Friday Thread: Running or racing?

Good morning, everyone! ☀️ I don’t know if you saw this earlier this week, but the organization that runs the Boston Marathon announced there would be no cutoff for next year’s race — meaning, that everyone who qualified and applied will get in for 2023.

What was interesting to me about that is, Boston is America’s iconic marathon — of all the races in the U.S., it’s arguably the most sought-after goal race of them all, the one that most runners dream about running one day.

And even it’s having trouble getting back to its pre-pandemic attendance level. (In most years before Covid, thousands of people who qualified and applied couldn’t get in, because there were so many applicants.)

My question is, why? Before Covid, many, many runners focused on races — training for them, planning their vacations around them, etc. But since then, even though loads of people have started running for the first time, many aren’t signing up for races like runners have in the past.

Is it due to the expense — both the entry fee and the travel? Lingering fears about travel, because of course Covid is still out there? Or, have you taken up running without the intention of participating in races, and do it just for the joy of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. — Terrell