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Top Ten Reasons to Sign up for a Fall Race

By Elyse Braner

July 31, 2009

Fall racing season is right around the corner!  Now is the perfect time to sign-up for a fall race and start solidifying your running goals for the next few months.  Due to the explosion in the popularity of running, there are a variety of races and distances to choose from all over the country.  

Fitness Goals
.  A race can keep you focused on your fitness and keep you on track, as it will provide benchmarks and a way for you to measure your progress.  Often, it is easier to stick to with a routine when you have a larger goal in mind, such as a race.

Friends.  Training is a great way to meet people and make new friends.  Despite the myths of the solo, long distance runner, running is very social sport with plenty of clubs or race teams.  It is much easier to stay focused when you have the support of training partners and teammates.

Fun.  Race day rocks!  Positive energy overfloweth on race day. Check out the finish line –chances are the smile on the runner who finished 500th is just as big as the runner who finished 50th.

Accomplishment.  There is no greater feeling than finishing a race and knowing that you gave it your best shot.  It's the moment of truth as you realize the dividends of the weeks of training that you invested.  The sense of accomplishment gained from completing a race will stay with you much longer than it took to train for the race.

Race T-Shirt.  Energy bars, discounts to local stores and t-shirts are just some of the goodies that you’ll find in your swag bag.  Extra bonus: Many races are opting for technical t-shirts, as opposed to the standard cotton shirts.  Wear it on your post-race run and it’s sure to be a conversation starter with your running mates.

New run outfit. 
A race is a great excuse to purchase a new pair of running shorts or a running top.  Something new will make you feel fast and ready to go on race day.  Just to be safe, give your new clothes a trial run before race day.  

Tales from the road. Hearing survivors' stories. the battle with your bladder.  Friends and family will be captivated as you recount stories from the trenches.  They may think you are crazy for willingly subjecting yourself to “unnecessary torture” but they will be truly impressed!  After sharing your stories, enroll them to train and race with you next time.

Teamwork.
Technically running is an individual sport but you are not alone. With hundreds or possibly thousands of runners sharing the experience there’s a lot to be gained.  Just like your training partners they are a source of strength and support. You never know,  at the end of the race, you may have found a new friend and training partner!

Post-race treats
.  Celebrate your accomplishment!  After the race, once you have properly cooled down and re-hydrated, rehash the race with your friends over a long brunch featuring sugary treats and mimosas.
 
Charity.  Most races benefit a local charity.  Therefore, not only will you be doing something great for yourself, but you will also be giving back to the community.