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Why do I run?

April 10, 2013 - Jacob Boyer
I am from East Liverpool, Ohio and am a junior exercise science major at The University of Mount Union. I first got into running in 6th grade when my best friend's father coached the middle school cross country team. I did not get serious about running, however until my junior year in high school. Since then, my collegiate career has yielded results even I could not have expected 9 years ago. This past cross country season I was an All-OAC selection, All Ohio Division III and All NCAA Region runner while leading the Purple Raiders Cross Country team and narrowly missing National Championship births individually and as a team. My primary running goal this year is to run under 15 minutes in the 5 kilometer run and my ultimate goal is to qualify to the olympic trials Marathon in 2016. Why do you run? I don't get this question as much as I used to. I think a lot of that has to do with my recent success in the sport. This is still something that comes up from time to time and to be honest, it is always hard to come up with one solid reason. My biggest mentor coming through the ranks is a young man named Erik. Erik, who is three years older than me, ran for the same high school team, as well as the same Division III college. One of my memories of him from my high school days was his explanation of why he ran. He said that it was simply for the understanding. Erik went on to explain what he meant by saying that he runs because it gives him the understanding that the person asking “why,” will never have, and that he will never have to ask someone that same question. Erik's explanation made sense to me. It's true that when I see someone running down the road, I don't wonder why they do it, no matter how fast or slow they are. It seems as though everyone who runs has this perhaps subconscious understanding. I think that my plight as an NCAA Division III student athlete is the same as all those millions of runners and joggers that just run simply because they understand it. Running 100 miles per week without anyone watching or an athletic scholarship and having the knowledge that even though I am running faster than many Division I runners is largely the same as the weekend warrior and Saturday road racer. We all dream about running faster and reaching the next level, but when it comes down to it, those are just goals and not the reason why you fell in love with running. Whether your dream, like mine, is making the Olympic Trials someday, or you just want to finish a 5k, the reason is the same. You understand something that most people will never understand.


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