What kind of answer do you expect to hear from this question?
A few years ago a marathon race organizer carried out a survey, asking people why they race.
These, more likely than not, were the answers;
1. For fun? Never ran this race before and never in this place!
2. My friends are going so I am joining them. Nothing else better to do on a Sunday morning at 5.30am.
3. My way of getting some exercise to lose the weight gained after CNY.
4. I like the tee shirt! The goodie bag from the race registration is value for money!
5. I am here for the party after!
6. I run this race yearly to see how fit I am.
7. I need a reason to train.
8. I am looking to see where my physical limits are.
9. I want to do this for charity.
10. I am racing in memory of Yogi (my pet dog who died last year).
11. I am a cancer survivor and I want to show the world that it is possible.
12. I want to beat my boss.
13. Be a water point butler for my girlfriend doing her first 10km run.
14. I race as an expression of my physicality and training.
15. I just want to see how fast I am!
16. God created me to move, so I want to move!
There are many more reasons and I am sure most of us can identify with some of these reasons.
But you already can see what excuses you can give yourself for not training or training less;
1. It is only for fun, why push? As long as I can cover the distance before they close the race, I am good.
2. Unsure if my friends will show up for the race, I may not even go.
3. Getting some exercise/training to lose weight. Maybe can go swimming instead of running – weather too hot.
4. The other race is shorter and have better goodie bags! Their party after is more epic!
5. (For NS men) The yearly IPPT test is a better gauge of my fitness and I may even win the $400 reward for getting an A grade.
6. Glam or sexy to tell people that I am doing this race, so now I am pressured to train and look good in the tights when I post pic on Instagram. Aiyo social media blackout! Cannot post pic, no need to train liao!
7. Can try pushing my physical limit in 20min with the Crossfit workouts rather than this 4-hour marathon and I can do it weekly!
8. I can always raise funds in other ways like ice bucket challenge.
9. I have other ways to remember my dog.
10. My boss quit! I changed department!
11. On Strava already, I know how fast I am in the world … no need to race to see.
By now you get my drift, you can have many reasons and no reason to race.
Need there be a reason? It can be like Sir Edmund Hillary who“… climb[ed] for the h*** of it.”
We want to know what motivates you.
Your motivation is personal, it must have a deeper meaning in order to hold you, to push you, to give you a pick–me-up when you are down and out, when every step is just pain.
When times get tough, when you want to give up, what will keep you going? Your reason(s) for racing will become your reason for training and this is the thing that will keep you focused on your goal.
The goal of the race can be to;
1. Do your very best.
2. Beat whoever you can beat.
3. Find your limits, learn from it and be better the next race.
A race can be a definition of who you are, a testimony of what you are made of, a showcase of true grit or even your expression of your pain and hope.
In the end, it must be yours.
For me when I race, I race for knowing that I am alive, and there is no better way to express that than pushing my limits and enjoying it.
It is my way of connecting with my body physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I race for the ladies in their 50s who think they cannot.
I race for my God who has given me a body that is healthy and fit.
When I have cramps, I know that my body is strong, I just need to be patient to walk it off and finish the race. It would be hard but victory is won in the heart and mind and not just the body.