Hi, I'm new here and am just starting running today. I noticed that almost all the forums other than the Newbie board are geared towards competitive runners. Even the Multisport Training forum is more about Triathalon topics than anything else.
I think it would be great to have a forum for people who want to run for health and fitness, not to compete. It would be fun and informative to talk about our other fitness activities and how they relate to running. Right now, it seems like the Newbie board is the only place for those who run as an addition to their fitness routine, not as their sole fitness activity.
I think you may be confusing entering races and being competitive. There are very few people here who are likely to take gold medals at state, national or international level (although there are some, and they are some of the nicest and most helpful posters here).
I would ask you this: what are your running goals? As a very new runner, I'd imagine finishing the C-to-5k and building a regular running base. But I'd wager quite a lot that in a couple of months, you're going to say "What's next?" And a likely answer to that question is "try a race". That won't mean that you're going to be going for a medal in your age group, but that you want to focus your training. Training for races is a very good way of staying fit - it gives you a framework for your running, and provides periodicity. That is why many posters here enter races - not because they want silverware. Races, for most runners, provide a sense of accomplishment and targetted fun. Picking an example at random, have a look at this race[/URL" target="_blank">. Good cause, good fun and excellent refuelling at the end - but I'm not expecting a world record from it.
As it stands, there's really two forums here which cater directly for truly competitive athletes. Who knows - when you've been running for a bit longer, you might even end up as one of them. In particular, the tri threads in the Multisport forum are mainly frequented by people for whom the idea of exercising for fitness and health consists of biking, running and swimming, three forms of exercise which complement each other beautifully.
Off the top of my head, I know of posters here who get their jollies from circus training, orienteering, tennis, soccer, climbing, golf, horse-riding, skiing (downhill and cross-country), blading, and so on. Few of these people post in Newbie, but they're there, and they talk about this stuff here. Don't get intimidated by the notion of racing - I bet you'll be out there in one some day, and you'll have a blast.
And if you don't, then that's good too.
I know what you are saying. I run too but my main objective is health and fitness. I have run in two 5k's and will do more this year, but I do not have the desire to run a marathon or even a half marathon at this point. I weight train almost everyday. I have a muscular build which I like, so I put a lot of effort into the weights. I do like the way running makes me feel but do alternate my cardio sometimes too with the bicycle and elliptical. I usually run 3-7 miles at a time and only a few times per week. My goals are always changing but would enjoy a forum for the runners like us