Have you noticed all the races that have popped up? You can do a 5K, 10K, 15K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon. There are dirt bike races, fat bike races, bike tours, and inline skating races. Then there’s multi-sport races: duathlons (run, bike, run) and triathlons (swim, bike, run). There are more types than I can list! Why are these so popular? Why do people plan their summers around these races?
I participated in my first endurance race about 8 years ago, and was hooked instantly! Why? Well, here are my top reasons:
- Fun way to get outside. In Minnesota, we are cooped up inside for so many months. Racing gets me outside enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery!
- Feeling of accomplishment. There’s nothing better than the sense of accomplishment when I cross that finish line! It feels amazing!
- Way to plan in my workouts with a non-negotiable deadline. I have the tendency to procrastinate workouts. Yes, even me! When I register for a race, I’m more consistent with my workouts because I don’t want to look and feel horrible at a race with so many people watching!
- Get in touch with my competitive side. I can be competitive with others, but mainly, I like to beat my last race time and keep improving.
- People of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities participate. It’s inspiring to see such a diverse group of people push themselves to complete the goal: To cross the finish line!
- Social outlet. It’s fun to meet new people and hear their stories. And, it’s fun to see my race friends.
- To become or stay healthy. Great way to strengthen my heart, burn calories, and relieve stress.
So why am I rambling about my hobby? Because I’m hoping I will inspire you to complete your very first race or keep racing! And, if not, have you ever considered volunteering at an event? Here are some of my top reasons for volunteering:
- Giving back. That’s what life is all about. This is one way I can give back to my community—supporting an event that encourages people to be healthy.
- Seeing people of all physical abilities pushing themselves to finish is very inspiring. It breaks down my personal excuses and motivates me to get moving!
- Social outlet. It’s a great way to get together with friends and family for a common reason—to help others!
- Encourage others. One of my favorite spots to stand and cheer is about 500 yards from the finish line. It’s the spot where everyone is exhausted, but they know the end is near. I get to encourage them to gather that last bit of energy and push to the finish line!
- Excitement in the air. There’s something special about arriving at the race venue about an hour before a race. Everyone is excited, nervous, and full of energy. You can almost smell it!
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Endurance events may not be for you, but you never know until you try it. And if not, maybe you can better support that friend or family member who loves to race. Please glance at the racing events posted in this newsletter and consider participating. You won’t regret it!