Why We Run


As runners, a common reason why we run is simple: running is excellent for your health. But just as each of us — the weekend warriors, the professional athletes, and everyone in between — are unique individuals, we all have unique motivations.

Personally, I got into running for my mental health. Sure, a challenging run makes my body feel great (most days), but it also lifts my spirits. Occasionally I find myself slipping into the doldrums, especially during the winter months. My doctor suggested exercise as an alternative to medication. You know, he was right. When I get out and run, the endorphins take over, lightening my mood. The change of scenery from the four walls of my living room also gives me a boost. The glow lasts until well after I’ve kicked off my shoes and headed for the shower.

For this month’s report, I’ve reached out to some friends of mine to find out why they run. The answers surprised and delighted me. I hope they do the same for you. Here are three of my favorite responses to “Why do you run?”

Robin M — Magazine Editor

“I run because people pay me,” jokes magazine editor Robin. In reality, Robin makes a habit of competing in various 5k races as a fundraising tool for charities close to her heart. Most recently, she participated in a run to help Alzheimer’s funding. “That one was great,” she smiled. “What a great cause, and we really raised some cash. It feels good to make a difference.”

Andy D — Car Rental Associate

Andy has a practical reason for building endurance on the track: his wife is due to give birth to twins any day now. “We already have an amazing little girl,” beamed the proud papa, “but she can be a handful! I knew I’d have to up my game with two more little angels to chase around. I’m not getting any younger!” Andy used to run regularly, but as so often happens, life got in the way. “I’ve been back at it for a few months now. It was slow going at first, but I can feel it all falling back into place. I’m ready!”

Janelle J — Medical Records Clerk

For Janelle, running is a way to challenge herself and offset her sedentary office job. “I like to push myself,” quips the bubbly runner, who just turned 30. “It’s like a personal challenge between me and the road. I always win.” When I asked if that competitive spirit drives her to enter races, she demurred. “Nah. I’m not worried about beating anyone else. This is personal. You know, I can beat my personal best without involving paperwork. I get enough of that all day long.”

Why do you run?  Let us know!