I was thinking about this question during a run this week. Why do I run? I’ve been running seriously for 23 years, but why? It became clear to me recently, and I came to the conclusion that the reason has actually changed a few times throughout the years. It’s really for personal reasons why each person dedicates themselves to running. So why do you run?
When I first started running, it was because my brother ran and was well known in our city for his accomplishments. I thought that was cool, since running was not really that popular at the time. Though not serious way back then, I started to play around with the running thing and didn’t like it that much. It was tough work, not fun, and food and beer were more attractive. I guess I was a fair-weather runner.
It was when I moved to California that I really fell in love with running. It became as natural to me as my arms and legs. I belonged to to the YMCA in Lakewood, California, and ran with the Assistant Director every so often, but most of the time I ran by myself — and I was motivated. Then my brother challenged me to run a marathon, and I became serious in my training and finished the 1989 Los Angeles Marathon. I was hooked. I ran at that time because running was a positive challenge. Never looked back and have been running seriously ever since.
Then in 1995, I moved to Denver and immediately connected with a couple of new friends at work who ran about six miles every day at lunch. At that time, I had run a total of nine marathons. One day this guy, David, decided to join us for our lunch time runs. He was new to running, but picked it up rather quickly. I talked him into running the Los Angeles Marathon with me, since my goal was to have ten marathons under my belt and stop marathoning. Well, he was hooked, and in New York we made a commitment to run all 50 states. So at that time, I ran to run a marathon in all 50 states!
During that 8-1/2 year time frame, I moved to Virginia and discovered a running group, Reston Runners. This catapulted my love for running and my motivation due to the runners that I met. I ran at that time not only to reach the 50-state goal, but also to become a faster and stronger runner. I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon; I reached that goal in 2002 in Chicago!
In 2003, I moved back to Denver with my wife, and for the next three years I ran with David, and also by myself. With only one more marathon to go to reach the goal of all 50 states, I needed to wait a year to run the final state in Rhode Island (poor planning on my end). Needing motivation during the wait, I discovered the running group, Runners Edge of the Rockies; it was like giving me a turbo boost. Because of Runners Edge, the 50-state goal was accomplished, however, I continue to passionately train and run marathons to this day.
Today, I run for the friendships, commodity, competitiveness amongst friends and, most of all, to encourage new runners to strive for their best. Nothing makes me feel prouder than when runners improve and complete marathons. It’s magical and running really changes peoples lives for the better. To be a part of that is why I run! Oh yea, and for the medals!
So why do you run?
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