I Believe in Running

Katherine - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe…

It’s an early morning in February. Naturally, it’s freezing cold and dark outside. While everyone else is still asleep in bed, I am running one of my usual eight-mile loops. The streets are quiet and empty the way they are expected to be at 4:45am. I begin to pick up the pace my blood is pumping and I am no longer shivering. I stopped noticing the cold breeze around mile two. With one mile to go I begin to sprint. I want to leave everything I have on the road. Finished. Even though I am supposed to be tired my body surges with adrenaline. Another training run successfully finished. This is my average day of running. I believe in running. I run in the morning and at night. Running is my outlet. It is my way to relax and clear my mind. I run for that sense of accomplishment I feel after every workout and race. I never feel alone when I am running a race. Running is a society. A society that is full of people that understand and appreciate your goals and accomplishments. When you tell a runner your time in a race they understand the enormity of your accomplishment and appreciate how hard you must have worked to achieve that time. Running is also my way of helping out in the community. I try to participate in runs that are centered on donating money to charity. I believe in running as many races as possible. With each race I run it is a new accomplishment and a new adventure. Every race is different and every race is a learning experience. Each race teaches me a different lesson about my pace and preparation. From the course, to the conditions, I have never run the same race twice. For me, it’s not about winning; it’s about the positive running atmosphere. The amounts of runners that participate in races are inspiring. When I arrive at a start line waiting for the gun to go off, I take comfort in the fact that I have thousands of supporters all running along side me. During the hardest part of the race I look to the crowds and volunteers for encouragement and support. They are always there at the end of the race ready to serve you an end of the race banana or Gatorade and congratulate you on an exceptional performance. Because it doesn’t matter what place you came in or what your time was, they still treated like a world-class athlete. For me, the best part of a race is the end, for many reasons. The end of the race is when I see my time, and at that moment I know that all my training was worth it. Many people have asked me why I like to run. Am I crazy? To them running is a punishment. But not to me, to me running is a passion. A passion, that I am proud to carry with me for the rest of my life.