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    Run a Race!

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    If you have run a race, this is “preaching to the choir.”  If you have never run a race, I think you should consider it.  Wait, hear me out!

    You do not have to be a fast runner to enjoy running a race.  I’m not!

    You don’t even have to have a competitive streak to enjoy running a race. Nope, the really competitive folks are at the front of the pack, and the rest is a giant, travelling street party.  That’s not to say that you can’t set a challenging goal and run your tail off to get there – that can be part of the fun!

    I know I said this about the long run, but there’s just something about running a race!  The atmosphere is electric!

    What about the crowds at the start line?  I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of crowds.  I will do whatever it takes to avoid the grocery store on holiday weekends, and the thought of the mall at Christmas makes me dizzy.  But somehow, this is different.  Maybe it’s the fact that everyone is at least going in the same direction; but I don’t think that’s it.  No, it’s something else.  Everyone is there for their own reasons, yet everyone is there for the same reason: to run.  I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’ve never done it, and if I still don’t have you convinced, there are always small races, where the field is less crowded than the line up for the bathroom at the movie theatre!

    Then there’s the finish line.  Talk about electric!  When you are approaching the finish line, when you can finally see it after being told over and over, “you’re almost there!” when your legs and your lungs are barely holding on after all this time, when the crowds are thunderous and people are calling out to you – well, there’s just no feeling like it in the world.

    If I still haven’t convinced you, then see for yourself.  Go to a local race and find a spot somewhere along the route, preferably near the finish, and you’ll get a bit of an idea.  I mean, I run for fun, but let me tell you, that’s some fun.

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    A runner for just over four years, Karen has already completed a marathon, two half marathons and a variety of 5k and 10k races. She describes her first marathon - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last September - as "a nightmare." However, she met a very interesting person in the process - a man named Sydney who was running his 152nd marathon! Although the race didn't go as well as planned for Karen or Sydney, he showed her that no matter how experienced a runner you are, you can still have a bad day. "Does that mean we shouldn't bother to prepare, or maybe just shouldn't bother at all? Of course not!" says Karen. "In the end, it is what we make it." We like her optimism!