Why do this race or any race?

What kind of answer do you hope to hear from this question?
There was an exercise they did a few years ago by a marathon race organiser, asking people the reason for them to run.
These likely are the answers;
  1. For fun? Never done this race before and never in this place!
  2. My friends going so I join them. Nothing else better to do on a Sunday morning 530am.
  3. My way of getting some exercise to lose the weight from CNY.
  4. I like the tee shirt! The entitlement 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 or unfit I am
  7. I need a reason to train
  8. I am looking to see what are my physical limits and this race is perfect.
  9. I want to do this for charity
  10. I am racing in the memory of Yogi (my pet dog who died last year)
  11. Cancer survivor, showing the world that anything is possible.
  12. I want to beat my boss
  13. 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!


I am sure there are many more reasons and I am sure most of us can identify with some of these reasons.
Why bother to have a reason? Is it not like what Edmund Hilary replied to the question, “Why did you climb Mount Everest?” “Because it’s there.”
Why do we need to be clear of the reason for racing?
We want to know what motivates you.
When times are tough, when you want to give up, what will keep you going? Your reason for racing will become your reason for training and this is the thing that will keep you focus on your goal.


The goal of the race is
  1. Do your very best
  2. Beat whomever you can beat
  3. Find your limits, learn from it and be better at the next race.
Looking at the reasons, you already can see what excuses you can give yourself for not training or do less at the next training;
  1. Since it is for fun, why push myself? As long as I can cover the distance before they close the race, I am good.
  2. Unsure if my friends are going to show up for the race, I may not even go
  3. To get some exercise/training to lose weight, maybe I can go swimming rather than running. The weather is too hot.
  4. The other race is shorter and has better entitlements! The party after is more epic!
  5. IPPT test yearly is a better gauge of my fitness and maybe I can get the $400 reward for getting A grade.
  6. I am pressured to train so that I look good in the tights when I post a picture on Instagram. Aiyo social media blackout! No picture, no need to train liao.
  7. I am on Strava already, I know how fast I am globally…no need to race to see.
  8. I have other ways to remember my dog.
  9. My boss quit! I changed department!
  10. I can push my physical limit in 20min with the crossfire workouts rather than this 4 hours marathon and I can do it weekly!
  11. I feel like a liar now about running for charity, I can always raise funds in other ways like the ice bucket challenge than to do the race.


By now you get my drift, you can have many reasons and no reason to race.
Your motivation is personal, it must have a deeper meaning for you to hold onto, to push you, to give you a pick me up when you are down and out, when every step is pain.
Let a race be a definition of who are you, a testimony of what you are made of, of true grits, and your expression of your pain and hope.
At 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 50s ladies who think they cannot, I race for my Lord who has given me a body that is healthy and fit.
When I have cramp. 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 the victory is won in the heart and mind and not just the body.
What is your reason to race?