Assuming you are a runner, tell me; Why do YOU run?

This is one of my favorite questions to ask- actually a question I ask any person who does anything with dedication, passion, or simple love: “Why do you _______?”  I’m intrigued by the responses and it’s always allowed me to get to know people a little better. And I really love getting to know people for so much more than what’s at the surface. I think it’s easy to just shrug our shoulders or think “people are crazy” if they do something we don’t understand or something we have no desire doing. Sometimes runners are coined as being weird, obsessed, or selfish for making running a part of their lives; and while we might find some of that in the running community; we will also find it everywhere we go- regardless of the community. So, in a well-meaning effort to expose the wonderfully diverse reasons people run,  I asked people to post a photo with a caption explaining why they run. The contest was not driven by a brand; there were no giveaways or special discount codes; no underlining motive;  just a simple question. I called it the #irunbecause contest and for fun, I would pick 5 entries to feature on my website. To my surprise, in less than 24 hours, over 100 entries were submitted across Facebook and Instagram. And NOT to my surprise, was I moved to tears, inspired, and overjoyed by what I learned.

Below, is a “handful” (yep, simply impossible to narrow it to 5) of selected entries- surely you will enjoy them as I did (and maybe they’ll surprise you a bit too); I also strongly encourage you to read the rest on my Yellowrunner Facebook page- they are ALL beautiful.


  1. Caroline Tonozzi: I run because I really miss this kiddo, and being outside in the woods for hours and hours and hours is the closest to heaven I get.



2.  James Potmeyer- I am so fortunate to have the gift to run. This allowed me to lose 100 lbs in weight in 2012, and has pushed me to exceed limits I never knew I was capable of. Running my first 100 miler in June, scared but ready to see what I’m made of!


3. Mike FarringtonI run because I can. There are many people out there like me who simply cannot. I have Multiple Sclerosis. While I am currently fairing better than many folks living with MS, I never know when the ability to walk or run in mountains will be taken away from me. So until that time comes I will continue to run until I can’t and I will continue to run for those who can’t.MikeFarrington


4. Jacqui Haggland–  It helps me be a better person and it’s something I can do with, and to inspire, the people I love.jacquiHagland


5. Rob Hintonit’s a healthier alternative to sitting in front of a TV all day. I started my journey after two of my family members passed away in their late 40’s and being I was almost 30, I didn’t want to think that in less than 20 years I could be too. Over time it has evolved into running not for myself, but for my kids. I want them to see that exercise and fitness are just as important as knowledge. I run because I can!robHinton


6. Terry Toffelmire it is how I renew my soul. I come back a new woman, a better mother, a better wife and a better friend. It gives me confidence, makes me realize how endless the possibilities are, and what can be achieved, even when I’m so tired, and feel like I can’t go another step, there always is another step, another hill that can be climbed.TerryToffelmire


7. Jake Raymond Koenirunning has been my rebirth. It makes me face my doubts and push the limits of what I can do. It frees me and gives me a chance to work on myself. Running strengthened my marriage and helped form new friendships. It forges me into a better version of myself.jakeRaymondKoenig


8. Nada Abdalla–  I run because it’s my way to express being grateful for my health, because I feel free and strong. I run to connect with nature and to connect with people. I run because of the joy of crossing a finish line.NadaAbdalla


9. Kristof Fortie it brought back balance in my life. The miles on road or trail set me free from worries and help me connect with nature and people. I was a bit of a mess a few years ago, but every minute outside made me stronger and happier. It is a joy to share those positive feelings with such an open community. #irunbecause i care and love and live!!kristofFortie


10. Marian Vasile–  Because I know I am a role-modle  for my son.


11. Michael Everest Dominguez-  I guess I really made running a part of my life when my cousin passed away a few years ago, he died of alcoholism. He was 29, two weeks before his 30th birthday. See, alcoholism runs rampant through my family. My father is an alcoholic, I was too. And I guess I run because I want to live, I want to love, I want to learn how to forgive and I want to be better than the man I could have ended up being. #irunbecauseMichaelEverestDominguez


12. Katelyn Pedersen- #irunbecause of the endless opportunities running provides. I run for the personal reflection and for the comradery of my “Dirt Divas.” I run to keep me honest and to keep my body & mind healthy. I run to encourage and to remind others to enjoy the journey. #runandbehappyKatelynPederson


13. Kristen DeMeo Winger #irunbecause of the little boy in the middle of the picture can’t. Zach lost his battle with Ewing Sarcoma in September. I promised his parents I would run in his memory forever and that day the Dana Farber team opened registration for Boston…I will be towing the line Monday in his memory for the hospital that treated him. 13051742_10156683395465136_2263637908983103894_n


14. James Parker– I run to inspire my 3 boys and show them how to be the best person you can and teach them that with plenty dedication and passion you can overcome whatever life throws at you! 13001140_1323943457620753_510190048801383694_n


15. Angela Easton- I run because I was crippled with severe anxiety…. Anxiety that led to self-hatred…. Anxiety that threatened to destroy a marriage, a family…When I found running, I found a coping mechanism…something that allowed me to perceive the world through a different lens. Each run makes me feel extreme gratitude…. For what my body can do and the experience itself.



16. Martha Cecilia Haque-Garnica-#iRunBecause after loosing my older sister to AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia ) at the age of 45, I felt compelled to join TEAM in training in ’09 to bring awareness and to raise money to cure and bring hope to so many affected by this horrible illness. In my sister’s honor I trained that year and ran my first 13.1miles. This was the beginning of my running journey with no intention of stopping.



17.Robert Angie Tj Norby- I/we run because our son TJ can’t. We decided we needed to be healthier to be able to care for him better and what better way than running for him while he rides along. TJ is 21 and has Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy but he doesn’t let it keep him from being happy. #irunbecause



18.Jessica Harris- #irunbecause I am able. I won’t take for granted how lucky I am. I run because this world is too beautiful to view from a screen. I run because my daughter’s deserve a mother who appreciates and values her body. I run because my boyfriend and I share something beyond magical in the miles we share on the trails.



19.Kristol Clyde- I run because It gives me zen in my busy life of being a single mom, student and boss.To be honest it has given me more time to share with my son when we run adventure together. A year and a half I have been running and I have less stress, anxiety and appreciate taking time for myself.I run because it’s a part of who I am now. It just makes me feel good.


20.Sarah Tadlock- I run because I have never felt so alive. I run because I learn something new about myself every every time. I run because my children are watching. I run because I have never felt so passionate about something in my entire life. I run because our earth is so beyond beautiful.


21.Scott W. Kummer- A few months after pacing my running partner Alfredo to a finish at the Indiana Trail 100 he was diagnosed with ALS. 18 months later he died. I run because every day God allows me to run one more time is a gift. And I run because Alfredo can’t.


12718031_10208353250061387_4428386369157609864_nI want to thank each and every person who took the time to share their reason for running. I read every word…many times. And it has further confirmed why I love the running community so much. My hope for you, is that many others would be blessed and inspired by reading your stories; and that the hope and joy that you run for would stretch far beyond your roads and trails.

Author Sally McRae

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  • Hillrunner50

    Hi Sally. My name is Albert Shank. I stumbled upon your site and have enjoyed reading some of your blog posts. My wife Tracy and I are ultrarunners from the Phoenix area, and I’ve been doing ultras since 2000. I’m always interested in how ultrarunners train and avoid injury and burnout. I’ve been lucky with avoiding injuries over the years besides a little tendonitis here and there, but I found your site interesting and you seem to be super smart about training and racing, so I’ll be reading it more. Good luck to you in future endeavors!

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