So today our numbers for the AJC 4th of July Peachtree Road Race came in mail. It is just a little local Atlanta 10K with 60,000 of our closest friends. It is the most fun race and I am really excited. Last year was my first, and I can't imagine 4th of July without it! Of course some folks are nervous following Boston, but I figured at this point there is probably nowhere safer in the world on July 4th than at the biggest 10K. Of course my friend who is in charge of security did warn me he would not hesitate to take anyone down that had a backpack. All that aside, I am also excited because as I have mentioned we have been on a racing break.
Getting the numbers today made me think about why I like races.
1) The energy of so many like minded folks getting together. You just feel so ready to go!
2) I love the challenge of different courses and the unexpected. If I haven't run the course or it has been a year, it renews my sense of adventure. Plus after a year I can't even remember that after the race last year I said, "My God that hill! I am never running this race again." I usually don't remember until I get to the hill.
3) Pushing myself. I don't need to win, but I am competitive, and if someone is beside me and I think I can beat them I will definitely go for it.
4) A run where someone else brings the water, and places it right where you need it. I mean come on, that is a good deal.
5) The support of other runners. I love cheering folks on after I have finished, and the running community is that way.
6) Spectators. I love the little kids that yell at me as I go by "come on finish strong." Especially at mile 1 in a half marathon.
7) Supporters. There was no better sight at mile 12 of my half than hubby at the corner ready to run the last mile with me, even though it was 20 degrees and he had finished his 5K an hour earlier.
8) New workout gear. I love that most of the shirts now are Tech Tees. At least I don't have to pay the entry fee and by a new running shirt.
9) Volunteers. I mean we have run in some crazy weather, but we are running. And we will be done in 25 minutes or 50 minutes. The volunteers are standing there and they are there until the last of us crosses. They cheer as enthusiastically and help as willingly whether it is the last runner or the first runner.
I love running, and racing is just one aspect of it, but it sure is fun!