In my first running blog post I noted that I began running local races about five years ago. That race was a local 5k in it’s second year(now in it’s sixth) and occurs before the Memorial Day Parade in my town. It’s a really fun race that I’ve run every year since and plan to run again this year. Running this race really opened me up to running. I had so much fun I ran a couple other 5ks that year. In the years that followed I ran more 5ks, some 10ks, and a couple half marathons.
With this race coming up soon I’ve been reflecting on the affect these types of runs have on our communities and those of us who participate. Most of these runs are held to benefit a worthy cause. Anything from fighting cancer or some other horrible disease, to supporting animal rights or local schools. But, the benefit to the community often goes much deeper then just the charity or cause it supports. And the impact on the runner can be long lasting, and perhaps life changing.
These races promote healthy living teaching adults and children alike about the benefits of a healthy life style. In my case, I was already a runner. But, the previous year when I watched the race I was motivated to give it a try and here I am five years later still running races. Perhaps in other cases, people who have never run are motivated to run or to start exercising in some way.
Additionally, they provide a way for runners as a community to compete and participate in their sport. That sense of community helps to motivate recreational runners to keep running as well as new runners to start.
Finally, because these local runs are usually 5ks and in many cases have a 1mile run it allows runners of any level to participate.