“Why Do You Run” Contest Winners

Yes, you read that right. WinnerS! It’s KikayRunner.com’s 2nd anniversary tomorrow, so I decided to pick two winners for my “Why Do You Run” contest. Up for grabs for the winners is ONE FREE REGISTRATION each to any local race from February to June 2012. So, are you ready to see who won? Drum roll please…

Kristine wrote: When I started running a year and a half ago, I could not even finish 200 meters without gasping for air. Now, 40lbs lighter and able to withstand running straight for 3, sometimes 4kms with even breathing, I think it’s more than passion that makes me go on and run. I think running is a state if being, when the whole world fades away and your vision becomes clearer, the air crisper, the sun on your skin life-enahancing.

I’ve run through stifling heat, 0 degree temperatures, in rain, wind and snow, literally. I’ve run through injuries, amidst marching people, chased by rabid-looking dogs and fanatical men practicing golf swings on the street. I’ve run at 2am and I’ve run at high noon. I’ve run in several countries. And I’ve run mostly alone. Haruki Murakami is right to say that running is a solitary occupation. I joined my first race just September last year and I never ran to win. People say I’m crazy, and maybe I am.

But running for me is being transported to a different plane where your only rival is yourself. I repeat to myself, just one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other. Running makes me tenacious. It gives me patience. It makes me hope and dream. It generally makes me a better person. This is why I run.

Rah wrote: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” -John Bingham

I run because it makes me happy. I will keep on running until the day it ceases to bring happiness.

Pouring out one’s reasons for running is hard. Like a confession, it is personal. Some may not understand, some may not care at all, but it is my hope that in some way people will discover the right sport for them as we runners did, whether it’s running or something else.

There are a lot of reasons why people get into running: to lose weight, to heal a broken heart, to overcome an adversity; some run for fitness, some – a combination of different reasons. The reason why I found my self running I guess is a combination of different reasons, too. But if I were to choose just one reason, I think it is because of this: “Running makes me happy.” Whenever I see people running, I’m like a child in awe. It’s like a circus show, a cotton candy, a balloon, and all the things that can make a child in me amazed and inspired. When I’m in a park, a track oval, a race, anywhere where people are running, it’s almost as if I can absorb other people’s happy auras. The happiness running brought to my life changed my life in ways I never imagined possible.

I was insomniac ever since I can remember. The long nights were endless and the mornings were torture. I was a zombie throughout the day and an owl at night. Through the years I’ve tried to cure myself of this curse. Milk, listening to soft music, beer, sleeping pills, counting sheep, nothing worked – not until I tried running in the morning. I resolved to buy the largest, loudest alarm clock at SM; I have resolved to set it up at five every morning and told myself that no matter what, I will run. Running at a regular schedule brought my sleeping patterns back to normal, the quality of my sleep has tremendously improved, sleeping on time became easy, and mornings have become as beautiful as ever before. Sunrise. It is glorious. For me a single sunrise is better than a hundred sunsets.

Running also showed me what commitment is about. Before I was running, I was scared to commit in anything. I was afraid to pour in my heart into something. It seemed to me that every goal was the ultimate end. I just wanted to finish a task for the sake of just finishing it. I never poured my heart into my work. I just wanted to be in the background. I hated groups, I hated organizations, I hated any institution that required sticking around. But when I discovered my love for running, I realized that commitment isn’t that hard if you’re doing something that makes you happy.

Just like in running, I realized that commitment isn’t a goal but a journey. It is doing what makes you happy daily (with regularity). Just like in running, where the finish line is not the ultimate reward, the prize in commitment is the belief that it makes you a better person – the belief that you are part of something larger, a bigger plan, something really important, and you are happy fulfilling that plan as a journey. In other words, running helped me discovered the beauty of living in the present, living in the “now.”

Running has changed my perspective ever since, I started watching out what I eat, I started looking after my health. I started to be more understanding and more spiritual. Running trained me to endure more physical and mental stress. The sense of regularity and rhythm that comes with my running allowed me to think more clearly and more efficiently – which translates to better performance at work and in school.

God has blessed me with two legs, two lungs, one heart, and two eyes with a vision; and each stride is like a prayer of gratitude for all the blessing God has given me. Everyday, at five in the morning, I wake up, lace my shoes, and jog my self to church to pray. Running gives me something to look forward to. Running pushes my limits, works out my endurance, speed, and gives me direction. There’s nothing quite like it. I believe it is worthy pursuit – it just makes me feel more alive. Running is love that grows in time.

The prize in running in my book, isn’t medals, personal acclaim, cash prizes, personal records, loot bags, running with celebrities, no it’s not. For me, running is the prize itself. And realized that fact, brings joy to my life.

Congratulations to Kristine and Rah! I will email you for more details ASAP.

To everyone who joined this contest, thank you very much for your comments. I am more inspired than ever to keep running!

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