Not new to running but to racing
1) I'm a chatty runner. I'm slow and tend to be towards the back where a lot of runners appreciate distraction or need some positive motivation. However, if someone didn't want to talk to me then I would not be offended if they politely said that they weren't in the mood for talking and I would leave them alone. It is usually quite easy to spot those who don't want to talk. Most slow runners tend to naturally congragate into groups, even if they don't know the other members of the group. Someone chosing to run on their own is quite obvious and I would tend to leave them alone. Don't forget that even chatty runners have times when they want to be left alone with their own thoughts and I respect that. You don't know the character of the other runners, or whether they have something going on personal to them that they don't want you interfering with. What I am saying is that it is not uncommon for some runners to want to be left alone
2) Coming last. Yes you might, but it is extremely unlikely. There is no shame in being last. I've come last in half a dozen races and it has always been a positive experience with lots of cheers and support in the final stages of the race. There is no reason to fear being last. You are still better than all those people who ccouldn't be bothered to enter because they didn't think they were good enough or were too lazy.
3) I'm not competative and the reason that I race is because i like the atmosphere, I like to run different routes, and it is nice for someone else to plan the route for me occassionally. No chance of getting lost, feed stations provided for you and the bonus of a goodie bag at the end. Its personal preference and iff you don't want to race then you don't ahve to, but I would give it a go at least once so that you know what you are missing out on.
Oh I know.. I don't look good normally, let alone running! I've watched / worked at several races over the years and seen some sights; that doesn't bother me. It's more personal confidence issues, and actually running with others I think.
Don't worry about looking silly. If other runners have the time to look and comment on your running style, then they're not concentrating on their own race enough. Likewise for spectators - at least you're out doing it!
As others have said, it's highly unlikely you'll come last. I recently did the Cardiff 10k and the slowest runner crossed the line after 1 hour and 45 minutes.
If you really didn't want to race, you wouldn't be here asking us about potentially racing so at least give it a try.
Other runners talking to each other tends to be of the supportive nature rather than idle chit-chat. I convinced a couple of a guys at Cardiff to get back in the race after they pulled out and started walking and that's about it.
Best of luck if you decide to do it and have no fear!
I have done races, joined a club etc but found I prefer running on my own, when I feel like it, at my own pace & choosing my own route.
Dont feel you have to do a race. I was told it was a great experience which I am sure it is to some, I prefer the solitude personally & a great way to unwind & blow away some stress!
The benefit of entering races is that if you want to, it's where you can really find your limits, having other people around you who are all raising their game raises yours. If you over take ten people in a race you really don't want those ten to take back their positions!
I've a friend who used to weight train, he was coninced that because he's logical and in control of his thought processes that training at home was no different to training in a gym, it's all about personal will power. Until a few years later he joined one and then realised that sub conciously you are trying to not look a tit and you do go that extra mile to push a rep out, we're all basically shallow.
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