What Running's About
Many experienced road runners are thoroughly familiar with "what running's about": athletic competition, physical benefits, psychological benefits, social benefits, even educational and economic benefits. But there are some experienced runners--and millions of occasional runners and non-runners--who've never been exposed to the full range of benefits that running can offer.
The Syracuse Festival of Races exists to provide these many benefits to everyone, and--especially--to illustrate and acquaint occasional exercisers and anyone outside the running community with all the good things that we like to call "what running's about."
The Festival of Races wants to encourage all levels and kinds of "chasing excellence." Our fast, out-and-back, USATF-certified courses are designed to be attractive to everyone: world-class runners seeking to improve their resumes, outstanding age-group performers gunning for national age-group rankings, local runners of all abilities seeking PRs, and novices attempting to cover the distance for the first time ever.
As a race committee, we're doing OUR BEST to give you the opportunity and incentive to do YOUR BEST!
But what about the weight-control benefits of regular walking and running--the two most accessible calorie-burning activities available to everyone? Think of all the diseases for which medical researchers list obesity as an important risk factor: a range of cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis. Couldn't you do without these? Wouldn't more daily exercise help?
And what about the osteoporosis-fighting benefits of weight-bearing activities--of which walking and running are also the two most accessible varieties?
Want to know how thousands of smokers became non-smokers and stayed non-smokers? They became runners. You can too!
Have you ever considered the positive psychological effects of repeated successes--in training runs as well as in races?
Have you ever witnessed the pride and sheer delight on the face of a young finisher at a children's running event?
Have you ever asked a runner about the feeling of confidence, power, and self-reliance that comes from knowing that she or he is physically fit and routinely able to endure (even enjoy!) long periods of physical exertion?
And the environment of most road races? As wholesome and family-oriented as could be: smoke-free, alcohol-free, vulgarity-free, with a prevailing attitude of respect and support for everyone's fellow participants. Is there a nicer place to meet and interact with nice people? We doubt it!
Given the convenient access that runners now have to information on anatomy, physiology, nutrition, sports medicine, and training theory, many runners have expanded their personal understanding in these fields enormously. The result: They know more about their bodies, their fitness, and their health than the vast majority of the people on the planet. That makes them better able to protect and enhance their health, and that's information that they can really benefit from!
This it true for individuals as well. You want to be more productive? Lose less time to illness? Spend less of your income on healthcare? Then be a walker or a runner (or cyclist, swimmer, or rower), twelve months a year for your lifetime!
For more information about the many benefits of running--including the Road Runners Club of America's top ten answers to the question, "Why run?"--check out the RRCA website at www.rrca.org.