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35 Thoughts Runners Have During Their First Race

Your first race. It’s so exciting! And nerve-wracking…and fun…and terrifying…and every other emotion under the sun. No matter how much you’ve physically trained or mentally prepared, when race day arrives you’ll inevitably feel all the feelings. Whether your first race was a lifetime ago or last weekend, you can probably relate to some of these thoughts.

1. It’s here! Race day is here! Yes!


3. No this is a good thing, I’m so ready.

4. This is a very bad thing. I need approximately 700 more weeks of training.

5. OK, focus on getting ready. Let’s tighten up those laces.

6. Why won’t my hands stop shaking? Why can’t I remember how to tie my shoes??

7. Sneakers tight. Now about that bib. How exactly does one put this on?

8. Oh thank you, kind stranger, for noticing me putting my bib on so terribly wrong and helping me. Just one runner helping out another runner. Because I’m a runner! I belong here!

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9. Man, there is such a sense of community among us runners. This is why I’m here. It doesn’t matter how I do today. It’s all for the love of running!

10. I hope I don’t come in last place.

11. Holy crap it’s almost time to start. Do I have time to pee?

12. This line is so so long.

13. Finally! Just gotta get in and pee quickly and… wow it’s disgusting in here. Maybe I should have held it.

14. Ok this is really it. Deep breath. Line up. Do not puke.

15. And we’re off! This feels so great. Just running with my fellow runners, running a race like we runners do.

16. I’m positively flying. Must be the adrenaline. If I had known I’d feel like this I wouldn’t have bothered training so much.

17. Cramp, cramp, craaaamp.

18. Alright, get back on your goal pace. This is why you trained so much, dummy.

19. Feeling good, feeling great. I so got this.

20. I totally get why people do this. I love running on my own but this camaraderie, this sense of togetherness. It’s addicting. Runners unite!

21. Why does it seem like my fellow runners are leaving me behind…

22. I’m slowing down. Where’s that adrenaline when I need it?

23. No one has ever run this slow.

24. Am I walking?

25. There’s the finish line!

26. I can’t be that close already, can I?

27. Maybe it’s a mirage.

28. Oh thank god, I think I actually feel the runner’s high. Please just stay with me another half mile.


29. Would it be weird to grab this person’s hand as we cross the finish line?

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30. Yes definitely so weird.

31. I’ll just race them instead. Photo finishhhhh.


33. Wait, there’s no award ceremony? No champagne toast?

34. Ohhhh bagels!

35. What a roller coaster. Maybe I’ll do another one. For sure. Probably. Definitely.

Alison Barsalona

Alison Barsalona started running when her best friend decided they should join the cross-country team in high school. After trading running for the equestrian team in college, she found her way back to the treadmill when she realized her gym subscribed to Bravo and Food Network. She's lived in six states and always finds the best routes to run in each new town as soon as she moves in (right after finding the best pizza place). A new mom, she now lives in Delaware and is busy perfecting the art of the jogging stroller.