Dan Patitucci on his AlpsInsight blog:
Why do people always assume you are training for some event when they see you running in the mountains?
There are some obvious answers to that questions Dan poses:
- Committing to a race gives you focus and accountability. Racing is not necessary, but easier to actually get our there.
- Running a race is great for folks who don’t have the skills or time to build their own adventure. And in turn this creates accessibility and opens the doors for many new runners who otherwise would feel too intimidated of having to create their own adventure.
- It’s safer too. Especially at the ultra distances, the aid stations function not just as refueling bases but also as safety zones. Places to gather and connect with humans.
- The other big aspect for why people run races is that the trail running sport is comprised of adventure seekers, mountaineers on one side, but on the other is the perfect landing spot for cross country and marathon runners. Folks who love to train with the focus of excelling at the next race. This is why they are in this sport, and in many ways might never stand on top of a mountain, or never use a GPS beacon, but sign up for 8 races each year.
There are probably more “reason” for why we run, but of course Dan is rhetorical here. He doesn’t NOT know, he’s suggesting and challenging and offering a different perspective. Run for the joy of exploring, of just being in nature, of finding yourself and standing in awe of immense beauty. That’s why we run, that’s why we explore and that’s why we train, and focus on our fueling strategy and worry about the next best foam in our shoes: To experience life!