Why We Keep Racing

A couple of weeks ago I was reading the March issue of Triathlete magazine (don’t ask me why) and the very last page had an article of sorts called “My Camelot” by Bob Babbitt and it was about why he loved racing.  There were a couple of points that I could relate to, for example (emphasis his):

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not very good.  Actually, being slow is important.  Otherwise, how would the fast guys and gals know how awesome they are?  They have to be way in front of somebody to feel good about themselves and impress the world.  That’s where people like me come in.  You’re welcome, fast guys.


People cheer for you no matter how crappy you’re doing.  And they’ll always smile and say something awesome like, ‘You’re almost there,’ even though you never are.

But this one in particular struck a cord with me and I suppose it’s why most people who do any kind of racing feel, otherwise, why would they race at all?  It also explains why I signed up for two half marathons right after I finished a sucky one that made me say I’d never race (hills) again.  Though,. come think of it, during every race I wonder why the heck I do it and then say to myself ‘I’m never doing THIS again!”

“If there is a Camelot in my life, it’s a finish line…any finish line.  The sponsors are happy, the race directors are happy, the volunteers are happy, the announcers are happy and, of course, the athletes are ecstatic.  Everyone is cheering and there is a feeling of accomplishment that hangs in the air no matter how long or tough the race.  Then you get to savor the rest of the day and that great finish line-induced adrenaline high.  Of course, we all know that amazing feeling won’t last forever.  Which is why you need to hurry home and figure out where you’ll be racing next weekend.

+ 1 to that!

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