November 15, 2013
There are only two certainties within any kind of running race.
A runner will come first and another will come last.
In some cases there will only be a millisecond in it, perhaps requiring a photo finish and in others there could be an hour or mores wait for the last person to come home.
Who cares? Someone has to come last.
So why is coming last the number one fear among plus sized runners? I know it’s not only overweight runners that fear this, but it seems to be the worst case scenario for many runners carrying extra weight, often a barrier for entering a race in the first place…including even the more informal timed runs such as parkrun.
What is it? Shame, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration? Someone has to bloody well come last.
So in the 100 meter sprint final at the London 2012 Olympics lining up against Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay do we look badly at the person who come in last? Do we even remember who came in last? Well it was Asafa Powell if you must know, the same Asafa Powell who held the 100meter title for 5 years between 2005 and 2008.
Have I ever come last? Many times. Granted never in a big race, but Even at big races I am always towards the back. At my running club I am consistently the back runner. At smaller meets I am often the last home. In fact in one 10k race by the time I finished they had cleared up the finish line and refreshments. On this occasion I run a 10k in 1 hour 18 which I still don’t think is that slow.
Was I crippled by that experience? Not really. I laughed about it then as I do now.
As long as you are trying your hardest and entering (where possible) races within your pace parameters then you should be ok. Just think about all that pressure you put on yourself by stressing about coming last, all that unnecessary worry.
Lets forget about coming last and just enjoy every moment of your race, even if you are last across the line…you’re just making the most of your entry fee!!