“Running should be free, man.” I quote Caballo Blanco, a free-spirited ultra distance runner. A runner who, after reading his story from the book, Born to Run, gave me the inspiration to try running an ultramarathon.
The long road ahead is open for anyone. You can tie your shoes any time you want and off you go and run. The distance is endless. Up to you on how far or how long you’re going to run on the road … on a trail road … up on the mountain …
It’s free. Yes, it is. You can run any time you want. You can choose whatever distance you want to run. You can run at dawn, early in the morning, in the afternoon, or at night time. You can wear whatever you want as long as you’re comfortable with it. You can plan your route. You can even design the level of difficulty. Is it mostly uphill, flat, or a combination of both? The choices are endless. Again, it’s free.
To choose running, well, let’s have a reality check. It’s not really that free (to a certain degree). You still have expenses on your running gear, water and energy drinks, food, transportation, and other running accessories.
Racing is another thing. It means you need to register and pay for the privileges you’re going to get from it. It is a means to test how far you have gone with your training, a competition. You need to follow the organizer’s rules. And it also comes with a price depending on what distance category you are choosing to run. The route is already mapped out for you. It also depends where you’ll be racing: local or abroad. You’re lucky enough if you get to register for free or if there’s someone sponsor your registration. How often will you race? Do you have the budget? If none, what will you do?
Is running free?
And racing isn’t?
You just have to make that decision yourself.