I’m not an elite runner. I don’t win races – I don’t even come close.
I met Jeff recently at an advisory running board meeting. While Jeff and the other board members are extremely accomplished in the field of running, I was just trying not to slouch and to suck in my little paunch. I was there because I’m accomplished in business. And becuase I run.
Why do I run? Because it’s fun. That’s it. I believe almost everyone who keeps it up on a longer term basis runs because it’s fun. We are the thousands and thousands of non-elite runners who are in the Marine Corps Marathon, Army Ten Miler, and other huge races.
All Jeff has to do to get more people like me to run is to get them to experience the fun that we both have running, and they’ll be hooked.
I think he’s on the right track. But saying running is fun hides how complex the connection is. I believe it is the sum of many factors -here’s my short list of why it’s fun for me (I’m sure there’s more):
- I love trying to achieve goals
- I can run at any time as I do not need anyone (competitor or team) to do it with me
- I only need an hour most days and I can start right from my house
- I can think about things without distraction while I run
- I can push myself as hard as I want
- I like the discipline of having to run on a regular basis
- I like to compete and try to win things if I could
- My father ran 5 miles a day (never competed), and I like doing what he did
- It is good for my health
- It is good for my weight
- I want my kids to see how hard I work to stay fit and the discipline it requires
- My older daughter now does high school cross country and I don’t want her to beat me!
- I want to feel like an athlete even though I am getting older
- I usually run by myself, but I enjoy when I do run with people
- I enjoy giving other runners my two cents (I’m a coach at heart)
- I love the scenery and the speed at which I observe it
- I like telling people about my running and that I’m a runner
The non-elite athletes like me are buying most of the running shoes, the Under Armour to keep us warm in the winter, the sports drinks, and the goo. We are the 90%!