Photo Challenge #2: Why I Run

Last week I completed the first of MagMileRunner’s Photo Challenges and this week I’m at it again. Here’s what we were asked to capture:

Why do you run? What is the main reason? We all have multiple reasons why we run (physical and mental health, friends, competition, etc), but what is The One main reason you keep lacing up and getting out there? This is a little open-ended, so have fun with it! Be creative.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized there’s one thing that really sums up all the reasons I run, and also has been a big motivator itself. It’s Athlinks, the online race results database. That’s why my “photo” this week is actually a screenshot of my Athlinks profile.

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I’ve been tracking my race results through Athlinks pretty much since I first started running the occasional 5K, and I really think it’s kept me signing up for more races ever since. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It allows me to track my PR, average pace, and see how much better or worse I get from race to race. This is a great motivator to keep me running and improving.
  • It’s a history of just how far I’ve come as a runner. (My first 5K took me almost 50 minutes to complete!) This is a great reminder after those really rough runs.
  • It lists all the states where I’ve run races. The first time I ran in another state, I was so excited to see “CA” amidst all the “IL” races on my list. This was the thing that gave me the idea to some day try to run a race in every state. (So far I’ve got IL, CA, FL, and NV.)
  • Speaking of lists, it’s a list of every race I’ve ever run! And we all know how much I love lists! Instead of crossing off of this list, every time I run a race, I get to ADD to the list, and it’s been really fun to see my race list getting longer all the time.

I absolutely love Athlinks. In fact, I might even be a little obsessed with it. And, recently they’ve been making some really awesome improvements, and it gets better all the time.

If you’re not already on Athlinks and you’re a runner, I highly recommend signing up. All your results are already there, regardless of if you’re a member. But once you sign up, you can claim all your results and start comparing and collecting results!

Are you on Athlinks? If so, you can become my friend (or my rival)!