Chapter 11: Conclusion
Racing is definitely pretty scary for anyone who hasn’t tried it. Most of us don’t want to be competitive in our running, so why should we race?
Once you’ve tried it, however, racing is highly addictive. In part it is the pleasure of a measured course, with signposts and marshals and water tables. In part it is the fun of making new friends, and meeting up with old friends, and running with a large group of people. But most of all, racing helps us to see how we are progressing, to do battle with our bodies and our minds, under the unbiased eye of the stopwatch.
I was a jogger for many years. One day, a colleague persuaded me to take part in a 10km race. Because we were living in Africa, and it was too hot to run during the day, this race took place at 6am on a Sunday morning. I cursed him as I struggled out of bed at 4.30am to have something to eat, and found my way in the dark to the start. The race began just as the sun rose over the horizon. It took me 50 minutes to run that 10km, and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. By 7am that morning, I was hooked, chatting excitedly with my new friends about which races we could do the next weekend. I had become a runner.