|The Running Community
The benefit of a community and culture all your own is one of my
favorite things about running. Competition, the friends, and the
atmosphere of friendliness (even during competition) are all things
that the running community can provide.
Whether it be a miler or a marathon, the enthusiastic, welcoming
atmosphere of most races is a welcome benefit of the running community.
Many races welcome the newest runners to elite runners, all ages,
and all speeds. Some races even have large parties after the finish,
but most at least have music (sometimes live) playing and food and
drinks. All races have camaraderie though, and that's the most important
aspect. Whether you compete with yourself or others, whether you
place or just try to finish, races can bring many benefits to individuals.
There are also many clubs that are related to running and racing.
Whether you go to a track club for a speed workout, a running club
for a seminar, or a Hash House Harriers group for running mixed
with beer, there is sure to be a group that caters to you and your
One of those benefits is friends. Races are a great place to meet
like-minded people. But the racing scene isn't the only way to make
friends in the running community. Many people make friends through
training. Whether they partake in a training program and meet other
people or find them through ads at the local running store, training
with people is a surefire way to meet runners and make friends.
Another option is online forums. Many running sites offer forums
to discuss running and meet other people who share your obsession,
trials, and triumphs. As a runner, one often finds times when non-runners
just don't get it; those are the times when forums full of other
runners are a great alternative. People who understand you and your
habit are one of the biggest benefits of the running community.
Running can also be used as a way to contribute to society as a
whole. Whether you volunteer at a race or actually run it, many
races benefit charities of one sort or another. From running a 5k
for a cure to breast cancer to running a marathon for a cure to
blood cancer, there are many ways to give back to the running community
Whether you look at the health, psychological, or communal benefits,
one thing is obvious: Running is good for you. It has benefits for
all. However, if you still think running isn't right for you, then
you may want to consider walking, which is a great alternative to
running and has many of the same benefits.