The alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I roll out of bed with plenty of time to get to the race. I set everything I'd need out last night, so I don't waste time getting my stuff together, or worse, forgetting something. Once I'm dressed, I grab my toasted bagel with a smear of cream cheese and take a few sips of water before heading out the door. I've got a 25 minute road trip ahead of me to make it to the Queen City, so I blast the music and get my energy flowing. Once I'm there, it's time to relax, warm up, and take one last bathroom trip before filing in line with all of the other race-goers. I run, sometimes faster (other times slower), and finish, then spend more time hanging out afterwards than I did running. I've done it for the last four weekends in a row, and somehow, it never gets old. In fact, every week I add a race, more excitement builds, I move more, and my perspective on life stays about as positive as it can be. So I'm extending an invite for YOU to come race with me!
Why give racing a go?
1. It's fun.
When you show up at a race, you've got a million and one opportunities to have a blast. Whether you're hanging out with friends, getting pumped up with music, enjoying a beautiful day, or looking forward to post race eats and treats (I'm talking local brew!), you get to take full advantage of energy around you. Sure, it might require you to move a few miles, but it won't be boring, I can guarantee that!
2. Bring the family.
More often than not, most races will have an option for the kids to run and post-race kid-friendly activities. It might be a quick dash or 1 mile fun run, or they can even hop in on the race (by foot, or in a stroller, just keep in mind each race will have their own regulations for allowing strollers in the certified races). But at any rate, the whole family can spend the morning together, moving together. And those inflatable jump houses and shaved ice food trucks seem to pop up when you need them the most!
3. Meet new friends.
When I show up to the race, I tend to know a few folks.and they know a few folksand by the end of the race, I've made a few friends and leave with new running buddies. The race atmosphere optimizes a time to meet someone new, and maybe even bond (or commiserate) over the next few miles. Before you know it, you're showing up at a group run at 5 a.m. the next week with your new pals.
4. Accomplish something great and carry positivity through the rest of your day.
Participating in a race doesn't always mean you kill yourself to move as fast (or faster) as your body can handle. Maybe you're a little more serious about getting out to move and want to make it count. Maybe you've never completed a race before and want to cross a finish line for the medal and cool swag. Maybe you've done a few distances but you want to see if you can run faster, or try a longer distance. Whatever you want to do, just give it your best. It will definitely require you to put in some work so you can safely reach that goal, but the reward will be worth it. And who doesn't like their own personal pat on the back and medal to show off?!
After the festivities of race morning, the finish line, and after party have wrapped up, there's a good feeling flowing through your whole body. The simple fact that you moved your body will reduce your stress and allow you to sleep better. The physical accomplishment of the finish line can bring mental and emotional satisfaction as well. When that triad bleeds throughout your being, the people around you will be inspired.and the next thing you know, you've got another race to get to the next weekend.
Is that enough to persuade you yet? Perhaps you're intrigued, but don't know where to start? Check out runcltrun.com (and make sure you follow runCLTrun on Instagram and Facebook, too) to see a great collection of upcoming races and community events. Especially with spring weather on the rise, there's at least a race or two every weekend for the next few months that would love to have you! And you'll also find some discount codes that will save you $$ when you're registering. I'll highlight a few:
Elizabeth 8K (March 21)
Christina Latini Memorial 8K (March 28)
Come See Me 5K & 10K, Rock Hill (April 18)
Charlotte Race Fest, Half Marathon & 10K (April 18)
Sarcoma Stomp 5K (April 25)
Lake Norman Half Marathon & 5K (May 3)