Welcome to our new staff blog, which will be updated four times weekly by editor-in-chief Brian Metzler, Competitor.com senior producer Mario Fraioli, associate editor Cielestia Calbay and copy editor Linzay Logan. Our aim is to inform, inspire and entertain, while also sharing our own experiences as runners in an effort to open up a discussion about a variety of topics that we can all relate to on a daily basis. Enjoy!
Racing alone is fun. But before I started going to races by myself, I would desperately try to convince my friends to register with me.
I used to have this idea that races were a big celebration where you’d run alongside friends and family, and have a group of them waiting for you at the finish line. But the more races I did, the more the idea faded away.
Sure, it was always nice to see familiar faces at the end, or run with a buddy for company, but it became less and less important.
While it was easy to rally a group together for fun runs and adventure races, a local 5K or trail race was more challenging. Some couldn’t fathom why they would pay to run and others just didn’t share the same enthusiasm.
It was then I realized the true individualism of running. You don’t run for others; you run for yourself. While it’s great to have support and encouragement, everything about running revolves around you—the way your body feels, the way you get into your zone, and that personal feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.
Eventually, I started to see that I wasn’t running alone, from the runners in the same corral who I shared small talk with before the start, to the volunteers on the racecourse who cheered me. Soon enough, I appreciated the solitude of racing alone and the fact that I only had one person to impress on race day: me.
Tell us! Do you like racing solo?