So why do we race?

I stumbled upon this quote by the legendary Amby Burfoot (Boston Marathon winner back in 1968, who later became a well-known writer for Runner's World) on a LetsRun message board thread of all places. Amby is 63 now, but still competes all the time:

The Why Race? question is interesting. It's not required after all. I can be a runner without being a racer. My wife is always advising me to be "more moderate in all things." And she's smart, this is good advice.

But you know what? A person can get too much of this moderate stuff. Who wants to live a life that's always safe, controlled, aiming for the middle path?

Every once in a while I still want to feel the burn. To push to the limit. To be near collapse when I cross the finish line. Sure, I already know the result: It will be shown that I'm older and slower than I was yesterday and the day before that. I don't need a race to tell me these things.

But a race says I'm not ready to surrender. It says I'm going to keep struggling to squeeze all I can out of this life. It says I'm not checking out of here until I've given it my all. Yes, I know I'm gonna die some day.

But I have a good feeling about tomorrow's race.

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