I was talking to a friend the other day who’s a runner and remarked that now the weather has warmed up (finally), it time to sign up for a race. One miler, 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K, half marathon, full marathon, ultra marathons are all available and ready for signing up, take your pick. Let’s get out there and join in the fun!
Imagine my surprise when she said that she has never run in an actual race despite many years of running. Never, ever! When asked why she said it was very simple, she was afraid of running too slow and coming in last, plus she was sure she looked silly while running.
How interesting. I assured that if runners were concerned about how they looked when they ran, the number of runners in races would be thinned considerably! Almost nobody looks like the picture they wish they looked like. They wobble, they shuffle, they bend over, they grimace and their posture is like a broken wagon with one wheel coming off. About the only runners who look good running are cheetahs and the elite runners who do this for a living and then only at the beginning of the race. So join the crowd, you’ll fit right in.
As far as running too slow, and coming in last, so what. The only one who needs to be concerned about coming in last is the person in the group that is running from a bear! As for any other time I guaranteed her that nobody else cared. She was out there to get some fresh air, a little exercise and to enjoy the camaraderie just like everyone else (and maybe the cold beer afterward).
I told her the story about a race I did a few years back and I was last (by far) and still placed in my age bracket and have a trophy to prove it. (The trophy doesn’t say that I finished last!).
Also, as I reminded her, that finisher’s photo that she’s going to post online doesn’t tell anyone when she finished, only that she finished, so no worries there.
So sign up, get up, dress up, show up and never, ever give up. You’ll feel great when you’re done and, remember, this will be a PR for you! (Personal Record) and next time (there will be a next time) you’ll come in second to last (and still, nobody else cares).