Regular runners excited at the possibility of racing events returning in 2021

Photo credit = Ian Rowlands

                 

One of the rare things people have been able to do throughout the entirety of the pandemic is go out for a run but with no races to train for, it has been very difficult for even the most experienced runners to stay motivated.

Preparing for a racing event is something which makes people determined to carry on running even on days where they might not feel up to it; however, once these events were grounded to a halt due to the Coronavirus pandemic the amount of people exercising in the United Kingdom majorly dropped.

According to the Sport England Active Lives survey, between mid-March and mid-May, 2020, close to 12 million people were not doing any form of exercise which was a 7.4 per cent increase compared to before the pandemic started.

However, with racing events likely to return in the summer of 2021 and people more eager to be active than ever, running events post-pandemic could be more enjoyable and busier than they ever have been.

A positive effect on people’s mental health

Photo credit = Daniel Silvester

For many individuals, going out for a run helps them escape their problems and gives them something different to focus on. Even know anyone has been allowed to go for a run on their own since the start of the pandemic, not having the purpose of training for a racing event or even being able to run with others has certainly made things more difficult and lonely for runners.  

Ian Rowlands, 35, who is an experienced runner from Penkridge believes once racing events are able to start again and runners can be reunited with one another, this can only be a positive in terms of runners’ mental health.

He said: “I have badly missed racing events since they were put on hold.

“Competing at a running event and getting to know new people is all part of the experience and even a big part of my life so not being able to do it for a year has been tough.

“Once races are safe to start happening again it will be great for runners and will really help with their mental health because they will be able to start socialising and doing something they love which they have not been able to do for so long.”

Running Clubs starting again

Photo credit = Ian Rowlands

When training for a race, joining a running club to help prepare is known as one of the best things to do. Not only are running clubs great to help improve you as a runner but they are also terrific for meeting new people.

While some running clubs have continued online, it has not quite been the same as in-person but with the prospect of that returning soon, this has can only be good news and get runners motivated again.

Sheila King who has been part of a running club in Leeds for many years has struggled to cope without it been on weekly but is very excited for it to return.

She said: “With being part of a running club for many years, it has been difficult to cope at times without it being on.

“We have been doing some online activities and as much as they are better than nothing, it is not the same as in-person.

“Joining a running club is one of the best things I have ever done and has always benefitted me as a regular runner so I cannot wait for it to return when it is safe to do so.”

If all goes to plan and races are able to make a return in the summer events could be very exciting going forward.

My opinion:

Racing events have been on hold for a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic but with them likely to return in the summer, runners will be able to train again with a purpose.

Having a race to prepare for is something which keeps runners motivated so once races are given the go ahead to return, many people can begin training again either on their own or with fellow runners to get in shape for upcoming events.

Racing events are a big part of some people’s lives and their absence over the past 12 months has certainly impacted some in a negative way in terms of both fitness levels and sociably.

The sociable side of a racing event is perhaps the most overlooked as it is actually one of the most important and allows you to share your experience with others.

The day of a racing event is not just about turning up and running, it is also about meeting up with fellow runners, enjoying the atmosphere, and celebrating with a well-earned medal.

Once racing events are able to return, this will undoubtedly have a positive impact on people’s lives and once again allow them to begin doing something they love in various locations around the world.

What do you think?