Sometimes the VOICES chime in with this......Why keep racing? You will never win. Just stop already..........
To this I don't usually have an answer. Could it be for the BLING, the friendships or the self-satisfaction of pushing the limits of my own body. I will never be an "elite" runner and at 190 lbs it is unreasonable to believe that my PR's will ever rival those "fast dudes" at the local races but I can push myself to run my time and have a respectable finish. I love to expand the distance and have completed numerous races including a few 50k ultras since my first 5k in 2006.
It is nice to get a finisher's medal at the bigger events and the age group awards are always nice. I have even WON a few smaller 5k's and raked in a whopping $175 in cash awards. Nice but not fooling myself. The friends I have made are much bigger than any win. The people that show up to regular area events are always friendly, focused and very generous with encouragement, tips and good conversation. I have had the good fortune to be featured in the local newspaper and have made an appearance in another because of my running. This is as close as I will ever come to SI's Man of the Year and oddly, I am good with that.
When the VOICES ask again I will tell them.......For the camaraderie of fellow runners, the fame, the fortune and the BLING baby. But they will know it is more about pushing the distance and challenging myself to see just how much I can handle. That is what really drives me....The challenge of it all, everything else is just frosting on the cake. Delicious frosting but still just frosting.