Today, 11 November, is World Run Day. Nothing fancy, just a day founded first and foremost to celebrate the joy of running, and secondly to create an opportunity for runners to organise their own local World Run Day events, with the aim of collecting funds for a charity of their choice.
I love running. Simple as that. To me, running, and distance running in particular, really is the purest sport of all – no fancy equipment, no complicated rules, just you and the road. Be it a tarred road in a city or a dirt track in the mountains, the idea is to get from point A to point B using no other means of propulsion than your own body, sometimes with a specific target time in mind, and other times with no goal other than to have as much fun as possible while you’re out doing it.
The benefits of running are numerous – from a physical point of view, it has huge cardiovascular benefits, and despite the stories about ‘runner’s knee’ etc, it really is good for your musculoskeletal system. And the benefits are not just physical – few things clear the mind and calm the soul like a long run in the early morning before the city wakes up and all the craziness starts. Not to mention the mental boost of jogging on a beautiful single track path in the wilderness. And as any runner will tell you, few things beat the ‘runner’s high’ you get after a long, tough run.
Before I ‘became a runner’ (I still often doubt if I can call myself that, especially when I see these huge gaps in my running diary, but that’s another story…) I remember seeing these people seemingly slogging along on the pavement, often in terrible weather, and I thought to myself they must be crazy. Why on earth would you do this to yourself? And it looks so boring! And then, one day, for whatever reason, you decide to go for a jog; and then another; and then perhaps you enter some fun run… And so it evolves, and before you know it, you’ve finished your first marathon. Or perhaps you never bother entering a race, and simply get into the habit of going out for a run every day, some rain or shine. But suddenly things are different – you’re the one out running in the rain, and seeing these people driving past, looking at you like you’re some crazy nut.
But you know better…
Join me in celebrating World Run Day. Go for a run. Whether you’ve done it before, or not. Whatever the weather.
It’s good for you.