A Lifetime Pursuit
We all remember a time we discovered running. Perhaps it was something started in school, maybe it's something discovered later in life. It could have been accidental or deliberate or maybe begun as an answer to a dare. Maybe we embraced running because we found that in spite of our preconceived ideas we actually found out that we liked it!
There are as many reasons we run as there are people on this planet. It can be for the fitness, camaraderie, meditation, weight loss or maybe connecting to our primal selves. We can escape our stress hectic lives to a place where we only need care about one foot in front of the other and repeat. Unless we are among a very select group of elite athletes we certainly don't do it for the money or the fame.
I believe that running is many things. As your race director I believe that it's always best have a very good idea of what motivates runners. I understand that not all runners are the same and the reasons and events leading up to the pursuit of running are different.
I created the course for the half marathon & 10K here in Collingwood to be fast with minimal hill climbing for those who wish to run a P.R. The current course record for the half marathon is 1:11 and I feel it could be run faster. This is the domain of the near elite and elite runners. Their reasons for running are clear, to compete, to excel to prepare for larger venues.
There are beautiful views of the town in which I was raised and the surrounding countryside as well to provide a beautiful backdrop for those who run for fun as well! The fall colours at this time of year are so pretty. We applaud all of the recreational runners who come together in the spirit of friendly competition.
With running we really only ever compete against ourselves. The ongoing drama of every personal journey in this race and many others fascinate me. I love being the race director who stands at the finish line welcoming everyone and cheering you home. When I see someone come across the line I know that for them this may have been the race of their life. I know that every one of you has risen above the norm and committed to training and racing with us and I feel pride.
I've received emails of thanks from runners here at home as well as from other countries who have said how wonderful their experience was. I can say that were it not for the 100+ volunteers, 21 police officers, local businesses and the residents who open their town to us, that this event would be impossible! This is a grassroots community race so welcome to Collingwood!
I've mentioned many possible reasons for running. My journey as a runner, like yours is ongoing. I started in middle school, continued running track and cross-country in high school and then continued into adulthood. As an adult I ran 5K, 10K, half and full marathons up until 12 years ago when I progressed to trail ultra running. Now at age 55 I'm enjoying the fruits of this lifestyle, having no real medical issues or pain and continuing on with 5oK, 80K and 160K trail races.
Of course that's just the physical aspect of running. For me I've found that the biggest benefit of running is the mental & spiritual aspect. It centres me, relieves stress and provides a great perspective on life. I know that I literally found myself running 24 hours in the rocky mountains. I felt completely connected to everything and everyone. It was an epiphany and a life changing realization that all the noisy busy problems we concoct for ourselves are meaningless. The only thing that matters is to be in that moment running.
I hope that you may be able to relate to these thoughts, and I wonder what sort of perspectives, realizations, therapies or any other feelings you have gleaned from running. Please do share! email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! I would like to share your stories (only if you want) on this blog and on our social media page. You can start with telling us why you signed up for this race!
I'm so looking forward to seeing you here in Collingwood on October 6th, 2018!
Nick Brindisi, Race Director