Yesterday I took on the Winter Run 10k in London, adding another medal to my growing collection. Here's why I turned out in the rain to pound the pavements with 15,000 other runners and Why I'm Addicted to Race Bling.
1. For the people
Races are amazing places. No matter whether the day is grey and rainy, the course is muddy and hilly or it's the most perfect running weather ever, runners will always smile and welcome you in. I have made some amazing friends through running, who I've shared some wonderful race memories with- friends who will motivate, congratulate and commiserate, and then head out with me again next time. I continue to be surprised by the generosity of volunteers, marshalls and other runners who offers shouts of encouragement and support when you're struggling. It truly is a community.
2. For the laughs
No-one should take themselves too seriously. When life seems depressing and dreary with the pressures of work, relationships, and money weighing you down, heading to a race is bound to lift your spirits. Smiling and laughing as the blue paint and glitter dripped down my nose in the rain, and hugging penguins and snowmen couldn't be a better example!
3. For the rewards
Of course it's all about the cake really. I know that in previous races I've spurred myself on by picturing the pancakes I'm going to eat after I've crossed that finish line. And even though people say we shouldn't reward ourselves with food, I don't really care - I've earned that cupcake! But without sounding too cheesy, the rewards of running are far more encompassing than the food I can justify myself eating, and infinitely more valuable.
4. For the scenery
From the iconic sights of London, to the rolling fields of the English countryside, to the lakes and mountains in Geneva, to the Spanish vistas, I love running with a view. It's a distraction to have something interesting or beautiful to keep your mind occupied, but for me it's also why I run - to see the world, to see my everyday from a different angle and to explore new and exciting places. While there is still more out there, I don't think I can stop running, even if it is a very slow plod...
5. For the pride
While people are beating themselves up for not being skinny enough or not having a big enough bum I look at my wall of medals and feel a huge surge of pride. I never believed that I would be a "runner". In school, wheezing and watching my classmates disappear into the distance on cross-country runs I couldn't have imagined that I would go on to run four half marathons in a year. That I still stand on the start line of a race fidgety with excitement, and that no matter how many people pass me by on the course, I will still feel that incredible sense of achievement every time my legs carry me over the finish line at the other end.
Why do you race?
Beki aka Miss Wheezy
This post first appeared on www.misswheezy.co.uk