Why Race?

by Jason Jaksetic

Timing mattered to me when I was an overweight, back-of-the-pack road runner at charity 5k’s.  If I was 63rd in my age group (AG) at the Turkey Trot, I damn well had better be 62nd at the St Patty’s Day Race.

Timing matter to me when I crossed the finish line at the 2006 Ironman World Championships.  I was competing for the amateur 18-24 AG win.  I wasn’t fast enough to get it.

I raced to be as fast as I could be.  And that was, and still is, good enough for me.  Because I’m still breathing.  I’m still racing.

Competition drives you.  Racing rewards you.

This is why when I transitioned out of triathlon into adventure, obstacle, and ultra-distance racing, I immediately gravitated to Spartan Race.  I couldn’t see focusing on events that wouldn’t push me by holding me accountable.  Just not my thing.

Spartan Race provides the clock, you can choose to use it or not.  Show up either way.

Racing gives you important data for improving.  Racing teaches you (if you can get over your ego) to examine why you came in last place.  That’s the only way to get better.  Isn’t it the same with losing weight.?  With changing your career?

This is why timing matters.  This is why you race and why the Spartan Points System is so beneficial for an athlete such as myself. Whether I’m competing for overall contention or my age group, or trying to win overall, I know the competition.  I always paid attention to my national rankings on USAT and USATF when raced there.

I really don’t believe in having to be the best.  I do believe in getting better.  That’s why as I’m gearing up for the Ultra Beast in September I’ll be watching the Spartan Rankings.

See you all out there.  Looking forward to racing you.


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2 Responses

  1. avatar


    Great article. I completely understand where you’re coming from now.

    As a man who has had a journey of losing 104 pounds over the past 5.5 years, I have found that the times when there was competition were the times I was able to keep the weight off. When I became complacent, the weight piled on again.

    Even when all I’m trying for is to not be last, it helped having someone around to push. I’ve been tracking myself using Endomondo, and working toward negative splits whenever I do laps or else pushing for more endurance when I’m doing a there and back again ride or run.

    So far, for competition, I’ve done a 50k bike ride, a 100k bike ride, a 5k run, and Warrior Dash. In none of these was I the slowest, but not nearly the fastest either. In 6 weeks I am going through Tough Mudder with the goal of finishing in 3.5 hours with my friends and in June I’m running in Warrior Dash again, with the goal of beating my time by at least 5 minutes.

    What I’m most excited about though is 2013. I plan on…no…I WILL finish the Trifecta. I hope to meet you at one of the races.

    Obstacle racing has sparked a new fire in my soul, next I am going to get myself into adventure racing. Family and friends already think I’m insane. I remember following your 100-mile snowshoe challenge and how my friends were giving me so much crap that I was so excited for the next update.

    Sorry for rambling…

  2. avatar

    Brutal! It’s a little over an hour aft the WOD and my arms are srtntiag to complain.A: only had time to practice some ascending and descending from floor to standing on the rope. New goal: to climb a rope by September. :-) B: a painful 27:52. Freakin’ burpees!!!!

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