself that I can always do more than I believed.  Smaller races or costume races are all about enjoying the camaraderie that this sport provides!
Why are you willing to pay to run on public streets or trails, sometimes paying large amounts for travel and accommodations? I love to travel and racing is a great excuse to see new places! I feel like running allows me to see cities in a completely different way than most visitors.  While I don't need a reason to travel, it's more fun to tell people I ran a marathon in Seattle before taking my Alaskan cruise...plus no guilt for that week of vegetation!
 Why are you willing to plan a race around a particular weekend? If it's a race that has peaked my interest because it looks like a great course, a neat city or just a lot of fun then I can't wait for that weekend. I'm not planning around it, but more like excited for it to get here so I can have a great new experience.
What ARE your motivators to race?
Competition with myself.
Testing my limits.
Being with friends.


  1. This has been very interesting. From Part 1 to now all the different views are really fascinating.

  2. I agree with Angie Bee - I would (maybe) race more if it weren't for the race fee (amongst other things:))

  3. I have avoided thinking about the real reasons behind my running and training. But maybe it is something I need to face, thanks to your post I decided to write my own post on my motivations to run.
    Marathon training

    My Marathon Blog

    Runners Forum

  4. the race fees have gotten outrageous over the years. i wouldn't mind as much if they went to charity, as some do.

    thinking about what motivates me to race is the beer at the finish line of course. :)

  5. I really enjoy finding out WHY people race. I still need to email the reason why I race. Do I race? lol I guess I did... do... will!

  6. I also like valen's take on training. Sometimes I am content with the training aspect! I mean we run for months for one shot at a race, so it's all about the journey. I also use amandas excuse to travel :)

    Not sure what you meant about baby powder? Is this a method you've tried?

  7. I like this series Kovas!! Each runner brings a new perspective to the table... Coaxing me to reevaluate my reasons!

  8. always interesting to find other people's motivations for racing, thanks K.


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