Gametiime Asks: Why do you race? What makes racing fundamentally different than an everyday run?

Answers from Oiselle Runners

Jessica Morrow – I enjoy running on my own and definitely do most of my weekly mileage by myself. Sometimes on a long run by yourself you can start to doubt yourself and what you are doing. You come up with excuses to do less than your best. I love races, especially really big races with thousands of participants. Running with friends or running a race with a lot of people gives you visual representation that you aren’t the only crazy person out there. Longer distance races like half marathons and marathons are really fun because you know that most everyone there has been putting in same training hours as you. It sort of justifies your own training. Running is such an odd solitary sport that test your physical and mental endurance. Seeing other runners is like, “Yay! We are all doing this alone, together!”

Jessica Morrow

Claire Wallace – It is funny how running can be solitary yet has such a strong community. For me, it’s pretty simple. Every race is an adventure. Adventures create great stories. Great stories are more fun to share.

Karen Ellcessor – Co-sign what Jessica said. I run on my own, hate small group running because it usually messes up my run-by-feel pace. ButI can get lost in the crowd of a race and not feel pressured to match anyone’s pace.

Jody Stoops – I race because it allows me to see how far I have come. Each race I have a goal in mind, usually to qualify for Boston, and I always measure up my finish time based on my BQ time. Racing allows me to stay focused on a specific goal and strive to do my best at each race. With that being said, I always allow for some down time because marathon training takes so much out of you both mentally and physically. If I don’t take the down time, I lose the love of running.

Elisa Becze – Racing is a way to challenge myself, to give another purpose to my training, and to be proud of what I can accomplish.

Answers from the Sub 30 Club

Ingrid Sell-Boccelli – Testing myself in an environment where others are sharing the experience – even at different speeds, we do all (mostly) connect with each other on the effort involved. Without knowing each other, we are bonded in a shared experience that often is taxing us to our limits, and in that, it is transformative. Sharing a transformative experience naturally brings people together (look what happens in disasters – that same positive bonding also happens in racing). I also find longer races – half and full marathons – feel like an adventure, a journey through lots of different feelings and experiences wrapped up in a few hours (more hours for me than most). And the excitement!

Ingrid Sell-Boccelli

Answers from Team #runDisney

Lisa Gutiérrez – For health reasons, for fun, for the feeling of accomplishment. Races break up the monotony of running locally. Dressing up in costumes is really fun, too :)

 Lynne Garcia – Lisa, I agree! Totally breaks up the monotony of running the same daily routes! As a mostly solo runner, it’s also a really nice change of pace (ha!) to be surrounded by like-minded people on race day.

Patti Taylor – I agree! I love the costumes and knowing all of us are after the same goal.

Bill Culver – I’m trying to get better, faster, and longer with my running. In my mind training runs are simply to prepare me for the opportunity to test myself. Races are those tests. I also enjoy running in a crowd instead of the daily solo run.

Bill Culver

Kelley Matthews – The feeling I get afterwards. I get it with an everyday run too (sometimes) but it just doesn’t feel quite the same as after an actual race.

Jeremy Whiteman – I know you are supposed to say “you are only running against yourself” :) but in a race, there are other runners around you..that pushes me. I’ll admit I still need some exterior motivation… I pace myself during my everyday runs and try and push myself during a race.

Answers from the #RaceChat Crew

Mike Eblin – To test your self, see what you are capable of achieving. Mostly to learn something about yourself.

Gail Gilman – Competition.

Maggie Hafertepe – 1. Motivation to run prior to the race 2. T-shirts/medals/etc. :)

Karla Solano – I race because I wanted to fulfill my aunts dream in running the LA Marathon, I didn’t realize I would love it, now I run because I love it. I now try to do better than my last race and sometimes better than the people around me :-)

Chad Hause – The reason has changed over the course of time. But ultimately I am extremely competitive and while I understand I race for no one but myself, I do enjoy racing against others to see how far I was able to push myself. While I don’t decide success or failure on where I finish it gives me a good measure of where I need to take my training. I do all my running solo and races also allow contact and fellowships with what is a great group of people! They also help keep me focused at the same time!
Chad Hause

Richard Stacy – For me a race is just a way for me to better focus on my training. Plus I have been told I am just a wee bit competitive.

Geoff Alonso – The beer and shirts. Obviously.

Answers from SKORA Insiders

Mark Lofquist – racing is a good indicator if I’m improving. I’m new enough to running that I see only PRs every race. but I love experimenting and see what helps me get better given the few hours I have to train.

Mark Lofquist

Brian Fisher – Signing up for races motivates me to get out and run. Especially this time of year when it’s cold and dark in the mornings before work! I love the jittery, borderline nervous energy at the start line on race day!

Alex Mares – I think racing just has a different feel to it. The nervous energy at the start and the fear of the unknown. When training you know what you need to do that day to have a good run, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but in the racing environment the “good” run can be based on others, circumstances or the weather…its that X factor.

Mike Spangler – Race day gets me nervous and pumped up! I love the energy of all the runners and spectators. It really fuels me to give it all I’ve got.

Answers from Nuun Ambassadors

Sheena Caines – The race atmosphere gets me every time! I can struggle through a run on my own, run slowly, etc., but as soon as the race it upon me, it energizes me – my fellow runners, the spectators, the volunteers, the entertainment, everything!

Sheena Caines

Answers from Seattle Runners

Jeannie Gilbert – Race day is the only day I can really push myself the hardest and see what I am really capable of. Running among others who are also pushing themselves is very different than running alone or running with a group. A particular race gives me a goal to shoot for and find out what I can do during the journey towards my goal. Gives me the motivation to continue training.

Joe Matheson – I race because it gives me a finite measure of fitness and validates all my hard work leading up to it. Racing keeps me focused during long bouts of training and gives me an end to work towards.
What makes racing fundamentally different than a normal run is that you will always remember how you felt about your race performances, but never an everyday run. I’ve had great workouts leading up to the race, but they pale in comparison to race performances. With the Seattle Half coming up, I know that all of my training will be judged (whether by me or others) over 13.1 miles. And that’s all I’ll remember, not that one arbitrary jaunt around Green Lake I did that one morning to get miles in.

Joe Matheson

Imei Hsu – I agree with Joe. On race day, we tend to give ourselves special permission to push just a little bit harder, as well as more focused attention to how we felt about the race from start to finish.

Yet, to argue the point, conceivably, with Mindfulness, one could chose to apply that kind of focused attention to ANY training, rehearsing it as if it were the real thing. It is a CHOICE to hold back a bit on our training and not go “all out”. We are simply saving it up for race day. My point being, I think it’s a choice to make them fundamentally different, and in and of themselves, race day and workout days are no different. It is part of our choice is to save up a little something like magic and that “extra” soul in the tank to lay out all out on race day instead of a training day. I’m willing to bet that rehearsal – that is, doing an occasional workout as if it were race day, is beneficial and translate into a lot of success as much as it is a predictor of race-day readiness.Doing so tends to make just about anything you do to commemorate your post-race achievements all that much sweeter.Of course, I could be wrong, But it’s in my nature as a psychotherapist to cover all the options and angles. ;) 

Answers from INKnBURN Ambassadors

Ed Thomas – the race itself is wonderful but the camaraderie that accompanies it is what keeps me going back for more…especially when racing ultra distances…runners are like family…. racing itself is exhilarating and fills my mind and body with awe and wonder…ordinary people doing extraordinary things, pushing the limits above and beyond what you do in training…what’s different than your everyday run?…the mindset

Ed Thomas

Janice Sitzes – For two reasons: I like to challenge myself and also to enjoy the camaraderie. I also enjoy traveling to races and enjoying new routes and scenery.

Sam Bertolino – Runcation. Give me a reason to train and go somewhere. Racing also helps me guage my progress in training. Maybe more X style runs, less Y style.

Answers from Girls Gone Sporty

Rhonda Henshall-Powell – It’s the sense of accomplishment – the official recording of your times and of course the bling! Love to collect those bibs, t-shirts and finisher medals!

Montana Ross – I do obstacle races, so for me it’s about challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and overcome my fears (heights) while I’m racing. It feels so awesome to finish the events and get my medal and know I busted my butt to do my best out there!

Montana Ross

William Squires – I love running with others, I love the competition, even though a considerable portion of the participants are only out to beat themselves or just there to burn calories and help a charity.

Answers from PIP Running
Susan Wade – I run races for a couple of reasons. I run races to give me a training goal. I need to have that carrot dangling out there so all my runs are easy 3-4 milers. Also I like to run them as a bonding experience with my runners/friends. Running a race like Ragnar or our upcoming roadtrip for the Yellowstone Half Marathon is so fun to do with friends. Great experience to have together. Normally I don’t run races with any intention on winning, often it is just for the experience, but every once in a while I use them to try to push myself whether it is speed or distance.

Mimi Flores – To be honest, I don’t consider myself a runner. I race for the fun of the event and it makes me actually run more than short distances. I also try to do races with friends so that we can have fun hanging out.

Answers from Team Ask

Lorena Cicciari – I race because it gives me motivation to train and stay keep consistent with my running schedule.

Stephanie Sink – I race because there is nothing quite like the feeling of pushing yourself to see how strong you really are (or aren’t) on a given day. Also, I love my running groups and the running community in general. There is not a more supportive group of people! Oh, and also, I love to eat…. a lot….

Stephanie Sink

Arturo Fernández – I race because it feels nice to cross the finish line :)

Paul Stahlke – I agree with everyone here! Without having a race to train for, I find it hard to get out there and run consistently. I mean, why would anyone do a 20-mile run unless they were training for a marathon? :) I also love being part of the race atmosphere — it makes me feel a part of something really cool and fun.

Tracy Hill – It’s fun to be around so many other runners and people that share the same passion. I also like the competition aspect, even if I’m just pushing against myself.

One thought on “Gametiime Asks: Why do you race? What makes racing fundamentally different than an everyday run?

  1. I guess, No I know that running is my drug, my beer,my vice or whatever habit that causes a person to totally lose themselves in. I started seriously running when i enlisted active duty in ’95. Then I was just running in order to stay physically fit as well as to maintain stigma of what a Soldier “should look and perform like”. Here I am 15 days away from retiring from 21 years, nine over sea tours (including iraq x3), 39 years in life and the love and passion I found in running has saved my life as well as my mindstate. Running has a way of releasing you from whatever prison, issues or problems that you may face in day today life. On Dec 31st of this year two things will happen in my life for the 1st time. The most important of the two events will be on that day it will offically be my last day on active duty for the US Army, giving me a grand total of 21 yrs, 3 months and 15 days HOOAH!!!! The 2nd is that I will run my 1st of God willing many half marathon called the Ironhorse New Years eve HM. I am excited as well as sad due to the bond that is developed between Soldiers can not be placed into words or emotion and I will miss it dearly. I have trained for this run for sometime now and feel like this is the time and hour to move on this objective. I’m totally new to the running community, however I have ran for years so I respect every runner as well as their struggles. I’m looking to turn this running comminty into my new social gathering spot. I pray for everyone that graces the road,track or trail in order to release themselves from whatever issues or concerns they may have. Stay to the right and Run Like Hell……follow me at twitter for my weird words @MDPIERRE357 or look me up on
    God bless the American Warrior!!

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