Why so serious? Said the Joker to Batman.
Why so serious? Said the runner to the racer.
In a previous blog I wrote about trail runners often being less intense and more relaxed at races than road runners. They seem less focused on times and more about the experience.
This begs the question then… Why race at all?
In a little over a week from now, I will be lining up to run a 56km trail race, along with the rest of the Brewsters Running crew and many of our friends. I look forward to this particular race every year (The Two Bays Run), not because I love racing, but because I love being a part of a race. Confused?
For me, running in an organized race hones my theories and ideas on running. It also brings everything into sharp focus and forces me to find my best running and let it out.
I really enjoy the “hunt” that takes place while racing, particularly on trails where other competitors are constantly disappearing and reappearing around each bend. The constant change in terrain makes the racing that much more complicated because you can’t just rely on being faster; you also have to be good on the up-hills, the down-hills, the sand, the rocks and more. This is far removed from road racing where the course is wide open and the terrain is fairly predictable. Don’t get me wrong though, road racing has its own attractions. The pureness of it, testing your physical and mental toughness in an arena where the playing field is equal for all that step onto the start line. I just prefer trails most of the time, as they put me in nature, which is obviously very attractive based on the massive boom in trail running currently taking place.
So, what if you don’t feel the need to enter a race and just run because it makes you feel good? I say good for you. If you don’t have the urge to pit yourself against others and find out how you match up, then think nothing of it. However, if you ever start to lose the excitement you get from hitting the trail or if you want to challenge yourself; a race might just do it.
If you have never been to a trail race, get out to one and check it out. The atmosphere is fantastic and the people it attracts are great. I can honestly say that the people I have met through running are some of the nicest and most wholesome people I’ve ever come across and I feel very lucky to be a part of it all.