This year it felt like I hadn’t run in many races.  Then I realised what had happened.  I’d only run one that had a serious time goal for its motivation.  OK, that was a big hairy arsed time goal, but really there was only one like that.  There have, however been 9 other races I’ve competed in this year.  It just got me thinking of all the reasons we can run and love a race.

In chronological order, here are my 10 races and 10 different reasons:

  1. The one I ran because I wanted the swag (full disclosure)

The Race:  Cocoa Classic 5K, VOA, Mason.

I think this idea was sprouted late 2018.  “Hey, sign up for this, you get a hoodie!”  A free hoodie you say?  I’m in.  Of course this hoodie is NOT free, it’s paid for in a $40 registration fee, but you cannot put a price on race swag.  You cannot buy a hoodie that is soft and grey with COCOA CLASSIC 5K written on it, it’s practically priceless.  Run for 22/23 minutes?  OK!  It was freezing, I had a cold and my shoelace came undone, but.. hey, check out my hoodie!

  1. The one where you run to complete a set (and find out what that fuss was about Torrance Hill*)

The Race:  The Heart Mini 15K

This was a downtown Cincy race and Cincy does have some amazingly cool races; The Flying Pig, The Queen Bee – this was another one I wanted to experience.  Omagosh, hills though!  But it was lovely, an out and back so I got to screech and high five friends in all relative positions to me and I ticked it off.

*It’s frickin’ horrendous!  *nice to run down though

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  1. The one you do to test something out

The Race:  The Savannah Half Marathon

This was to test out running with a pacer in preparation for my BQ attempt at the Flying Pig the next month.  I wasn’t seeking a PB(R), just a solid time paced consistently.

Oh, and did I ever strike gold here.  The fastest pacer in the race was the 1:45 and he was the one I wanted.  He was consistent, calm and accurate.  He had a friend join him at mile 4 so even though by then I was the only runner with him, I didn’t have to bother with conversation.  I didn’t bother with anything but running my race.  He saw me in at 1:44:45.  Jobs-a-good-un!  (And oh what a finish photo)

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  1. The one you do for the big hairy arsed time goal

The Race:  The Flying Pig Marathon

Think I’ve said enough about that one in my time.

Crushing the Eden Park hillage

  1. The one you do to add a bit of (runner’s) fun to a holiday

The Race:  The Hilton Head Firecracker 5K

OK, maybe not everyone wants to race when you are on holiday but actually, when you are somewhere chilled and just down the road there is one for all the family that celebrates something nationally important for Americans (Independence Day), you consider it right?  It was great fun, there were wild crocodiles and everything.  It has also started a trend whereby I will check for races on holiday every time now.  Great way to earn your beers and cocktails.

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  1. The one you do for props

The Race:  The Hyde Park Blast 4 miler

One of my running friends mentioned this on a run saying “all the serious runners do this” – serious runners you say?  Of course, I ran it and came nowhere among those haha.  (Oh, and I was with awesome friends, we went for a mimosa brunch and danced on a stage to Wang Chung, cheered by laughing cops.  *That’s for bonus points).

  1. The one you do for a good cause

The Race:  The Aruna 5K

This one just really appealed for the cause behind it.  A charity that helps set up sustainable work for women surviving sex trafficking in India.

  1. (and 9) The one(s) you do just to do just to be with your mates

The Race (1):  The Lululemon Seawheeze Virtual Half Marathon

I had just got back to America after 5 weeks away and I’d missed my run buddies.  Turns out they were doing this!  So, I was doing this!  It was like a race, not quite a race, but I got a medal.  I joined 4 friends who had just tucked it into a 20-mile training run (these are my people) and 5 or 6 others who were just out for fun.  And it was.

The Race (2):  The Marines Memorial 5K, Las Vegas

Two of my UK running club friends were over in Vegas.  I joined them.  We ran!  (We also cleaned up!)

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  1. The one you do to help someone

The Race:  The Honor Run Half Marathon

As I said, this year was all about 1 race for me in purist racing and pacing terms.  That was over by midday on 5th May and it took a lot out of me in all the ways.  I wanted a break from that.  I offered to run with/pace others in the Fall/Autumn season and got a VERY awesome taker.  I had the honor to run the Honor Run with Hope; I think one of the world’s loveliest ladies.  I loved this race.  It truly meant many things.  I have had many fine runners do the same for me and I hope last week I did a little bit of paying that forward.

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So, that’s my year in racing.  One big result, a marathon PB(R) with a BQ, 6 age group placings and a huge lot of love (and don’t get me started on the cheering).  What a year!  And just proof, if I ever needed it that…

RUNNING IS AWESOME for ALL the reasons.  I love you runners.