Only a runner can understand the excitement I have as I anticipate running my 3rd half marathon in 1 day, 10 hours, 5 minutes and 10 seconds. (but who’s counting. lol)

Here are just a few of the reasons why so many of us are waiting for the 13.1 mile race to begin:

  • The thrill of mingling with other achievers. When we gather at the start line, we know that 13.1 miles lies ahead of us. When the race starts, we will either finish the race in a respectable time or get a DNF (“Did Not Finish!”). Who wants that?! So, the folks who approach the line are ready for the race. When most other folks were just thinking they should be exercising, the guys and gals at the start line were actually exercising.
  • It’s hard! Yep. You read that right. It’s fun because it’s hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Yet, the thrill comes when you push through the pain and discomfort. The feeling of achievement is all the sweeter when you know it wasn’t easy.
  • The thrill of the race. While running can be fun in and of itself (ever heard of the ‘runner’s high’?), it’s fun to push yourself to see what you’re made of. When the gun fires or the horn blows to signify the start of the race, the clock begins. The whole time you are on the race course, the clock is running. Something happens when you are surrounded by other runners and have the awareness of the clock. You find out that under those conditions you can achieve more than in your normal training cycle. It’s fun to run but it’s also fun to do a race just to see how quickly you can finish it.
  • The folks along the race route that cheer. During a race, folks will stand along
    At the finish of my first half marathon
    (Lake Minneola, Florida)

    the side of the road just to cheer you on. They probably don’t know you. They just find enjoyment in participating in the race (probably in a vicarious way). But their cheers help immensely because running a half marathon is not just physical … it’s mental. The periodic encouragement is extremely helpful! And there’s nothing like approach the finish line. You’ve given it just about everything you’ve got but the applause and cheers pull you across the finish line. You did it! You finished!!!

  • The race bib (and medal). I have a wall in my church office that has the race bib for every race I’ve run. There are even some award medals in the mix. I don’t do that to impress the folks who walk into my office. I do it to remind myself that I’ve participated in some races and have done extremely well in a few of them. I find that wall to be a very motivating and inspiring influence when I get a little discouraged.
There are many other reasons why running a race is so exciting. I can’t wait to run it and then reflect on the race after its over. I’ll probably write a post about the whole experience.

If you want to read my post-race reflections on my previous two half marathons, you can click on the following links: