Racing takes the win

Cecily Shaber, Editor-in-Chief

Within the world of athletics, competitions come in the form of either a game or a race. While sports games have their advantages, it is racing that is the most gratifying and exciting event.

Racing is a battle with the mind more than anything else.

— Editor-in-Chief Cecily Shaber

Racing sports are largely about physical and mental endurance. Whether it is rowing, track, cross-country, swimming, cycling, or whatever else, the champions of these sports are those who are the most bodily fit and who have the strength of mind to put in the work until there is nothing left to give.

When it becomes difficult, you can slow up, of course, but then you will not be in front. Racing is a battle with the mind more than anything else, and that is what makes a win so gratifying, as well as the absurd ratio of time spent training to time spent actually racing.

Consider the volume of training versus the length of a race. Races require the buildup of aerobic capacity, which is sourced from a tremendous cardio. But when it comes to race day, most events are quite short in comparison. 

Track events take twenty minutes or less. A rowing race, between six and eight. When athletes consider the amount of work they put in and see it manifested in crossing the finish line in good standing, it is a gratifying feeling like nothing else.

On the edge of their seats, the fans watch as the shell in lane two pulls just ahead.

— Editor-in-Chief Cecily Shaber

Also, racing has fans on the edge of their seats at every moment! Whether it is in side-by-side lanes or not, spectators can view the standings of the competitors, including their distances from first place and the spacing between them.

Rowing is a great example of an exhilarating race. Boats line up seven across on a straight, buoyed course. For 2,000 meters, the racing shells are neck-and-neck, vying for a leg ahead as the rowers in each boat strain on their oar handles.

Lactic acid raging and lungs heaving, the rowers approach the finish, when suddenly the white buoys that separate the lanes turn red, indicating the last 250 meters of the race. The two boats jockeying for first and second place go back and forth with less than a minute to go.

From their view on shore, perpendicular to the direction of the boats, spectators can just see the separation between boats, which can change in an instant. On the edge of their seats, the fans watch as the shell in lane two pulls just ahead, its bow ball passing the finish line buoys a millisecond before second place does.

All things considered, racing is just more exhilarating and more gratifying than game sports.