My Worst Best Marathon

essays on running

When I arrived in Chicago for the 2021 marathon last week, I had every reason to believe I would beat my previous marathon time: a 3:29 at the 2020 Los Angeles Marathon that put me minutes under the Boston Marathon qualifying threshold. Qualifying for Boston is a big achievement for most runners, one I was proud of, and one I wanted to surpass. But it wasn't to be.

Eighteen months ago, I probably would have been too ashamed or embarrassed to write this story. But today, I'm surprised to find that not only do I want to, I feel proud to write it. The truth is, I've changed. I still want to chase big goals and push myself. But what happened Sunday during the 26.2 miles of the race made me better — even if it was my worst marathon time yet.

Running was not just a thing I did, it was a place I went. Somewhere I could be alone and let my thoughts unspool, or barely think at all.

When I started running more seriously five years ago, I instantly applied my Type A ambition to the endeavor. Running meant getting faster with every race. And for years, I did just that. Then, just a few short days after my running pinnacle at the LA Marathon, the city shut down. The pandemic took hold. I kept running, pulling up my mask whenever I came within 12 feet of my neighbors, but I was adrift. Like so many of us, I was full of grief for all we had lost, and a wave of depression left me feeling physically sick. It was hard to wake up in the mornings. My stomach always hurt. I cried when I listened to the news, then felt guilty for the crashing waves of my emotions, knowing how privileged I was and how much worse so many other people had it. But I still ran. I needed to. Running was not just a thing I did, it was a place I went. Somewhere I could be alone and let my thoughts unspool, or barely think at all. On my early-pandemic runs, I would ruminate on the beauty of the jacaranda trees in my neighborhood, leaving behind the stress that awaited me when I returned home to my computer and my phone, taking deep breaths and feeling how precarious and wonderful it was to be able to do just that. Then, in the summer of 2020, I sprained my ankle. Badly. Being injured is always hard. This time it was harder.

It was a long road back to recovery from me, both physically and when it came to mental wellness. But I dedicated myself to focusing on both. Not to, I felt, would be to disrespect everyone who wasn't able to do just that. I had to get better, I thought, simply because I had the opportunity to do it. I started back slow. In June of this year, when Nike asked me if I wanted to train for another marathon , I knew I was ready. I started working with running coach Rebeka Stowe to get race-ready for Chicago. It was a joyful training cycle. The world was cautiously reopening, and people were gathering together again. I ran with Koreatown Run Club and alongside my good friend Sheena as she prepared for the LA Marathon. I felt my speed returning, my belief in my running ability and my athletic determination trickling back into my body and brain.

Then it was race day. It wasn't long after I crossed the start line in Chicago that I realized I didn't feel right. I pride myself on my steel will, my ability to push through discomfort, and my dedication. I mean, marathons are supposed to be hard. But it also became clear that not only would reaching my goal time be nearly impossible after my rocky start, but to do it would require sacrificing something I didn't want to give: the joy of the run, the first of the American major marathons to take place since the pandemic began.

By mile eight, I knew that strange, elusive alchemy that creates the ideal race had not come together for me that day. And I changed my goal. As I looked around me at the tens of thousands of people running, I decided to let awe wash over me. All of us had survived, and here we were, back together, trying to do this impossible-seeming thing. Wow. How lucky was I to be sharing the asphalt with other runners again? To be able to be in my body, to smile, to laugh at the corny marathon signs people hoisted at us from the sidewalks? So lucky. My new focus was to lean into that feeling of elation, of gratitude, and turn my race into a fun run. To be honest, most of the miles were still not that fun. I've lucked out in my running career; even in my previous marathons, I didn't really struggle. Of course, those races were extremely hard, but I felt good — if challenged — throughout. This was different. My guts were twisted. My mouth felt made of cotton. It simply was not in me. Did I make some rookie mistakes that contributed to that? Yes. Did some things completely out of my control impact my performance? Yes. But do I feel the need to go into detail, make excuses, or offer to anyone an explanation? No.

essays on running

The last year and a half has changed me. I'm still driven to push myself and accomplish more as an athlete, a writer, a person in the world. But as I gave myself the grace and understanding I needed during those long 26.2 miles in Chicago, I realized I'd grown. I'd come to learn that being kind to yourself doesn't always mean giving up on yourself. Being gentle with yourself doesn't always equal letting yourself off the hook. Sometimes it just means allowing yourself the grace you'd give anyone else in that moment. And that's hard. But I did it. And for that, I'm proud.

Don't doubt it: I'm still going to get that personal record. I know my Boston qualifying time was no fluke and I absolutely believe I can do it again. But I don't feel like I have to do it in order to prove something to myself or anyone else this time, to post my finish time on Strava and Instagram and impress some people, to feel like I've earned the label "fast." So, while my time in the Chicago Marathon wasn't an achievement for me, the race no doubt was. I've become a better athlete, a better person, and a better friend to myself. How could that not be a win?

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Essay on Running

Students are often asked to write an essay on Running in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Running

The joy of running.

Running is a simple yet powerful activity that can bring both physical and mental benefits. It’s a universal exercise that anyone can do, anywhere, anytime.

Physical Benefits

Running helps to strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness, and maintain a healthy weight. Regular running can also boost your immune system and increase longevity.

Mental Benefits

Running can help reduce stress and improve mood. It releases endorphins, often known as ‘happy hormones’, which can make you feel more positive and energetic.

Running and Friendship

Running can also be a social activity. Joining a running club or participating in races can help you make new friends.

250 Words Essay on Running

The essence of running.

Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the heart, reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and helps maintain a healthy weight. It also improves bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, and enhances muscular strength and endurance.

Mental and Emotional Impact

Beyond the physical, running has profound mental and emotional implications. It is known to release endorphins, often referred to as ‘runner’s high’, leading to improved mood and reduced stress levels. It also fosters mental resilience as runners learn to push through discomfort and fatigue, skills transferable to other life challenges.

Social and Environmental Connection

Running fosters a sense of community, with runners often forming close-knit groups. These communities provide support, motivation, and camaraderie, enriching the running experience. Running also deepens our connection with the environment as it often takes place outdoors, providing an opportunity to appreciate nature’s beauty.

In essence, running is more than just a form of exercise; it is a holistic activity that promotes physical health, mental resilience, emotional wellbeing, and social connection. It encourages us to push beyond our limits, to explore our potential, and to appreciate the world around us. The beauty of running lies not in the finish line, but in the journey itself.

500 Words Essay on Running

Running, a fundamental human activity, is a complex interaction between the mind and body. It is an exercise that transcends the physical realm, providing mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. It is not merely a form of physical exercise; it is a metaphor for life, embodying resilience, endurance, and the pursuit of goals.

Running and Physical Health

Running and mental well-being.

Beyond the physical benefits, running has profound effects on mental health. It acts as a stress reliever, providing an outlet for pent-up emotions and frustrations. The release of endorphins during running induces a sense of euphoria, often referred to as the “runner’s high.” This mental state can help combat depression and anxiety, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

Running as a Social Activity

Running can also serve as a social activity. Joining running clubs or participating in marathons fosters a sense of community and camaraderie. It encourages teamwork and cooperation, promoting mutual support and shared achievement. This social aspect of running can help individuals feel more connected and less isolated, enhancing their sense of belonging and social well-being.

Running as a Life Metaphor

Running serves as a potent metaphor for life. Each stride symbolizes progress, each breath represents life, and each finish line embodies a goal achieved. The challenges faced during a run, such as fatigue or difficult terrains, mirror life’s obstacles. Overcoming these challenges instills resilience and determination, qualities that are transferable to other areas of life.

Running and Mindfulness

Running fosters mindfulness, a state of active, open attention to the present. The rhythmic pattern of footfalls, the sensation of the wind against the skin, the rhythmic breathing – all these elements bring the runner into the present moment, away from the worries of the past or the future. This mindful state can promote mental clarity, emotional balance, and a deeper understanding of oneself.

The Future of Running

The future of running is promising, with advances in technology providing new avenues for enhancing running experiences. Innovations like wearables and running apps provide runners with detailed feedback on their performance, helping them optimize their runs. Virtual races and augmented reality apps are transforming the running landscape, making it more engaging and accessible.

In conclusion, running is much more than a physical exercise. It is a holistic activity that benefits the body, mind, and spirit. It fosters community, instills resilience, promotes mindfulness, and serves as a metaphor for life. As we look to the future, the potential for running to enrich our lives in new and exciting ways is limitless.

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essays on running

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From Identity to Inspiration: A Reading List on Why We Run

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Running is a sport of contradiction. Finishing a marathon is at once extraordinary and unremarkable: Running 26.2 miles is an exceptional achievement, but it’s also one that 1.1 million people complete every year.

In running, themes of life and death coexist. On one hand, it’s a celebration of what the human body can do and achieve. Some events, like cancer charity runs, are associated with the will to survive. But at the other end, in the sport’s most extreme races like the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in California’s Death Valley, participants teeter on the edge of mortality. The truth is, the marathon was born out of, quite literally, death.*

* The first marathoner , an Athenian man delivering news of a Greek victory after a battle, collapsed and died after finishing his journey.

Other contrasts abound. Sociological analyses of running culture also show how it can be egalitarian and unequal at once: Theoretically, running has no barrier to entry, and all you really need is a good pair of sneakers, but the socioeconomic and racial disparities in the world of competitive running are hard to ignore. The median household income of the Runner’s World print audience in 2022 was $120,050 (well above the 2021 national median of $70,784 ), implying that running is somehow associated with wealth. (A study on the meaning of running in American society looks at how running perpetuates ideals of capitalism and consumerism.) On the other hand, the simple act of jogging by yourself, in your own neighborhood, can be deadly for those less privileged; the most high-profile running stories in recent years haven’t been about heroes, but victims .

All of which is to say, running can be a complex subject, and essays and features about running fascinate me, especially after I became a runner myself.

The appeal of running isn’t always obvious to outsiders. Until I became a runner, I had been mystified why people would subject themselves to such a tedious kind of suffering. Masochists , I thought, whenever a group of runners passed by me in college.

But now the joke’s on me. I’m that guy running with a varicolored Dri-FIT running tank, six-inch lined running shorts, a Garmin feature-packed to conquer K2. My face is smeared with sunscreen, enough to trap dirt and insects that land on my face.

My transformation from an unbeliever to that friend who guilt-trips you to cheer for me on a Sunday morning happened two-plus years ago, thanks to — what else? — the pandemic. One fateful day in March 2020, after indoor gyms shut down, I decided to run across the Queensboro Bridge in Queens, New York. Back then, I didn’t have a smartphone, so I put my iPad mini in my polyester drawstring bag and ran across the bridge, listening to What We Talk About When We Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. What started that day as a lockdown pastime evolved into something more, and thanks to Murakami, I’ve since added marathon entry fees as a line item in my annual expenses.

I’d like to think that all runners have experienced that moment when they cross over from “someone who runs” to a “runner.” The more you run, the more you experience moments of endorphin-induced glee. But one day you achieve escape velocity — and feel the euphoria of the “runner’s high.”

As the pieces below will show, runner’s high is not the only reason — nor is it the most meaningful one — writers run. If you’re Murakami, the reason can be as mundane as to stay fit after committing to a sedentary job. For other writers, it’s more complicated. The stories in this reading list highlight six writers’ insights on the act and art of running.

“The Running Novelist” (Haruki Murakami, The New Yorker , June 2008)

Longtime fans of the Murakami Cinematic Universe will find familiar elements here: baseball, jazz, understated prose, and non sequiturs. For a time, before Murakami became a novelist, he was the owner of a jazz club in Tokyo. In this piece, he describes how — and exactly when — he decided to write and how his early habits and commitments allowed him to do so prolifically for decades.

Running a jazz club required constant physical labor, but when Murakami started to spend more time at his desk, he started gaining weight. “This couldn’t be good for me,” he writes in a deadpan statement. “If I wanted to have a long life as a novelist, I needed to find a way to stay in shape.” Being metabolically challenged helped Murakami develop his work ethic.

Murakami drops writing advice while making parallel points about running. But the way he does it is frustratingly tantalizing — he’s not the one to share his tips openly à la Robert McKee. Murakami suggests that writing, like running, relies less on quick decision-making skills than patience and long contemplation: “Long-distance running suits my personality better, which may explain why I was able to incorporate it so smoothly into my daily life.” 

Murakami calls himself a no-talent — a colossal understatement — but readers who have encountered unreliable narrators in his novels know better: We shouldn’t be so naïve as to take his words at face value. 

Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can write easily, no matter what they do—or don’t do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete a work. Unfortunately, I don’t fall into that category. I have to pound away at a rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of my creativity. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another hole. But, as I’ve sustained this kind of life over many years, I’ve become quite efficient, both technically and physically, at opening those holes in the rock and locating new water veins.

Murakami doesn’t debunk the myth of an artistic genius but shows that with a sustainable routine, the genius can be prolific. If you’re reading for concrete advice on writing and a neat analogy comparing running to writing, you won’t find it here. Rather, we get something better: a portrait of the artist as a young runner.

“Why I Run: On Thoreau and the Pleasures of Not Quite Knowing Where You’re Going” (Rachel Richardson, Literary Hub , October 2022)

Don’t let the title fool you. Rachel Richardson has no unconditional praise for Thoreau; she politely defies him. In his essay “Walking,” Thoreau spoke to an audience of men as he opined on nature. To him, women were symbols — “for the splay of land on which such a free man saunters,” writes Richardson — rather than his target readers.

To read Thoreau’s essay in 2023 is to be startled by his problematic view of women and puritanical sense of “capital-N” Nature. He would not approve of the urban environment that Richardson describes while she runs: “I was born in a California he didn’t imagine, in a hospital in a town laid out with lawns and gardens.” Her piece is a bracing tonic against the writer’s anachronistic thoughts.

Richardson, like many other runners like me, was not always a runner: “How or why anyone would do this for pleasure was beyond my ability to fathom,” she thought when growing up. But in her 20s, she discovered running as a refreshingly guilt-free activity to do in a world that made her anxious. (People who started running during the pandemic, like me, might agree. Unlike going to the gym or participating in a team sport, which were risky at the time, running was easier to navigate and do on our own.)

Richardson writes that she never knows what her running route will be. But that uncertainty brings relief. Freedom. Inspiration. Running rewards runners with a sense of uncomplicated happiness and goodwill, which Richardson details in this delightful passage: 

When I run, I smile and people smile back. Kids wave at me and cyclists nod as they zoom by. Other runners raise a hand of hello or, my favorite, flash a big grin. Sometimes we’re wearing the same race shirt—me too!, I point. Sometimes they’re in a zone I can’t penetrate, with their earbuds and podcast or playlist keeping them company. I still smile, even when they don’t look up. Hey, we’re out here, doing this beautiful thing. When the endorphins start kicking in, around mile three, I love everybody, even the sourest-faced walker or most oblivious group of teenagers taking up the whole trail and dropping Doritos on the ground. Nice dog!, I shout when I see a dog happily panting at her runner’s side, or You’ve got this! to the struggling jogger stumbling to the end of his route. … I am an unrepentant dork when I run.

“To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past” (Nicholas Thompson, Wired , April 2020)

I have beef with running memoirs that try to overburden the sport with dramatic insights. Not because insights can’t be found in running, but because execution without sentimentality is no easy feat. Thompson’s essay — which deals with, among many things, family relationships, parental abuse and influence, sexuality, ambition, and mortality — is a clear-eyed piece that demonstrates what can be done in the hands of a dexterous editor and writer.

I’ve read this piece many times, and like a good novel, I’m drawn to different themes every time. In my most recent read, two ideas resonated: defining one’s identity separate from one’s parents’ and identifying with one’s masculinity without being poisoned by it. It’s an all-consuming narrative that spans four generations of men in Thompson’s family. 

As he would later tell me, running was the rare sport where you mostly competed against yourself. You could learn without having to lose. It was also something he hadn’t failed at in front of his father.
I sent an early version of this essay to my older sister, who saw something clearly that I hadn’t identified yet. “Running solved nothing for [Dad]. You’ve had a longer journey with it, and used it in ways that are much more productive. But I have this nagging sense that your story of needing to follow footsteps (the schools, the running) and needing so much not to follow footsteps (the overindulgence, the flameout, the irresponsibility and failure) are more complexly interwoven.

“To Invigorate Literary Mind, Start Moving Literary Feet” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times , July 1999)

Whereas Murakami’s piece, detached from romanticism, was not a very effective sales pitch for running, Joyce Carol Oates’ ode to running may intrigue any writer who could use more literary imagination; she writes about running as a consciousness-expanding activity, allowing her to envision what she writes as a film or dream: “I’ve never thought of writing as the mere arrangement of words on the page but as the attempted embodiment of a vision: a complex of emotions, raw experience.” 

This piece was written more than 20 years ago. Oates, one of America’s most renowned storytellers, has published more than 70 books in her literary career. For her, running certainly seems to work.

The effort of memorable art is to evoke in the reader or spectator emotions appropriate to that effort. Running is a meditation; more practicably it allows me to scroll through, in my mind’s eye, the pages I’ve just written, proofreading for errors and improvements. My method is one of continuous revision. While writing a long novel, every day I loop back to earlier sections to rewrite, in order to maintain a consistent, fluid voice. When I write the final two or three chapters of a novel, I write them simultaneously with the rewriting of the opening, so that, ideally at least, the novel is like a river uniformly flowing, each passage concurrent with all the others.

Though I can’t claim the same level of inspiration, something similar happened when I first started running. During my daily runs, I experienced breakthroughs where I felt stuck: A connective sentence or a word I’d been looking for would pop into my head. On some days, this happened so often that I needed to stop every few minutes to record it on my phone, which disrupted my run. Eventually, I learned to run with a waterproof pocket notebook in my left hand and a retractable pen in my right.

“Running in the Age of Coronavirus” (Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated , May 2020)

The May 2020 timing of this piece on Jim Fixx, the “father of recreational running,” was wonderfully apt for pandemic-inspired runners. It was as if Chris Ballard, a seasoned sports writer, was inducting new runners into the history of the sport. 

Ballard observed that more people started running during the pandemic, believing it “would in some way do them good, or make them feel better about themselves or the world, if even for a moment.” But the belief that running is good for your body and soul wasn’t always accepted wisdom but once an argument, even a radical and contrarian one. 

It may sound glib to say that “running saved my life.” But for Fixx, it really did. And, in a tragic irony, it also killed him. Fixx was one of the central figures of the running boom of the ’70s and whose book, The Complete Book of Running , became “the most lucrative nonfiction title ever published by Random House,” writes Ballard. It was a hit, and the media couldn’t get enough of him. As Ballard writes, “a fad had become a craze,” and for the first time in a year, 100,000 Americans finished a marathon. The book was noteworthy not just because it was an encyclopedia of running; it heralded a certain kind of running memoir, one in which an author details their salvation by running.

Ballard writes both a pocket history guide on how running became a major sport in America and a personal history of the man who made it possible. Although this story has been told many times, Ballard’s reporting is enriched by Fixx’s journals, to which his family offered access for the first time. 

After his death, the sports world changed profoundly. Running was no longer a craze, or a miracle cure. But neither did it die. Instead, it evolved. In 1977, 25,000 Americans finished marathons; By ’94, more than 300,000 did. In ’94, Oprah ran, and completed, her only marathon, spurring a boom among those who felt the feat previously unreachable. By the turn of the century, how you ran mattered as much as whether you did. Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run spurred thousands to tromp through the woods barefoot. Ultramarathons gained in popularity. Rock ’n’ roll marathon and fun run entered the lexicon. By 2011, women accounted for close to 60% of the finishers in half-marathons.

It’s not exactly a light read, so let me leave you with an irresistible detail: Fixx’s father was born a Fix but added a second x to his name. Why? He thought, “a person’s name ought to be a proper noun, not a verb.”

“What We Think About When We Run” (Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker , November 2015)

I couldn’t think of a better piece to wrap up this reading list than a meta-essay about writing on running by Kathryn Schulz who is, after all, a master of meta-writing. ( Her piece about Oxford’s “A Very Short Introduction” series is a good example.)

What do runners think about when they run? In the first part of this two-part story, Schulz looks to scientific research and lays out the uninspiring results. She writes: “Like a fair number of psychological studies, this one confirmed the obvious while simultaneously missing it.” But she continues:

Of course runners think about their route, their pace, their pain, and their environment. But what of everything else that routinely surfaces in the mind during a run? The new girlfriend, the professional dilemma, the batteries you need to remember to buy for the smoke detector, what to get your mom for her birthday, the brilliance with which Daveed Diggs plays Thomas Jefferson (if you are listening to the soundtrack to “Hamilton”), the music, the moment (if you are listening to Eminem), the Walter Mitty meanderings into alternate lives: all of this is strangely missing from Samson’s study. The British author Alan Sillitoe got it right in his 1958 short story “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”: “They can spy on us all day to see if we’re … doing our ‘athletics,’ but they can’t make an X-ray of our guts to find out what we’re telling ourselves.”

Then, Schulz points out, with a knowing wit, the shortcomings of contemporary writing on running. Writing about running without schmaltz — like Murakami — is no easy feat, which makes it hard for people to find books that “address the mind of the runner in descriptive rather than inspirational or aspirational terms.” You could also argue that Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run , despite being enjoyable, reads like gonzo journalism. And some running memoirs that read like redemption memoirs, such as Robin Harvie’s The Lure of Long Distances , follow the same formula.

Later, Schulz champions Poverty Creek Journal , a book by literary-critic-cum-runner Thomas Gardner, as “the only one to uncover the literary possibilities inside the terse, repetitive, normally unimaginative genre of the running log.” After reading this piece, I read this strangely profound book — it’s a mix of literary criticism, running logs, and thoughts that range from complaints to grief.

When Schulz says running logs are “terse, repetitive, normally unimaginative,” she doesn’t intend it as a criticism. Running is, admittedly, an incredibly understimulating sport to watch, so much so that I suspect even the most avid runners probably don’t sit down to watch the Boston Marathon from beginning to the end. 

And here’s a pitfall of sports writing: There’s often too great a desire to imbue a grand meaning to the sport. “Life is a marathon,” goes the cliché. But the thing is, life is like a marathon. So writing about running becomes a balancing act, one in which — without sufficient craft and self-awareness — can be a challenge. But here, Schulz (and Gardner) masterfully explore the essence of running, in all its glory and tedium. A sport of contradiction indeed. 

Sheon Han is a writer and programmer based in Palo Alto, California. His work has appeared in The New Yorker , The Atlantic , The New York Times Magazine , Quanta Magazine , and elsewhere. You can read his work at sheon.tk .

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Running events, running articles, triathlon events, cycling events, triathlon articles, cycling articles, fitness events, fitness articles, sports events, outdoor events, sports articles, nutrition articles, health & injury articles, why i run: an essay from a marathon maniac, ultramarathoner and 50 states club member.

essays on running

"Why do I run?" I ask myself this same question repeatedly, especially when I am ready to give up while I am running a race. But upon crossing the finish line, my next question to myself is, "Where's my next race?"

I started running 25 years ago when I met my partner, who is an avid runner. But I didn't get serious about it at the time. First of all, I was not into sports in any sense of the word. Secondly, I disliked running because I could not catch up with my partner and I got tired easily. So why do I run? Being a long-distance runner, I will make my story long!

View the original piece as published on Racertrips.com .

The Journey From Grade School to 50th Birthday

I am an only child and was overly protected by my Catholic Mother and my Military Officer Father. I went to Catholic school, and even under the watchful eyes of the priests and nuns, I was bullied because I was short and skinny and was called a weakling. At the time, I detested every form of sports activities, and being in an all-boys school, there were plenty of sports. I could not throw a tennis ball or, what's more, a basketball. During those days, I would go home hurting from all the taunting and name calling, and I was so miserable.

Okay, let me fast forward now. I went to college and to medical school. I came to the United States, and while I was in practice as a Gastrointestinal Pathologist, I was challenged to run a 5K at the hospital where I was working. This was my turning point as a runner. In 2011,  I turned 50 and decided to do something different to celebrate this milestone. I registered and trained for my first marathon, which was the Marathon du Medoc in Bordeaux, France, 400 miles south of Paris.

During the race, I cramped twice and was going to drop out. But a friend of mine reminded me that flying all the way from Chicago to Bordeaux and not even getting a medal was such a waste. That did it. I ran, and I beat the cut-off time of 5:30! I was so proud to earn my first medal. At that time I thought that was my first and last marathon.

One and Done? Not this Marathoner

But in 2013, I ran my first Chicago Marathon. I enjoyed the the race and decided to run it again in 2014. During the race, I met another runner, who later became my running buddy. We decided to run the Naperville Marathon the following weekend. The weekend after that, I ran in Middleton, WI. Then 2 weeks later, I ran my first ultra, a 50K (30 miles) race just outside of Chicago. This was the first ultra sponsored by Arctic Frog , with race director and soon-to-be-friend Rey Letada. I knew right there and then that I was hooked.

With all these races in such a short period of time, I qualified and earned my two stars with Marathon Maniacs . This is an international running group that one needs to qualify to become a member. Yes, three marathons and one ultramarathon in 5 weeks was more than enough to qualify!

To date, I have finished a total of 78 marathons/ultra marathons. As of April 15, 2019, I completed the  Boston Marathon and earned my Sixth Star for the Abbott World Marathon Majors . Along the way, I also qualified to be a member of the 50 States Marathon Club . I am one state away from completing a marathon in all 50 states and am 10 states into my second round of 50 states.

What Does the Future Hold?

What else is in store for me? This year, I'm going to earn my medal for completing a marathon in all 50 states, and I have a very ambitious goal to complete 100 marathons by the end of the year. I also have four more continents to run in. Will that be it? Maybe. Maybe not. We will have to see...

So going back to the question, "Why do I run?" In my journey as a marathoner, it has been an adventure and a thrill to see our beautiful country in a different perspective. But the best part of running is the solitude of being alone while I am training and while I am racing. Running has become my "zen," my peaceful space and my form of meditation. In addition, being an avid cook and a foodie, running keeps me fit and healthy. Furthermore, I met some of my best friends through my races all over the country and the world. Now, you all know why I run.

Why Do You Run? If you would like to share your story with the Racertrips community, email [email protected] to find out how.

READ THIS NEXT:  How This Runner Went From OCD to the BYC Marathon

Jose Maria H. Gabriel, MD Gaby ran his first marathon at age 50 in Bordeaux, France, and has since finished more than 78 marathons/ultra marathons. He's a qualifying member in both  Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Marathon Club . In 2019, he ran the Boston Marathon to earn his Sixth Star for the Abbott World Marathon Majors . He's also one state away from finishing a marathon in all 50 states and has set an ambitious goal to complete 100 marathons by the end of 2019.  Gaby is a Brand Ambassador for Racertrips, Nuun Energy ,  Marathon Maniacs (Illinois and Chicago) and XOSKIN Running Apparel .

Nicholas Thompson

Nick is an avid marathoner who frequently writes about the physiology of the sport and what it can tell us about the way we age. In 2020, he set the American record for men 45+ in the 50K race.

Selected writing.

Blurred man running in black and white

To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past

April 20, 2020

Man running on red background

An Aging Marathoner Tries to Run Fast After 40

November 2, 2018

Woman running

Remembering Gabriele Grunewald, Who Ran For Herself and Others

June 14, 2019

Man running with arms raised

The New Yorker

Meb Keflezighi, Bernard Lagat, and the Secret to Running Forever

August 16, 2016

Usain Bolt and other runners

The Brilliance of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, and Wayde Van Niekerk

August 15, 2016

Four women racers on track

High Drama—and Erasure—at the Track World Championships

October 8, 2019

Boston Marathon

How the Boston Marathon Messes With Runners to Slow Them Down

April 11, 2019

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Essay Samples on Running

The highlights of some of the best kinesiology tapes.

Whether you are a runner, skater, baller or involved in any form of athletics, a kinesiology tape is your ticket to less painful joints and muscles. The sports tape is used by professional athletes to support their muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. The tape is...

  • Kinesiology

Importance Of Physical Fitness In Marathon Runners

Running is one of the most popular sports and it is performed in various distances like long distances and short distances and there are also various other competitions as well as the events for the runners and the most popular one is the Marathon. Marathon...

Effects Of Running On Our Health

Running is tiring, it’s tedious, it’s painful and it’s exhausting. We often hear many complaining about aching knees, strained muscles, and how energy-consuming it is, not to mention how hot and humid it is to run here in Singapore. So why do people still run?...

The Disadvantages of Intense Training Among Runners

In sports and athletics, the common belief is that the harder you train and the faster you complete rounds and cycles, the stronger you become. While this is mostly true, it also varies according to the type of sport and competition. It seems counter-intuitive, but...

What Running Means to Me

Since I was 11 years old, I've run. In that sense, running is all I've ever known. Take that away and who am I?Recently, I haven't been running as much as I use to. Everyone assumed I was injured and well, I was for a...

  • Physical Exercise

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The Importance of Practicing Running Regularly

Lying of a comfortable couch and watching your favorite series all day it sounds fantastic and fun but have you think what you are doing with your body by doing so. A person who lay down and the person who goes for running each day...

How to Improve Your Running Form

How Do I Improve My Running Form? Answer: With improved running form, you will be able to run further and faster. If you are thinking about how you can improve your form you are definitely on the right track to becoming a better runner. When...

  • Healthy Lifestyle

Treadmill or Running Outside: Pros and Cons of Each Practice

One of the simplest ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is through running. It is simple and effective and you can either run outside or on a treadmill. However, there has been an old age debate of which option is better; running on a treadmill...

Best topics on Running

1. The Highlights of Some of the Best Kinesiology Tapes

2. Importance Of Physical Fitness In Marathon Runners

3. Effects Of Running On Our Health

4. The Disadvantages of Intense Training Among Runners

5. What Running Means to Me

6. The Importance of Practicing Running Regularly

7. How to Improve Your Running Form

8. Treadmill or Running Outside: Pros and Cons of Each Practice

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Essays on Running

Faq about running.

Sample Short Answer Essay on Running

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The Common Application no longer requires a short answer essay from all applicants, but many colleges continue to include the short answer as part of a supplement. The short answer essay prompt typically states something like this:

"Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences ."

Colleges like this type of question because it gives their applicants the opportunity to identify an activity that is meaningful to them and to explain why it is meaningful. This information can be useful to colleges with holistic admissions as they try to identify students who will bring interesting skills and passions to the campus community.

Sample Short Answer Essay

Christie wrote the following sample short answer essay to elaborate upon her love of running:

It is the simplest of movements: right foot, left foot, right foot. It is the simplest of actions: run, relax, breathe. For me, running is both the most basic and the most complex activity I perform in any day. While my body adjusts to the challenges of gravel paths and steep inclines, my mind is free to drift, to sift through whatever needs sorting or disposing—the upcoming day's tasks, an argument with a friend, some nagging stress. As my calf muscles loosen and my breathing settles into its deep rhythm, I am able to release that stress, forget that argument, and set my mind in order. And at the midway point, two miles into the course, I stop at the hilltop vista overlooking my little town and the surrounding woodlands. For just a moment, I stop to listen to my own strong heartbeat. Then I run again.

Critique of the Short Answer Essay

The author has focused on a personal activity, running, not any history-making achievement, team triumph, world-changing social work, or even a formal extracurricular activity . As such, the short answer essay does not highlight any kind of remarkable accomplishment or personal talent.

But think about what this short answer essay does reveal; the author is someone who can find pleasure in the "simplest" of activities. She is someone who has found an effective way of dealing with stress and finding peace and equilibrium in her life. She reveals that she is in tune with her self and her small-town environment.

This one little paragraph gives us the impression that the author is a thoughtful, sensitive, and healthy person. In a short space, the essay reveals the maturity of the writer; she is reflective, articulate, and balanced. These are all dimensions of her character that will not come across in her lists of grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. They are also personal qualities that will be attractive to a college.

The writing is also solid. The prose is tight, clear, and stylistic without being over-written. The length is a perfect  823 characters and 148 words. This is a typical length limit for a short-answer essay. That said, if your college is asking for just 100 words or something longer, be sure to follow their instructions carefully.

Role of Essays and Your College Application

Keep in mind the role of any essays, even short ones, that you submit with your college application. You want to present a dimension of yourself that isn't readily apparent elsewhere in your application materials. Reveal some hidden interest, passion, or struggle that will give the admissions folks a more detailed portrait of yourself.

The college has asked for a short essay because it has holistic admissions ; in other words, the school tries to evaluate the whole applicant through both quantitative. A short answer essay gives the college a useful window into the applicant's interests.

Christie succeeds on this front. For both the writing and the content, she has written a winning short answer essay. You may want to explore another example of a good short answer on working at Burger King as well as learn lessons from a weak short answer on soccer and a weak short answer on entrepreneurship. In general, if you follow the advice on writing a winning short answer and avoid common short answer mistakes, your essay will strengthen your application and help make you an attractive candidate for admission.

  • Sample Short Answer on Soccer
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  • Common Application Short Answer Essay on Entrepreneurship
  • Short Answer Response on Working at Burger King
  • How Long Should Your Common Application Short Answer Essay Be?
  • Short Answer Mistakes
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  • Ideal College Application Essay Length
  • UC Essay Examples for the Personal Insight Questions
  • "Gym Class Hero" - a Common Application Essay Sample for Option #3
  • "Handiwork" - Sample Common Application Essay for Option #1
  • Sample Supplemental Essay for College Admissions: Why This College?
  • Should You Explain a Bad Grade When Applying to College?
  • How to Ace Your University of Wisconsin Personal Statements
  • 5 Tips for a College Admissions Essay on an Important Issue
  • Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay

essays on running

By Megan Baxter

True Story, Issue #21

Equally a meditation on the pursuit of running, a reflection on Lewis and Clark’s endeavor to map the continent, and an exploration of the body’s limitations, True Story #21 asks: Is it possible to outrun yourself?

Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Have you reckoned the earth much?

—Walt Whitman

I want to say up front that I am not a good runner. I am neither very fast nor very graceful. I don’t run competitively, although I have completed a few races. But nor am I a jogger. Some people would tell you that although in both gaits there is a moment when both feet are off the ground, what distinguishes running from jogging is speed. Some people would tell you that runners strike the earth with the forefoot while joggers strike with their heels, but in fact many competitive long-distance runners are heel strikers. For me, the difference between the two comes down to intent. Jogging is something like a shuffle, a lack of commitment to intensity. But running . . .  Running is a pursuit or an escape. To run, the body goes all in; every ligament and muscle fiber strikes, pulls, and returns to the earth; the runner tips forward like the front edge of a wheel, rolling into space.

I remember the first time I ran. I felt like a queen, divine on the earth. I was thirteen and had never run before. I remember the night clearly because of its novelty and because running is a little like taking flight. I often dream that if I run fast enough I will begin to fly, as if speed on the runway is all the jet plane requires.

  • A walking step, not too long, not too short—in the United States, roughly 2½ feet.

The sort of step I take around the edge of my yard in the morning, surveying the quality of the coming day.

  • To walk at a steady rate, back and forth, as an expression of anxiety.
  • To keep pace.
  • To measure by walking.

To pace is both to lead and establish competitive speed and to do something slowly in order to prevent overexertion. That is, although John Henry kept pace with that steam engine, he did not pace himself, and his heart burst, while the cold steel kept ringing.

In my sixth-grade history class, we did research papers on famous explorers. I was assigned Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. I became enamored of the two captains (although Clark was never officially granted that title) and especially fond of Lewis, who seemed, even from my amateur research in the middle school’s library, to be somewhat eccentric, somehow unfitting of the explorer archetype. Lewis was prone to what his contemporaries, including Thomas Jefferson, described as “hypochondria,” noting that the condition ran in Lewis’s family. Modern medicine would have diagnosed him with severe depression.

In 1809, at the age of thirty-five, Lewis committed suicide. It had been three years since the expedition had returned to St. Louis. In that time, he had run up debts, developed a crippling addiction to alcohol, struggled at his post as governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory, failed at love, and been unable, or perhaps simply too depressed, to complete his written account of his great journey. He was carrying his journals with him when he died. Revisionist biographers claim that his death was murder, noting the brutal nature of his demise, or that he died accidently while cleaning his pistols. Even as a girl, I knew this was wistful, their need to rewrite a hero’s end.

I include the details of that night here only to summon the horror I felt as a girl at the absolute darkness of suicide, that shutdown of all possible routes. The story begins always with two gunshots, one to the head, then another to the chest, fired from his pistols. Some sources say he died shortly afterward from the bullet wounds. Others claim that when Lewis’s servant found him, he was slumped on his buffalo and bearskin blankets, slicing his veins with his shaving razor. He begged the man for water. “I am no coward; but I am so strong, so hard to die,” he is reported to have said.

He bled out before dawn.

“I fear the weight of his mind has overcome him,” Clark wrote to his brother, describing Lewis’s passing. A few months prior to Lewis’s death, Clark had named his first son Meriwether Lewis Clark. He didn’t know that during the drunk, hallucinatory final days of Lewis’s life, his former traveling companion had claimed repeatedly that Clark was near and would help him. His servant reported his saying that “he herd [Clark] Comeing on, and Said that he was certain [he would] over take him, that [he] had herd of his Situation and would Come to his releaf.” I thought of the times when the two had separated on their journey to pursue forked waterways or explore passes through the mountains and how easily, and with what faith, they had found each other again in the wilderness. At his most lost, Lewis had expected Clark to locate him.

I wrote my research paper from the point of view of Lewis before he fired the first bullet, in a series of educational flashbacks. To me, he became a symbol of discovery, of expansion, but also of emptiness. How, I wondered—and wonder still—could a man fill his memories with so many maps of beauty, herds of 10,000 buffalo, Indian ponies in the Bitterroots, the Great Falls of the Missouri, and still shut down that vision from within? Could you run fast enough, or far enough, to escape yourself? I think not. I think Lewis taught me that you can’t outrun yourself.

When I was five years old, I almost died from a lack of oxygen. It felt not so much like Darth Vader’s invisible choking force strangling my throat as a slow march away from light. My nail beds turned blue. So did my lips. I remember the sensation of tunnel vision, zooming in on the flooring tiles. By the time I got to the hospital, the scary part—the “I can’t breathe” part—was long past. Sometime in that breathless night I had come to terms with the fact that I could die, though I think I must have understood it only as not breathing. I might have said that I understood that I could stop breathing and then rest, for it is very hard to breathe into the tight fist of asthmatic lungs, and I had been fighting that constriction for hours. The long sleep of death would have been welcome.

And because I had learned that it was actually rather easy to die, after I recovered from that near-fatal attack death became even more frightening. Death was in every inhale, every game of tag, every hide-and-go-seek chase, every gym class. My asthma was triggered by allergens and temperature changes, too, so petting a cat could be deadly, or helping my dad mow the lawn, or waiting outside for school to begin in a frigid New England winter and then charging into an overheated room in my snow suit.

My childhood was a well-regulated series of interactions, aided by medications. In any other age I would surely have died, if not on that night when I was five, then on one of the many other occasions when even triple doses of inhaled steroids failed and I was rushed to the ER. The doctors said there was a chance I might outgrow it entirely, but to imagine that I could grow out of such a routine, that my lungs would change like my breasts and hips would, seemed impossible.

Dear Meriwether Lewis,

In your dreams the country becomes a map with waterways like a surgeon’s guide to the circulatory system, upcountry, downstream, all following the easiest path. The mountains rise and again you are trapped in the snowy gulches and deep-throated avalanche channels. You at the mouth of the Columbia, where I’ve read there are more waterfalls per acre than anywhere else in the world; great corridors fall down into that river, steep and tough in the north and choked with a mist that breaks through the spruce and cedar at the coast. You are there at the edge of everything, camped for the wet season in a shingled fort, the rain in your bones and in the blue of your wrist veins. You trace them up the forearm, to that soft spot in the elbow and then up through your shoulder and across the breast bone, to where they meet and pulse. There is nothing to do but return, with your bags filled with specimens, the shining birds and prairie creatures, gutted and eyeless.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote to Congress to ask if he might send a party into Spanish territory for the purpose of “literary pursuit,” he meant to increase geographic and scientific knowledge.

When Jefferson wrote in his rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, “we hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness,” he didn’t mean happiness in the modern sense. The root of that word implies the fortune or luck that was once associated with the whim of the gods. Jefferson meant this older form of happiness, the happiness of the ancient writers, like Cicero and Plato, for whom it was found through morality, justice, and duty. Cicero wrote “a happy life consists in tranquility of the mind.” That tranquility consisted of living virtuously.

When the assassins hired by Mark Antony finally caught up to a fleeing Cicero on the road outside of Rome, they found the old essayist sweating in his carriage. Accepting his fate with manly grace, Cicero bared his throat to his murderers like a defeated gladiator. Before the orator’s body was brought to Rome, Antony ordered the hands and head to be cut off and had them displayed on the rostrum in the Forum, where Cicero had once delivered his famous speeches. The hands were brutalized for having written those words; the head, defiled for having spoken them. Antony’s wife pulled out Cicero’s tongue and jabbed it with her hairpin, so bitterly did she hate his essays against her husband’s power.

When you say happiness , think of a hairpin in the tongue and imagine fleeing for your life on a cedar-lined road; smell the dust and the horses. When you say freedom think of a life of essays. When you say power imagine two old hands.

  • The length of a man’s belt in medieval England. Irked by the inconsistency of this definition, King Henry I measured the distance between his nose and the thumb of his outstretched hand and standardized the unit.

In a Chinese-food restaurant I once overheard a first date combust as a drunk woodworking teacher explained to a stone-faced woman that he forced his students to use his body’s measurements to make their pencil boxes and birdhouses. One Bob ! he called it, and held his foot up for her so she could take note of that exact unit. The woman shuddered. Only kings can get away with this sort of thing.

To measure the world with one’s body seems a particularly gross form of egotism. But who understands time and distance in theory alone and not through the measurement of individual days or steps along a familiar running path?

I am in the pinewoods, and the light is still golden like it is in the summer in Maine. I am in my girl body again, lighter and strange to me. It is a body I have just been given, and it seems to do things on its own as if it just became mortal. We are playing Capture the Flag. The ground is a soft golden carpet of fallen needles.

The light is behind me. I feel its last warmth on my shoulder blades. At first I am walking. I leap to cross a log, and then I leap to cross another, and then I am running. I am not playing, I am not running for a flag, I am running for movement. Oh, the ground is soft under my sneakers! And the light fades behind me so that I am running into the darkness of the woods, and the sound of the other girls is getting dim behind me, and I am up a slight hill, and still running, and my legs move like some animal’s, and my arms pump like strong pistons. I breathe in through my mouth and nose and then out again, clear and fleshy, almost bloody but healthy, like the taste of a coin.

I run and leap until I am high up where the ground gives way to boulders, the bones of Maine, and I look down and see the lake and the camp’s roofs and docks. The girls yip in the pinewoods like coyotes, and briefly I feel myself above everything, the systems in my body working, invisible and perfect, pulsing, exchanging, and I love it for the first time ever, this body that is now mine, but night is close so I head back. Running down is almost better than running up. I am pumping and swift, and sweat is rising then running its own course over me, salty and new, until I am again among the girls from my cabin, and they are sweaty too and out of breath, and we walk together under the flickering street lights down the sandy path to our bunks.

I could measure my life in the running trails I have followed. I could map it for you from that first evening to this morning, when I returned to my home flushed with sweat and, closing my pores with a cold shower, sat down to essay running, to measure it properly against what I know of myself.

In 2007, when I lived in Portland, Oregon, I visited Cape Disappointment and Fort Clatsop, which during the stay of the Corps of Discovery was a miserable place but has since been transformed into an educational national memorial. The replica of Lewis and Clark’s split-log fort has been lacquered a shiny honey gold, and costumed rangers lead groups from the gift store to the film hall. The day I went was sunny, and the spruce needles glistened underfoot. Later, I drove along the Columbia River, marveling at the power of the water and the height of the gorge’s walls. All along the rocks, tiny waterfalls drained into the mighty river. I imagined Lewis shivering on the coast, bored during the cold, rainy winters. “Everything moves on in the old way,” he wrote—a haunting description of cabin fever.

At the time, I was training for my first marathon and took my long runs on Sauvie Island, just north of the city, where the Wilmette River joins the Columbia. Lewis and Clark camped there, scuffled with Native Americans, ate a potato-like food that grew wild on the island, and then pushed back upstream toward the mountains. As I ran I imagined I was retracing their route, expanding their maps each night. The long runs took up three or four hours of my Sundays, and I was always flush with excitement beforehand, wondering what I might see on the road. The running mind is the traveling mind, noting each odd color, granting each license plate and cloud formation significance. I gave names secretly to houses and trees I passed, just as Lewis had named rivers and mountains.

  • the average length of a man’s foot.

A woman’s foot is smaller, which is not to say her world is smaller, but rather measured differently. My foot is nine inches long.

In 2007, when I was twenty-two, I purchased a how-to book that began with the reassuring sentence, “Oprah ran a four-hour marathon.” The book was slim and contained training plans. It divided the work of training for a marathon into three categories: the long run, once a week, which I would take on Sauvie Island; the short run, which I would do as a loop around my apartment complex; and sprint intervals, which I would complete under the lights on my college’s track, long after the sports teams had left the field for the night. The long runs I found to be an exercise in patience. My mind created its own tricks, calculating my speed, naming the houses and farms I passed, watching the mountains on the horizon as Lewis and Clark might have as they rowed up the Columbia. The short weekday runs of between two and five miles were charmingly repetitive, in the sense that I could depart with no expectation for a timed mile. Fitting them in was the challenge since I could generate only a little enthusiasm for the slog. The track workouts, which consisted of quarter-mile sprints followed by prescribed rest periods, were the most physically demanding portion of my training. One loop around the track accounted for a quarter mile, so I could mark my pace easily. The struggle was to stay steady from start to finish, to push through with my original thrust during the final 100 meters.

My lungs burned. My legs threw themselves long on the track’s surface. The bright white lights above the fields made me feel Olympic, although I was alone in the drizzle and dusk. During the minutes of rest my ragged breath seemed amplified, all-consuming. Sweat grew cool on my skin. Then, at the beep of my watch’s timer, I was off again, along the same path, trying to summon the drive forward, with all my body calling for speed. The sprint required, in a short period, many cycles of motivation, like a compression of many days into one intense hour. Each sprint was its own expedition around the track, past the bleachers, the lampposts, the stadium gates. Every time I broke free from the starting line I had to commit, again, to flight.

To understand why I run, know that I both love and hate my body and have come to accept this balancing act. My body is like blood, constantly in flux, sometimes depleted and sometimes new and full of life. My body has been sick, and my spirit has hated being in a sick body. And of course I wish my body were something that it isn’t. I wish it were taller and longer. I wish my neck would grow a few inches and that my shoulders weren’t as wide as my hips. I could go on. When I was a sick kid, I dreamed of waking up in a new body. I dreamed of flying.

But when I am running I have to be with the body I have. Love it or hate it, there is no escape from it. Under the discipline of miles, the virtue of routine is that there is no turning back. There is just forward motion—the feet pulling and the hip flexors sweeping the legs back and my arms swinging, my chest slightly forward—and trying to breathe and not swallow the wind. The violence of running fills the body. Even at my leanest, running shakes me loose. Fatty female hips and ass jiggle, and I feel heavier than when I am standing still, as if motion itself increased gravity. I feel my bad right knee and my tight left hamstring and the curve in my spine where scoliosis takes it off course before it veers back again. There is no hiding when I am running.

To make it to the road I must first inhale medication, so before I even set out I acknowledge my limitations. This, my body screams, is what you’ve got!

Horsepower:

  • The amount of power required to lift 75 kilograms one meter in one second.

The engineer James Watt, who designed the machines that dug the coal that fed England’s Industrial Revolution, calculated that a horse could turn a mill wheel 144 times an hour. He sold his steam engines on the power of the horse: imagine all those beasts pulling, their breath rising, their hides slick, imagine that power inside a steel piston . Everyone then had seen how hard a horse can work. Now no one can remember it.

An article in Nature cites measurements from the 1925 Iowa State Fair, reporting the peak output of horses at 14.9 horsepower (which lasted but a brief few seconds as they pulled a weighted sled through what I imagine was damp sand in the humidity of a late August evening).

Many years later, on a cool August night in Berlin, under the flickering lights of the Olympiastadion’s half-domed ceiling, Usain Bolt generated just 3.5 horsepower during the 9.58 seconds it took him to run 100 meters, faster than any other recorded man or woman. No holding back, no! He wins! He kept running after crossing the finish line, at least another 100 meters, first holding his pointer fingers out long like a conductor orchestrating the cheering crowd, then with his arms out wide, like wings.

Whenever I move to a new place, or vacation somewhere for more than a few days, one of the first things I do is to go for a run. I am, like most, a creature of habit, so when I find a route that is enjoyable—a good length with varying terrain, not too many cars, no scary places like dark tunnels or alleyways where I might meet my end, and interesting things to look at; ideally a loop, but if not then an out and back—I run it again and again until I start to read the landscape for markers of my pace, until I start to tell the same story again and again.

In the history books they show you on a rise above the plains, in leather and uniform with a breeze from the Continental Divide blowing the fringe on your jacket back toward the Missouri. You squint into the western sun, like some great bird, just ahead of Clark with his sunburned skin and heavy forearms. I have always imagined you right before you put the first bullet in your head. Your intake of breath, like a storm’s first tracking up the valley, your eyes closed, finding your temple with the gun barrel, setting your teeth, and outside in that trailside inn, the other people drinking and falling asleep without terror, and the country filling in all the places that were only prairies and mountain ranges in your maps, and all of their quick starts at the sound of the gun while you faded, backward through increasing darkness, up to the spring source where the purest water rises.

Have you reckoned the earth much? asks Whitman. If you have run the same route many times, I think you have, at least that piece of it. You’ve learned its terrain, its highs and lows. You are familiar with its smells during different seasons and times of day (the sweet grass of summer, the dull salt of winter, the rising swampy springtime mornings and sharp autumn sunsets). You know the pattern of traffic and the paths of animals. On the side of the road you find the things that happened when you weren’t there to witness. In the night, deer were hit. Trash was thrown. A bottle was broken over the blacktop. On each run a new note reveals itself. Two fence posts closer together than all the rest. The tree scarred by a snowplow. On a clear, sunny day in November, when all the leaves are down, you look further into the woods and notice an old shack by the creek. The body works hard here on the hill but not on the long downslope to the pasture. And here the road tilts to prevent flooding, and your ankles sway under that strain. Jump a puddle. Skip over a rock that has rolled down from the cliff. Here, the blood pulsing hard in your ears. Here, the sweat drying on your cheeks. Here, the howls of dogs. Here, a strange silence from the swamp, the half-built subdivision, the echoing farmland.

  • In the Middle Ages, the amount of land a man with a yoke of oxen could plow in a day.

Like a man-hour, this unit is subject to specific conditions: the ox, the driver (a man of tolerance? a man of violent need?), the soil, the air through which they both must push.

The bones in our feet shifted as we began to walk upright. The shape of a foot can date a skeleton as quickly as can a skull or a jaw. As we evolved, the opposable big toe was phased out, so that we can no longer hang from a branch with our feet like we grip a barbell or bike handle or steering wheel with our hands. We became runners. We didn’t evolve to escape from lunging lions or packs of dire wolves; humans aren’t great sprinters. And anyway, everyone knows running from predators is a bad idea; it triggers their chase drive, and we simply won’t win in that race. Instead, ancient humans were long-distance hunters; they pursued animals until they ran up against cliffs or fell shaking to the earth with capture myopathy. In this hunt our hairlessness was perhaps our greatest advantage. We could sweat and release heat while our furry prey overheated to its death, and in this manner a beast with two legs could catch a beast with four.

There are traditional running cultures, and I claim no connection to their practices. When I think of those Incan heralds or the tribesmen of the African plains, I think always of my own death. I simply could not have survived in any time other than this one, and so nostalgic daydreams of living and running in times past are not longings of mine. I run to stay in shape, a problem that my ancestors would not have understood, in the same way that I can’t imagine the power of a horse on a mill wheel. What haunts me is the idea of chase, followed by the idea of escape, and the concept of measuring the earth with a body.

I have run away since I was a little girl, packing up and leaving home, moving instead of fighting. I have a powerful flight instinct. I say I run in pursuit of health, but I am also escaping its opposite. The idea of fitness is as powerful to me as my fear of sickness. My asthma is not influenced by my running, but my running will always be influenced by my asthma. The two exist together but are not equally affected. I will never outrun my asthma, but it will always bear on my running.

Through the map of years they hunt each other. One winning. One retreating. Then charging back. There are seasons when I am invincible. There are days when I come into my body weeping for its weakness. But had I nothing to fight against I’d have nothing to pursue.

Every clear night of their journey, Lewis and Clark made celestial observations, sometimes staying up well after their men, reworking their complex implements. On cloudy nights, when there were no visible stars to cast onto, they noted the temperature and tended to their maps. Even on days when neither man wrote a journal entry, they entered information on longitude, latitude, temperature, and weather. They named the rivers and mountains they’d passed during the day after sweethearts, heroes, and dogs. Although their collected work fills volumes, it is still incomplete. Whole books were lost or, perhaps, never existed. Clark dutifully kept a log, but in the summer of 1804, Lewis, who spent his days walking the banks alongside the Corps’ small fleet of boats, botanizing and keeping an eye out for Teton Sioux, rarely expressed his thoughts on paper. Was he joyous beyond words? Was he so focused on his saturated vision of expansion that the overflow of ink onto paper seemed unnecessary? He left to Clark the task of journaling, and I imagine him on the banks of the Missouri in the golden light of early fall, drawn away intensely by happiness, as he would later be isolated by pain.

The following spring, after the party pushed off from Fort Mandan, where they had camped through winter, and rounded the great bend of the Missouri, Lewis’s journal entries thicken. Some are over 5,000 words long and would have taken him, at a stream-of-consciousness pace, about two hours to write by hand. He seemed to have words for everything: specimens, geography, bear encounters. It’s during this time that he produced his best travel writing, summoning a sense of adventure and grandeur in his prose. But on June 13, walking ahead of the party as he often did, he confronted a sight that, despite his many words, he felt unprepared to describe. He’d discovered the Great Falls of the Missouri, a series of five linked waterfalls that would present a massive obstacle to the expedition. He sat down on the shore and feverishly wrote.

. . . my ears were saluted with the agreeable sound of a fall of water and advancing a little further I saw the spray arrise above the plain like a collumn of smoke which would frequently dispear again in an instant caused I presume by the wind which blew pretty hard from the S.W. I did not however loose my direction to this point which soon began to make a roaring too tremendious to be mistaken for any cause short of the great falls of the Missouri. . . . to gaze on this sublimely grand specticle . . . formes the grandest sight I ever beheld, . . . irregular and somewhat projecting rocks below receives the water in it’s passage down and brakes it into a perfect white foam which assumes a thousand forms in a moment sometimes flying up in jets of sparkling foam to the hight of fifteen or twenty feet and are scarcely formed before large roling bodies of the same beaten and foaming water is thrown over and conceals them. . . . from the reflection of the sun on the sprey or mist which arrises from these falls there is a beatifull rainbow produced which adds not a little to the beauty of this majestically grand senery. after wrighting this imperfect discription I again viewed the falls and was so much disgusted with the imperfect idea which it conveyed of the scene that I determined to draw my pen across it and begin agin, but then reflected that I could not perhaps succeed better than pening the first impressions of the mind. . .

He thought about crossing out his words and beginning again. His imperfect description disgusted him. He left the account in his journal nonetheless, sensing that time dulls memory. In it I read his rush of excitement, the thrill, and then his loss of faith in his ability to record it. You see him embark then retreat into darkness.

Heading out, my lungs expanding, I think of the pig’s lung I dissected in fifth grade; I stuck a plastic straw down the esophagus and blew into the straw. Careful, our teacher warned, don’t inhale. The lung ballooned out. I think of the tests I took in the hospital with an asthma specialist. I blew into a tube that was connected to a computer screen. I was the wolf, and my exhales were meant to blow down the door of the pig’s house. A scale at the bottom measured each puff.

Before I head out to run I suck on the red plastic mouthpiece of my inhaler. My lungs expand. I bend to lace my shoes. There is the house, then everything beyond it. Each foot claims a bit of earth. Sometimes when I leave I am reluctant. Sometimes I bolt into the dawn.

What I want more than distance now is speed. I want the sprint and thrust of a fast mile. The unbounded, reckless joy of that night in Maine, when my body was both my body and something new that drove me with it. A run is something faster than you want it to be. It is a statement against the body’s frailty, written on earth by the body. The contractions astound me, the stop and go, the pull and release of ligaments and tendons, how the legs load and unload in one swing and the heel bears weight and then takes flight.

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Running Race Essay Examples

Running Race - Free Essay Examples and Topic Ideas

A running race is a competition in which participants strive to complete a set distance, often ranging from a few hundred meters to several kilometers, in the shortest amount of time possible. Races can vary in difficulty and terrain, but common types include sprints, cross-country, and marathon races. Runners train for races by improving their speed, endurance, and technique, often using a combination of running, strength training, and nutrition. For many, running races are a fulfilling way to challenge themselves physically and mentally, and to connect with a community of like-minded individuals.

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FAQ about Running Race

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All runners welcome.

I'm writing my college application essay about running, do you guys have any ideas to get me started?

Sorry if this isn't the right place, but I figured I might be able to get some help from here.

The essay prompt is about something that's meaningful to you, and since running is extremely meaningful to me, I figure I'd write my essay about it.

However, there's so many aspects of running that I enjoy: from the ultra competitive, to the meditative, to the friendships that stem from it--I'm really, really not sure where to start.

Do you think you guys could help me find somewhere to start or some topics to touch on? What are some things about running that have basically defined the sport for you? Any tips would be awesome!

A group of runners, many of whom are smiling, as they run along an otherwise empty street.

Social running is all the rage — here’s why it’s good for you

Discover how joining a run club can enhance your physical fitness, boost mental well-being, and foster meaningful social connections.

Before joining Washington D.C. -based District Running Collective , Fallon Jones wasn’t a runner. “An old friend—we were doing CrossFit at the time—she said that there’s this group of Black people that run up the street,” she says. She was hooked after her first run with the group the following week.

“The energy was so electric. I am in the slower pace group, but everybody was there at the end to cheer me on,” says Jones. “I thought, you know what? If I keep coming back, maybe I can get a little better.”        

Run clubs have a long history dating back to the early 19th century. The first known running club, the Thames Hare and Hounds , was established in 1868 in London , promoting the sport as a social activity. Over the decades, running clubs spread across Europe and North America, initially attracting competitive runners but gradually appealing to a broader audience seeking support, motivation, and camaraderie.

In recent years, the rise of social media and fitness apps has further transformed run clubs. Online platforms allow runners to connect, organize events, and track progress, making running more accessible and inclusive.

Joining a run club not only fosters new friendships, it also enhances mental well-being. Additionally, maintaining a conversational pace while running with friends can offer distinctive physical benefits, too.

The science behind conversational running

Conversational running refers to maintaining a pace at which you can comfortably speak in complete sentences as you move. It is often associated with Zone 2 training , which involves an intensity of 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.  

Kristen Hislop , a certified running and triathlon coach, says that people often struggle to achieve this pace because it doesn’t feel like a “hard” workout; it’s often much slower than you’d anticipate. But even though it doesn’t feel especially challenging, low to moderate-intensity training is great for your overall health, she says.

( Does the perfect workout really exist? )

“Doing low-intensity exercise on a regular basis is going to build endurance so you’ll be able to go longer and further,”   says Hislop. “You’re also going to recover faster and reduce your risk of injuries.” And, compared to high-intensity exercises, which use sugar as fuel, low-intensity exercise burns fat more effectively .  

The social benefits of running with others

But running isn’t only good for your body; it’s also good for your relationships.

Rachel Goldberg , a licensed marriage and family therapist who incorporates walk-and-talk sessions into her practice, has noticed that people are much more willing to open up during exercise.

“If you are near somebody but not necessarily facing them eye to eye, there might be a little bit more willingness to open up or you might just feel a little bit less intimidated,” she says. This vulnerability can lead to deeper conversations and stronger connections. She adds that this is also a phenomenal way to break social anxiety barriers.  

( Do you really need 10,000 steps a day? Here’s what the science says .)

One reason may be that running stimulates endorphins , the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. “When you have endorphins released, you feel better, you feel less stress, everything around you starts to seem more positive,” says Goldberg. “In terms of relationships, that leads to feeling more positive association to the person that you’re with, which helps create more bonding.”  

Conversational running can also enhance cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain, improving mental clarity, and reducing stress levels.  

Building community through running

Running with others can be a great way to ensure you’re keeping a conversational pace and forming a community at the same time. Danielle Burnett , leader of Big Girls Who Run in Long Beach, California , recently hosted her first group run: “At the start, people were chatting a bit, but not super crazy,” she says. “Then, when we came back [from the run], it felt like connections had been made. People were already talking about meeting up for runs later that week.”  

Burnett also understands the anxiety that can accompany exercising in public. “When I started getting into running, it was more of a solo thing for me. I really wanted the community aspect, but I felt overwhelmed,” she says. “I didn’t see many run clubs that matched my pace.”

Finding the right run club to fit your needs is crucial. Jones knew her club was the right fit after her first outing. “They did a really good job of explaining the different pace groups.”

Since then, she has made lifelong friends. “As someone who is approaching 40, it has been a blessing to find friends of all ages at this stage in life,” she says. “These are people I might not have known outside of showing up on Wednesdays. But these are people I have dinner with, and I would go on vacation with. It’s been beautiful to be a part of this running community.”

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As a runner and footwear entrepreneur, here's how I recommend staying safe while running

Overall, when it comes to running safely in nashville, my biggest pieces of advice are to run with a friend and make informed choices about your running route..

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  • Christi Beth Adams is the local owner of Fleet Feet Nashville.

Running is a beloved and accessible activity for many, offering great physical and mental benefits.

However, ensuring safety while running is essential, especially for those venturing alone or during low-light hours. By staying informed about local resources and incorporating these safety practices, runners in Nashville can enjoy their runs and feel less vulnerable while reaping the rewards of this fulfilling activity.

Stepping out your front door for a solo run is convenient, but running in groups or with a friend is a highly recommended safety measure.

Join a running group to create strength in numbers

Not only does running with others build community, but it also provides a safety net should anything unexpected occur. 

Whether it’s a health issue or an unsettling encounter, having companions nearby significantly increases your chances of receiving prompt assistance.

We are fortunate in Middle Tennessee to have dozens of free running groups . Depending on what day, time or area of town you want to walk or run in.

Harness technology to help others and protect yourself

Running is often an escape from our tech gadgets, but carrying a phone while running is a non-negotiable safety measure for me.

While it may not prevent an incident, having it available to call for help is invaluable. One morning, I was running with a group when one of my friends tripped and hit the concrete sidewalk. He was stunned and covered in blood.  Thankfully, someone had their cell phone, and we were able to call for medical assistance quickly. Also, consider purchasing and wearing a Road iD with your medical information and emergency contacts.

Additionally, leveraging running apps like Strava can provide an added layer of safety by allowing friends or loved ones to know your location or track your progress. Do exercise caution with such apps if your profile is public, as they can inadvertently expose your route and habits to potential threats.

To prevent potential stalking, only accept friend requests from folks you know and make sure you’re setting the safety features that allow you to blur specific miles, such as your starting and ending points.

More: Pioneering women marathon runners like Kathrine Switzer motivated me to keep running

Use personal safety devices safely

Depending on your level of comfort, you might consider carrying a self-defense tool for runners, like pepper spray or a personal safety alarm.

One simple tool to consider is the Go Guarded Ring , a heavy-duty plastic serrated-edge self-defense tool worn on any finger. If you choose to go this route, it’s crucial that you test the device and understand its usage so you’re best prepared if and when you have to use it.

Be aware of surroundings

It is wise to run in well-lit and highly trafficked areas because being surrounded by people discourages potential attackers. For solo runners, let someone know where you are running, for how many miles and when you expect to finish your run. Additionally, wearing highly reflective clothing is crucial for safety and visibility, especially during low-light periods like dusk and dawn.

Swapping black attire for bright colors like yellow or using a clip-on light or reflective vest dramatically enhances visibility. Also, if you’re someone who can’t run without your playlist, make sure you’re using headphones that allow you to hear your surroundings.

Overall, when it comes to running safely in Nashville, my biggest pieces of advice are to run with a friend and make informed choices about your running route. Focus on what can be controlled. Remember that these safety measures are simple yet effective, but they can also be easy to overlook. By proactively adopting these habits, you’ll feel significantly safer during your runs.

Christi Beth Adams is the local owner of Fleet Feet Nashville . In 2006, Adams started as an employee at the 4-year-old Brentwood location, which evolved into an ownership opportunity for her. She’s grown Fleet Feet to six locations in Middle Tennessee.

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Hudson River Waterfront Greenway in New York City at Upper West Side Manhattan.

Reasons to Love Running in New York City

This highly-runnable city has a variety of events, routes, and resources that draw in an active community of runners

There’s no place like New York City, especially if you’re a runner. Whether you’ve raced multiple marathons or you prefer a mellower pace, you’ll always have a new route to explore, a run club to meet up with, or an event to sign up for.

“Any kind of running experience you want to have, you can have here,” says Dave Hashim, a New York City–based photographer who recently completed the Perimeter Project , where he ran around the borders of all five boroughs.

For Caitlin Papageorge, president of North Brooklyn Runners , part of the city’s love affair with running stems from the way its citizens normally get around.

“New York is such a pedestrian city,” she says. “I think for that very reason, it sets New York up really well for a great running scene.”

Ready to experience what New York has to offer? Here’s your quickest path to connection with the city’s broad and diverse running community.

Central Park : No trip to New York is complete without a jog through Central Park. Hashim recommends following the main paved path for a seven-mile loop, but make sure to lap the Harlem Meer, in the park’s northeast corner—it’s an often overlooked but especially beautiful area.

Hudson River Greenway : Stretching 12.5 miles from Battery Park all the way up to Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, the Hudson River Greenway offers superb views of the Hudson River and nearby parks all along its length.

Roosevelt Island : Get off the beaten path with a four-mile run around Roosevelt Island in the East River. Both Hashim and Papageorge recommend it for its quiet atmosphere (there’s very little traffic), interesting architecture (like an abandoned smallpox hospital), and panoramic vistas of the Manhattan skyline.

McCarren Park Track : Brooklyn’s McCarren Park is a popular spot for runners thanks to its public track. Head here for a sprint workout or a warm-up lap before a longer run—just keep an eye out for obstacles like wayward soccer balls or the occasional ice cream cart cruising around in lane one.

View of New York City

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile : The 5th Avenue Mile proves that short distances can attract stiff competition. Elite sprinters battle here each year, and the course itself is a star: Competitors race from 80th Street to 60th Street, passing distinguished institutions like the Frick Collection art museum.

United Airlines NYC Half : This 13.1-mile spring classic has become a destination race for good reason, providing a scenic tour of two boroughs packed with iconic landmarks. Join 25,000 racers on closed NYC streets, from a Brooklyn start, across the Manhattan Bridge, heading up through Times Square, to a home stretch in Central Park.

Al Gordon 4-Miler : This race takes place in Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, and honors Al Gordon, a New Yorker who began running marathons in his 80s. While the distance is short, the course showcases the park’s beautiful scenery and includes some hilly terrain for an extra challenge. “I just love being there,” says Papageorge. “It’s underrated.”

Fall in New York City

No More Lonely Runs : Looking for someone to run with? Take a tip from Mallory Kilmer , a seasoned marathoner who started this club to help runners of all experience levels find community in the sport. The beginner-friendly groups gather every Saturday morning.

Endorphins : This nationwide running group has a strong presence in New York City. While the group runs every Monday are a big draw, joining Endorphins also gets you access to online resources like Q&As with running coaches and physical therapists.

Asian Trail Mix : This club’s mission is twofold: Increase AAPI representation in running and get New Yorkers onto the dirt. If you’re itching for trails, join one of the club’s all-are-welcome group runs, which explore the wealth of wilderness areas just a short train ride outside the city.

Front Runners New York : Front Runners is where New York’s LGBTQ+ and running communities overlap, and the group creates a positive, inclusive atmosphere at its weekly Fun Runs. If you become a member, you can also join the group’s coached workouts and triathlon training sessions.

Almost Friday Run Club : Why not start the weekend a little early? Almost Friday is the group to do it with: this friendly club meets every Thursday morning on the Hudson River Greenway for a chill run by the water. It’s the perfect midweek pick-me-up.

New Balance Upper West Side : New Balance’s Upper West Side location—just a few strides from Central Park—will be your go-to spot for running shoes, gear, and advice. Key highlight: The store is equipped with a 3D foot scanner to help you get the perfect fit in your next pair of shoes.

Independent since 1906,  New Balance  empowers people through sport and craftsmanship to create positive change in communities around the world.

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Tropical Storm Beryl updates: State officials confirm third death from the storm

Two people died in Harris County after trees fell on residences. Beryl is bringing strong winds and heavy rain as it moves northeast through the state.

Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Tim Kidd, left, listens to Acting Governor Dan Patrick answer questions on Monday, July 8, 2024, at the State Operations Center, in Austin. Acting Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Tim Kidd and Chair of the State Utility Commission Thomas Gleeson spoke on the state’s preparations for Hurricane Beryl, noting the current damage estimates and how the storm is predicted to progress.

CenterPoint predicts 1 million customers will have power back by Wednesdsay

CenterPoint Energy expects to restore power to 1 million customers in Texas impacted by Hurricane Beryl by the end of Wednesday, the provider said Monday evening.

The utility said that by 8 p.m. Monday, it had restored power to roughly 285,000 customers — a fraction of the 2.3 million customers who lost power. CenterPoint, which provides power to most residents in Harris and Fort Bend counties, said it began to mobilize restoration crews Monday afternoon as the storm moved out of its service area.

State officials also began to assess the damage wrought by the storm by Monday afternoon.

Beryl had knocked out power for around 2.7 million Texans on Monday, according to PowerOutage.us.

By 7 p.m., the National Hurricane Center discontinued all tropical storm and storm surge warnings. But a public advisory said the storm would continue to produce flooding rains and a risk of tornadoes across parts of East Texas.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said earlier Monday at a news conference that he was confident President Joe Biden would issue an emergency declaration for the region, which he and his colleagues would support.

“The rebuild is going to be significant. There was real damage. But the good news is for Houston, this ain’t our first rodeo,” Cruz said.

— Kayla Guo

A third person has died from the storm, power restoration will take days, state leaders confirm

Efforts to restore power to 2.7 million customers whose service was knocked out by Hurricane Beryl will take multiple days, state officials said Monday evening while warning of persisting danger even as the storm moved on.

“This will be a multi-day restoration effort,” Public Utility Commission of Texas Chair Thomas Gleeson said during a news conference. “I’d ask Texans for their patience as the crews are out there doing their best to try to restore energy across the state.”

Just under 2.7 million Texans did not have power as of early Monday evening, according to PowerOutage.us, with most of those outages among people serviced by CenterPoint Energy — the main electricity provider for most residents in Harris and Fort Bend counties, in addition to dozens of communities across East Texas.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who is acting as governor while Gov. Greg Abbott is out of the country — warned that more people may experience outages before service is restored, with transmission lines downed by fallen trees. CenterPoint was deploying 11,500 people to help restore power as quickly as possible, Patrick said.

Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said that the department will work with local officials to open cooling centers and shelters as the heat sets in and residents remain without power. First responders were busy moving patients out of nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living facilities.

A third person, a City of Houston employee, has died from drowning in a flooded underpass, Patrick said. Two people were killed in two separate incidents earlier by falling trees as they sheltered in their homes. A fourth death was reported by the Houston Chronicle, however, the Texas Tribune could not confirm the death was related to the storm.

More than 2.7 million electricity customers without power

Ominous clouds accompany a heavy band of rain on the eve before Beryl passes through Houston on Sunday, July 7, 2024. (Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune)

Hurricane Beryl has knocked out power for more than 2.7 million Texas customers, as of 12:59 p.m. Monday, based on estimates from PowerOutage.us and CenterPoint Energy .

CenterPoint announced at 3:30 p.m. that its crews were beginning the process of restoring power to the 2.26 million Texas customers who lacked electricity. CenterPoint has not yet provided an estimate of when millions of its customers will regain electricity.

“We are mobilizing all of our available resources, as well as mutual assistance resources from other utility companies, to begin the process of quickly and safely restoring power to our customers,” Lynnae Wilson, senior vice president of Electric Business at CenterPoint. “We understand how difficult it is to be without power for any amount of time, especially in the heat. We are laser focused on the important and time-sensitive work that lies ahead.”

CenterPoint will begin publishing estimates for substantial power restorations after assessing the damage.

Outages are most extensive in the Houston area and coastal counties including Matagorda, where Beryl landed as a Category 1 hurricane at approximately 4 a.m., Monday. Significant outages are also in Galveston County, Calhoun County and Jackson County. As the morning progressed, outages extended further inland and into Deep East Texas to areas including Polk, San Jacinto, Montgomery, Grimes and Washington Counties.

Most of the outages are among customers who receive power from CenterPointEnergy. CenterPoint is the main electricity provider for the vast majority of residents in Harris and Fort Bend counties and also provides electricity to dozens of East Texas communities. The provider is not currently providing county-specific numbers on outages.

CenterPoint warned people to stay away from downed wires and to not attempt to remove tree limbs or objects from power lines. Customers are instead advised to report outages and hazardous conditions to their power company or local authorities.

As of noon, about 25,000 AEP Texas customers remained without electricity. Most of those outages were in the upper Corpus Christi area –– a loop starting from Port Lavaca to Bay City to El Campo and to Victoria. AEP crews began restoring power to some of their customers Monday and expect to have more restoration information in the next 24 hours.

For the more than 25,000 customers of Oncor Electric Delivery who were affected by the outages, power restoration will likely happen on a case by case basis, according to Kaiti Blake, a spokesperson for Oncor.

— Pooja Salhotra and Berenice Garcia

Tornadoes pop up in East Texas after Beryl downgraded to a Tropical Storm

After downing trees and power lines across the Greater Houston area, Hurricane Beryl has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, meaning wind speeds have lowered below 75 miles per hour.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 60 miles per hour, a 1 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Beryl is headed northeastward at about 14 miles per hour and is expected to increase in speed as it continues to move through East Texas, where some local officials asked residents to shelter in place.

The National Weather Service out of Shreveport is tracking three confirmed tornadoes on radar, two in Texas and the third in Louisiana. The first is south of Joaquin, which is north of Lufkin and near the Louisiana border, the second is north of Timpson, which is also near the border.

Forecasters urged Texans to use caution amid downed power lines and warned that improper generator use can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

On the Texas coastline, a storm surge warning is still in effect north of San Luis Pass to Sabine Pass, an area that includes Galveston Bay. The tropical storm warning was discontinued from Port O’Conner to San Luis Pass.

The Coastal Bend, including areas like Corpus Christi, was spared from the brunt of the storm.

— Pooja Salhotra and Jess Huff

Two people die in separate incidents after Beryl knocks trees onto residences, authorities say

Two people have died and another was injured after Hurricane Beryl downed trees in separate Houston neighborhoods near George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Harris County.

The Atascocita Fire Department responded to a call about a fallen tree at approximately 6:30 a.m., according to Jerry Dilliard, the department’s spokesperson. Two people were at the residence, and one was deceased at the scene. The second person was transported to the hospital and their condition is currently unclear.

“One person was trapped under a ceiling in a part of the house that the tree had fallen on,” Dilliard said.

In an email, Harris County Sheriff’s Office senior deputy Thomas Gilliland confirmed the death, noting that a tree fell on a house and a man was trapped under debris.

“That tragic incident is being worked by our personnel,” Gilliland wrote.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales said on X that the deceased person is a 53-year-old man who was “sitting in a house with family, riding out the storm.”

Gonzales also reported hours later that a tree fell on a residence in the neighborhood of Rustic Canyon Trail in Houston, causing to the death of a 74-year-old woman. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo described the woman as a grandmother who died after a tree fell on her bedroom in the Spring neighborhood.

— Pooja Salhotra and Stephen Simpson

High winds persist into East Texas, prompting requests for residents to shelter in place

High winds have made their way north from the Texas coast into East Texas and counties have begun to ask residents to shelter in place as a way to keep emergency vehicles off the roads as well.

The storm kept up its momentum as a Category 1 hurricane all the way to Interstate 10, surprising meteorologist Matt Lanza at Space City Weather.

“The widespread wind gusts of 75 to 85 mph so far inland was really unnerving,” he wrote in an updated blog post.

Residents of San Jacinto, Liberty, Hardin and Tyler counties have been encouraged to shelter in place, especially to stay off the roads in an effort to also keep emergency vehicles off the road.

News outlets and emergency management teams throughout the region have reported downed power lines and trees throughout the region.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until 10 p.m. Monday for counties between Montgomery and Texarkana counties, as well as Northwest and North Central Louisiana and Southern Arkansas. A wind advisory is in effect until Tuesday morning.

— Jess Huff

Storm passes over Lake Livingston Dam, which was inundated with rain in April

In Polk County, which is home to the Lake Livingston Dam, the storm began to peak around 11 a.m. with the worst of it located over the dam, according to Polk County Emergency Management. High winds are still top of mind, even as Beryl has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The dam, which recently reported potential failures, was releasing 21,175 cubic feet of water per second as of 11 a.m. and the lake level is at 130.93 feet above sea level.

This is significantly less than the several hundred thousand cubic feet of water released in April, when storms required several hundred thousand cubic feet of water per second to be released for multiple days in a row.

The Trinity River Authority, in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Authority, initiated a temporary flight restriction over the dam as the authority also began construction to mitigate potential failures early Monday.

Houston officials ask residents to remain off roads as damage assessment begins

A truck drives through water and downed branches from Hurricane Beryl on Monday, July 8, 2024, in Houston.

Downed tree limbs and power lines, flooded streets, and power outages have Houston officials pleading with residents to stay home.

Houston mayor John Whitmire held a news conference Monday detailing the dire situation the city finds itself in as it took the brunt of Hurricane Beryl.

“We are dealing with a very serious amount of water. Around 10 inches of rain across the city and 90-mile-per-hour winds and hurricane conditions,” Whitmire said. “Please, Houstonians, shelter in place. We are in emergency and rescue mode.”

Whitmire said over 700,000 Houston electricity customers are currently without power, and the region’s two major airports are not open. However, city officials should better understand the situation now that the storm is moving away.

“We are experiencing the dirty side of a dirty storm,” Whitmire said.

The storm's sustained winds were still at 70 miles per hour as it moved from the Gulf Coast into the Houston area. The National Hurricane Center said that up to 10 inches of rain could fall in some places — and some isolated areas of the state may receive 15 inches. Some areas of Houston have already received nearly 10 inches of rainfall, according to data from the Harris County Flood Control District. On Monday morning, local officials in the Houston area said the storm had downed trees and caused street flooding. At least two people died when trees fell onto their residences.

In Rosenberg, a city 35 miles southwest of Houston, a downed tree hit a high water rescue vehicle returning from a rescue, police said on X . Officials there also urged residents to stay off roadways.

Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Pena underscored the strain on resources due to the high demand for high-water rescues and live wire calls. These are currently the primary service requests, consuming a significant portion of their resources, and they have already helped eight people in high-water rescues.

“Earlier today, we saw a video of a high-water rescue , and you can see how resource-intensive those call types are. We can’t keep using those resources. Please be cautious and heed the warnings,” Pena said.

— Stephen Simpson, Pooja Salhotra and Emily Foxhall

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from generators during power outages

When electrical power is knocked out after a hurricane, carbon monoxide poisoning from improperly used gas-powered generators is especially dangerous. The odorless, colorless gas is called an “invisible killer.” Early symptoms can include headache, dizziness, weakness and nausea, similar to the flu. To stay safe, experts recommend never connecting a generator directly to your home’s wiring, ensuring it's properly grounded, and always operate it outdoors away from windows and vents.

— Alejandra Martinez

Refineries begin reporting storm-related air pollution

Some refineries along the Texas coast have shut down due to Hurricane Beryl and are self-reporting instances of “unintentional” emissions.

In one instance, Freeport LNG, a large natural gas terminal on the coast of Brazoria County, reported releases of over 8,000 pounds of unplanned air pollution on Sunday. Pollutants included ethylene , a chemical with a faint sweet and musky odor, that can cause headache, dizziness, fatigue, and lightheadedness if people are exposed to it in large amounts overtime.

In their report to the state, the company wrote the facility was proactively shutting down before the hurricane winds caused power outages.

“[The shutdown] resulted in a subsequent unavoidable venting,” the report said.

Flaring, a process for burning unwanted gas to relieve pressure or clear pipes, usually happens before or during extreme weather events, said Luke Metzger, executive director of the nonprofit Environment Texas.

The Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, along the Houston Ship Channel, tweeted the facility was flaring Monday morning due to a brief power disruption during the storm. No report has been submitted to the state yet.

Metzger said Beryl’s pollution events are low compared to Hurricane Harvey’s 8.3 million pounds of air pollution reported to the state, but suspects more facilities will submit reports after the storm’s passing.

“I was surprised looking at the pollution reports that there has been relatively little pollution reported,” Metzger said. “That’s either good news because the storm had less of an impact [on refineries] or facilities [operators] have learned their lesson.”

What should I do after a hurricane hits?

Stay away from flood waters and damaged power lines. Don’t enter damaged buildings. Take photos and document damages to your home or property. Residents are also encouraged to document their storm damages and losses through a state-run online survey to help state officials understand the extent of the damages.

Organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and local volunteer organizations can help you find food, shelter and supplies, as well as even assist you with clean-up efforts.

Residents’ homes and possessions are submerged in floodwater following significant rainstorms in Coldspring, Texas, US, on Saturday May 4, 2024.

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Government and community resources may be available to help with recovery. Disaster declarations from the governor and president may free up federal funds for recovery assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency . People cannot receive disaster aid and insurance assistance for the same damages, so insured Texans should file claims through their existing policies before applying for FEMA assistance.

— Maria Probert Hermosillo and Pooja Salhotra

Beryl makes landfall in Texas as Category 1 hurricane

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Hurricane Beryl made landfall near Matagorda around 4 a.m. Monday as a Category 1 Hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm strengthened through Sunday evening and had maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour when it came ashore. A 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center warned about life-threatening storm surge and inland flooding Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of Texans are without power , including many in coastline counties such as Brazoria and Matagorda, according to PowerOutage.us. The full scope of the storm's damage is not yet clear — and it could cause more Monday as it moves northeast through the state.

The hurricane center said the coast was experiencing life-threatening storm surge. It also warned of flash floods throughout the southeastern portion of the state as the storm continues moving inland, bringing five to 10 inches of rain to some areas — or up to 15 inches in some isolated places.

Category 1 storms primarily damage unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees. They can also do extensive damage to electricity lines and cause power outages that last several days.

— Pooja Salhotra

Disclosure: CenterPoint Energy has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here .

Maria Probert Hermosillo , Berenice Garcia and Emily Foxhall contributed to this report.

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Pooja Salhotra

General assignment reporter.

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Stephen Simpson

Mental health reporter.

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@Steve55Simpson

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Alejandra Martinez

Environmental reporter.

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Climate change is pushing up food prices — and worrying central banks

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Sixty years ago, when Giuseppe Divita’s grandparents opened their olive mill in Chiaramonte Gulfi, Sicily, the Italian island’s climate was ideal for producing the fruit.

This is no longer the case, says Divita, who, alongside his brother, runs Oleificio Guccione, which today has its own groves as well as the mill. With average annual temperatures climbing and rainfall dwindling, growing olives and turning them into oil is becoming increasingly difficult.

Throughout the Mediterranean, reduced yields and higher input costs for olive producers have pushed up prices to 20-year highs this year. The production problems are only going to get worse as the effects of climate become more acute, predicts Divita.

For millennia, food production and pricing have been disrupted by the weather, with one-off events such as heatwaves, droughts, flooding or frosts cutting harvests and raising prices. War and disease are also factors, as the world saw recently after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the swine fever that swept through China’s pig population.

But another, more sustained thread has run through many sharp increases in food prices. From oranges in Brazil to cocoa in west Africa; olives in southern Europe to coffee in Vietnam, permanently shifting weather patterns as a result of climate change are reducing crop yields, squeezing supplies and driving up prices.

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Adam Davis, co-founder of global agricultural hedge fund Farrer Capital, says climate change has helped drive up prices for a long list of food commodities trading at higher levels this year. “Wheat is up 17 per cent, palm oil 23 per cent . . . sugar 9 per cent and pork 21 per cent,” he says. For the consumer, the “lag effect of those high commodity prices is not going away”.

A third of the food price increases in the UK in 2023 was down to climate change, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit think-tank.

“There’s a material impact from climate change on global food prices,” says Frederic Neumann, chief Asia economist at HSBC. “It’s easy to shrug off individual events as being isolated, but we’ve just seen such a sequence of abnormal events and disruptions that, of course, add up to climate change impact.”

Such repeated events result in “a permanent impact on the ability to supply food,” argues Neumann. Food price rises once considered temporary are becoming a source of persistent inflationary pressure.

Globally, annual food inflation rates could rise by up to 3.2 percentage points per year within the next decade or so as a result of higher temperatures, according to a recent study by the European Central Bank and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Guccione’s olive groves in Chiaramonte Gulfi, Sicily

This will mean an increase in annual overall inflation of up to 1.18 percentage points by 2035, found the study, which used historic data from 121 countries from 1996 to 2021 to model future inflation scenarios. The global south stands to be the worst affected.

The question is how monetary policy should reflect this. Many central banks exclude food and energy prices from so-called core inflation, the measure they watch most closely, owing to their volatility.

But now that climate change is starting to cause sustained inflationary pressure, debate is growing over whether rate-setters should pay more heed — not least because the impact of rising food prices is felt keenly by ordinary citizens.

David Barmes, policy fellow at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, says regarding spikes in food inflation as temporary “is not really going to be a useful approach any more, if the price shocks are repeated and frequent and will affect headline inflation in a more persistent way”.

Neumann predicts that more frequent interruptions to food supply “will force central banks to respond, leading to more volatile interest rates, and possibly higher interest rates over time”.

The world is on track for a temperature rise of up to 2.9C above pre-industrial levels — almost double a target agreed at the 2015 Paris climate talks, according to a recent report published by the UN environment programme.

The pace of this warming is also increasing, defying even climate scientists’ expectations . Last year was the hottest year on record, but may be eclipsed by the current one as temperatures soar to nearly 50C in India and Europe braces itself for another scorching summer.

Agriculture is one of the sectors most directly affected. Over the next decade, some of the world’s most globally important crops may be in short supply as rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events hamper harvests. 

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Wheat yields, for example, are drastically reduced once spring temperatures exceed 27.8C, yet a recent study found that the major wheat-growing regions of China and the US were experiencing temperatures well in excess of this increasingly frequently.

Heatwaves that were expected to occur once every hundred years in 1981 are now expected every six years in the Midwestern US and every 16 years in northeastern China, according to the research by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.  

Rice, soyabeans, corn and potatoes are among other staples that could see yields plummet. For many crops, higher temperatures mean lower yields. “They have pretty stable productivity up to temperatures between 20C and 30C, depending on the crop,” says Friderike Kuik, an economist, who led the ECB study. “Beyond that, we see quite sharp declines.”

This fall in productivity leads to high food prices, she adds. “It’s just simple supply and demand.”

They have pretty stable productivity up to temperatures between 20C and 30C, depending on the crop. Beyond that, we see quite sharp declines Friderike Kuik, ECB economist

Extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and storms, that are becoming increasingly frequent also have knock-on effects.

Flooding in Pakistan in 2022 decimated the country’s rice fields, while climate change has compounded the effects of the El Niño sea temperature phenomenon, which returned last year, resulting in low yields of sugar, coffee and cocoa .

The changes in climate and weather patterns are also altering growing seasons and creating new pressures from pests and diseases. In Ghana and Ivory Coast, which produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa beans , heavy rainfall last summer created the humid conditions perfect for black pod disease — a fungal infection which rots cocoa pods — to thrive.

This, coupled with other diseases and poor weather, knocked yields and led to a global crop more than 10 per cent smaller than the year before. 

For farmers, the challenges posed by climate change mean higher input costs. Land that once produced ample crops from rainwater now needs to be irrigated and more pesticides are needed to keep diseases and bugs at bay.

Workers prepare a combine harvester at a soyabean field in Waynesfield, Ohio

In Sicily, with temperatures reaching 40C during harvest, the Divita brothers have had to introduce special chilling machinery. Hotter weather also affects labour productivity, increasing production costs that are passed on to consumers as higher prices.

Estimating the extent of this impact is challenging, says William Hynes, senior climate change economist at the World Bank. As in the case of the ECB study, most empirical literature looks at temperature increases because the data is readily available. But Hynes says there are numerous other ways in which climate change affects crop yields and food prices. “The whole system is changing.”

Crop yields will not suffer in every region. Some regions or countries may be able to grow more of certain crops as a result of changes in the climate, says Hynes, citing winemaking in England among other examples. Other parts of the world may be able to adapt by switching to hardier crops or more newly developed drought-resistant varieties. 

Notwithstanding such adaptations, climate change is set to hinder not help the world’s food supplies, according to Paul Ekins, professor of resources and environment policy at University College London.

This leads to greater overall inflationary pressure as higher food prices feed through into higher costs of living. But the extent of this pressure varies.

The ECB researchers, for example, found that temperature increases prompted a sharp decline in productivity and rise in inflation once they exceeded a certain threshold. Depending on the crop, a temperature increase of 5C, from 20C to 25C, might have less impact on yields and inflation than one of 2C, from 34C to 36C, for example.

An employee of the citrus producing farm, Sitio Andrade, harvests tangerines on June 7, 2024 in Piedade dos Gerais, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Regions such as South America and Africa already routinely experience temperatures close to the thresholds at which they become damaging to crops, says Kuik, “so it’s in those regions that further increases in temperature have a more significant impact on food prices”.

By contrast, more temperate Europe tends to endure the worst effects of climate change — and the accompanying inflation impact — during the summer months. In 2022, food inflation in Europe rose by around 0.6 percentage points as a result of the continent’s hot summer, the ECB’s researchers found.

Food also constitutes a larger share of household expenditures in developing economies — sometimes up to 50 per cent of the consumer price index — meaning any increase in prices has a magnified effect on overall inflation, according to HSBC’s Neumann. Higher food prices also reduce the money available for other items, stifling broader consumer spending.

“The food CPI itself is also much more sensitive to disruptions and swings in input prices,” says Neumann. Wheat might make up 70 per cent of the cost of bread in a low or middle-income country but as little as 10 per cent in a richer one, where labour, energy and transport costs are more significant.

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Similarly, wealthy countries that are well-integrated into global markets are better able to deal with a failed harvest. “If a German wheat harvest goes wrong, they can buy their wheat on global markets,” Neumann adds. But a poorer country may neither be able to afford to go elsewhere, nor have the infrastructure to import large quantities of the food, he adds. “The [global] south is left holding the bag.” 

Advanced economies are not off the hook, however, according to Gert Peersman, professor of economics at Ghent University, Belgium. His research suggests that in the medium term up to 30 per cent of the volatility in Eurozone inflation is caused by changes in international food prices, determined by unexpected global harvest shocks. 

Even though food makes up a much smaller portion of household expenditure in rich countries, most people “look at food to form their [inflation] expectations”, says Peersman. This drives actual inflation, he and many other economists argue, as it pushes people to ask for higher wages.

Barmes agrees, saying that consumers “are very sensitive to food prices . . . so if climate change means that food prices are persistently going up, that does have a disproportionate effect on their inflation expectations.”

Some economists say that in advanced economies, companies with big market power can amplify inflation in times of supply disruptions. Isabella Weber, assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says the inflation of the past few years “was triggered by shocks to essential sectors [such as food and energy] and then propagated by firms’ pricing decisions”.

The growing impact of climate change on agriculture is reigniting a debate over whether central banks should respond to food price shocks as they do generalised price increases — by raising interest rates.

For a long time, consensus held among economists was that they should not, says Marc Pourroy, associate professor of economics at the University of Poitiers in France. This was because food inflation was seen as temporary, mean-reverting and volatile. “You don’t want your interest rates to be volatile,” he adds.

Food price inflation has also tended to be driven by external global factors, which small economies in particular have no impact over. “Interest rate hikes don’t address negative supply side shocks,” says Barmes, adding that they can actually be counterproductive because they can further cut output.

It may well be that developing countries have to take [the price of food] more into account because it’s not only a big part of the budget, it’s also a secular trend and it’s become more volatile Raghuram Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India

Nor do they increase food supply, economists and other market analysts contended when monetary policy orthodoxy was challenged in response to the food price shocks of 2008 and 2011.

This time around, though, the parameters of the debate have shifted because of climate change, economists note.

Central banks in developing economies have always had to be more responsive to food prices, says Raghuram Rajan, who was governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016.

“It may well be that developing countries have to take it more into account because it’s not only a big part of the budget, it’s also a secular trend and it’s become more volatile,” he adds.

As climate change takes hold and impairs crop yields, governments are also more and more likely to turn to protectionist policies which can exacerbate the inflationary impact. Last year, for example, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed export restrictions on broken and non-basmati white rice varieties, sending commodity prices surging.

How to respond to this is more contentious. Barmes argues there is a need for alternative inflation control tools to deal with the pressures coming from climate change.

Implemented by fiscal and industrial authorities, rather than central banks, these might include price controls and targeted subsidies. Tighter competition policy and antitrust measures are also needed to prevent corporations with large market share from profiteering during inflationary periods and thereby exacerbating the problem, he adds.

An employee checks robusta coffee beans during the cooling down process at the Tran-Q Co. coffee factory in Dong Nai province, Vietnam

Weber, the Amherst professor, argued in a recent paper that countries should build buffer stocks of food commodities to cushion against price fluctuations and levy windfall profit taxes against companies in essential sectors, such as food, to deter price gouging .

Neumann acknowledges that raising rates at a time when food prices are also rising comes with risks and is not always effective. But he adds that in most contexts “you cannot ignore food price shocks entirely, you should be raising interest rates”.

Rajan, the former RBI governor, agrees that “you have to be a little careful responding to things like the temporary shoot up in price of onions”, a short-term shock that is quickly fixed when more supply arrives.

But “you can’t just ignore [food prices]”, he adds, especially not when they are high for some time. Central banks must increase interest rates “not so much to kill this price increase, but to avoid everything else picking up with it”.

For smaller economies at least this appreciates the currency, says Pourroy, helping reduce the price of imports.

“Central banks should not overreact,” he says, but as the effects of climate change take hold, food inflation will be “too important for the economy, for the people, for them to do nothing”. 

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A picture of the first lady, Jill Biden, smiling with her hands clasped at Joe Biden.

Opinion ‘Michelle Cottle

The ‘Philly Girl’ Shielding Biden From the Bad News

Credit... Damon Winter/The New York Times

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Michelle Cottle

By Michelle Cottle

Michelle Cottle writes about national politics for Opinion and is a host of the podcast “Matter of Opinion.”

  • July 3, 2024

Amid the public fretting and finger-pointing rage over how to deal with a Democratic presidential nominee who most Americans think is too old for the job, some of the frustration is being directed at the first lady, Jill Biden. Which has me thinking back to one of the viral moments from her husband’s 2020 campaign.

On the night of Super Tuesday, as Joe Biden was delivering his celebratory speech at a rally in Los Angeles, two anti-dairy demonstrators rushed the stage , only to run smack up against the protective wall of Dr. Biden. With impressively fleet feet — rocking metallic sling-back pumps, no less — she inserted herself between her man and potential harm. There is an amazing photo of her grimacing and holding a protester at bay by the wrists as Mr. Biden looks on with concern. “We’re OK,” she assured everyone once the spectacle was over. “We’re OK.”

Notably, this was not the first time the candidate’s wife had served as a human shield for him in that race. Less than a month earlier, on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, she blocked an aggressive heckler and then showed him the door, joking afterward , “I’m a good Philly girl.”

Philly tough. That is who Dr. Biden is, fiercely and reflexively, when it comes to protecting and supporting her husband. This has been her role since the couple’s courting days, when he was a young senator struggling to recover from losing his first wife and baby daughter in a car crash. And those looking to recruit her to encourage Mr. Biden to reconsider his presidential bid may sorely misunderstand her — and their marriage.

“She gave me back my life,” he gushed of Dr. Biden in his 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep.” Even before officially joining the family, she became a surrogate mother to his two young sons. And for nearly half a century since, she has sustained her husband through enough high-intensity drama to shatter a lesser spouse: his near-fatal aneurysm, the death of his oldest child, the disastrous drug addiction of his younger son, multiple presidential runs.

Which means that if Mr. Biden is determined to stay in this race, Jilly, as he calls her, is going to have his back. Period. Even if much of his own party suspects that he is very much not OK. In fact, the more that elite establishment types clamor for him to move aside, the more Dr. Biden is likely to get her back up.

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    Running is not just a physical activity; it is a journey of self-discovery, perseverance, and growth. As the pounding of my feet against the pavement echoes in rhythm with the beating of my heart, I am transported to a place where my mind is free to wander and my spirit is liberated. In this narrative essay, I will delve into the profound ...

  4. From Identity to Inspiration: A Reading List on Why We Run

    Running is a sport of contradiction. Finishing a marathon is at once extraordinary and unremarkable: Running 26.2 miles is an exceptional achievement, but it's also one that 1.1 million people complete every year. In running, themes of life and death coexist. On one hand, it's a celebration of what the human body can do and achieve.

  5. Health Benefits of Running: [Essay Example], 632 words

    One of the most well-known benefits of running is its positive impact on cardiovascular health. Regular running helps to strengthen the heart, improve blood circulation, and lower blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, running can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as it helps to increase the levels of good ...

  6. College Application: Writing About Running

    Only one of those running essays stands out. It was by a kid who had been a soccer player and used to make fun of the runners with their itty-bitty shorts. After running a 2:10 800m as a freshman ...

  7. Benefits of Running: [Essay Example], 256 words GradesFixer

    Scientific research has shown that running can help the body release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of calmness and happiness. For individuals struggling with anxiety or depression, incorporating running into their routine can provide a much-needed mental health boost. Furthermore, the long-term health benefits of running ...

  8. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    A collection of personal essays about writing, endurance, and running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running considers the impact running has had on the author's life and work. Over the course of nine short essays, Haruki Murakami travels from Tokyo to Boston as he details his training regimen for the 2005 New York City Marathon and ...

  9. Why I Run: An Essay from a Marathon Maniac, Ultramarathoner ...

    He's a qualifying member in both Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Marathon Club. In 2019, he ran the Boston Marathon to earn his Sixth Star for the Abbott World Marathon Majors. He's also one state away from finishing a marathon in all 50 states and has set an ambitious goal to complete 100 marathons by the end of 2019.

  10. Essay about Running

    583 Words. 3 Pages. Open Document. Running is very good for humans in many different ways. It is a great way to get exercise, and a great way to meet new people. There are many positives, and some negatives, it is easy, enjoyable and makes humans more social, you can do it at anytime, and it relieves stress rather than give stress. Although ...

  11. Essays on Running

    Essays on Running; Books; Music; About; ... To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past. April 20, 2020. Wired. An Aging Marathoner Tries to Run Fast After 40. November 2, 2018. WireD. Remembering Gabriele Grunewald, Who Ran For Herself and Others. June 14, 2019. The New Yorker.

  12. Running Essays: Samples & Topics

    Essay Samples on Running. Essay Examples. Essay Topics. The Highlights of Some of the Best Kinesiology Tapes. Whether you are a runner, skater, baller or involved in any form of athletics, a kinesiology tape is your ticket to less painful joints and muscles. The sports tape is used by professional athletes to support their muscles, joints ...

  13. Essays About Running ️ Free Examples & Essay Topic Ideas

    Free essays on Running can be found online and they provide readers with various perspectives on the activity of running. These essays offer insights into the physical, mental and emotional benefits of running, as well as the challenges and obstacles that runners may face. Some essays focus on training tips, while others explore the history and ...

  14. Persuasive Essay About Running

    Persuasive Essay About Running. Running is a physically demanding sport. If you are looking for a way to get in shape, then you should consider running. Running uses every muscle in your body because you are engaging every aspect of yourself in the activity. Also, running is a great way to incorporate more cardio into your workout.

  15. Sample Short Answer Essay for a College Application

    Sample Short Answer Essay. Christie wrote the following sample short answer essay to elaborate upon her love of running: It is the simplest of movements: right foot, left foot, right foot. It is the simplest of actions: run, relax, breathe. For me, running is both the most basic and the most complex activity I perform in any day.

  16. Running Essay

    Ultra Running Essay. Running is the purest form of exercise. Its simplicity requires minimal equipment or experience, as the running motion is an innate movement for the human body. More specifically ultra running is beyond the marathon distance of 26.2 miles and incorporates distances of 50, 100, and 200-mile races.

  17. On Running

    On Running. True Story, Issue #21. Equally a meditation on the pursuit of running, a reflection on Lewis and Clark's endeavor to map the continent, ... In my sixth-grade history class, we did research papers on famous explorers. I was assigned Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. I became enamored of the two captains (although Clark ...

  18. Running as a Conduit for Physical and Mental Well-being

    Running is a popular form of physical exercise that offers a multitude of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. The act of running involves repetitive movements that engage various muscle groups, promoting cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance. Additionally, running has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health ...

  19. Running Race

    Paper Type: 400 Word Essay Examples. Characters' Name: Jeffery Lionel Magee- (Maniac Magee), Amanda Beale, Mars Bar Thompson, John McNab, Piper McNab, Russell McNab, Earl Grayson, Mrs. Beale, Hester, Lester. Personalty Traits: Maniac Magee, the main character, has very kind and a nice personality. He is also brave, and trusted and very athletic.

  20. I'm writing my college application essay about running, do you guys

    The essay prompt is about something that's meaningful to you, and since running is extremely meaningful to me, I figure I'd write my essay about it. However, there's so many aspects of running that I enjoy: from the ultra competitive, to the meditative, to the friendships that stem from it--I'm really, really not sure where to start.

  21. Social running is all the rage—here's why it's good for you

    Run clubs have a long history dating back to the early 19th century. The first known running club, the Thames Hare and Hounds, was established in 1868 in London, promoting the sport as a social ...

  22. Running is great exercise, but here's how to keep going safely

    Running is often an escape from our tech gadgets, but carrying a phone while running is a non-negotiable safety measure for me. While it may not prevent an incident, having it available to call ...

  23. Essay On Marathon Running

    A full marathon entails you to run for 26 miles which can obviously take a …show more content…. When you run, your body temperature increases which help inhibit the growth of bacteria in your body. Running also hastens the circulation of the body's protective cells throughout the body enabling your immune system to fend off viruses and ...

  24. Essays on Running

    Ethics, Education, and Responsible Practices in Running. 2 pages / 1110 words. As a highly competitive sport, running involves various ethical, environmental, and educational considerations. This essay explores these aspects, starting with the ethical dilemmas surrounding performance-enhancing drug use in running.

  25. Reasons to Love Running in New York City

    Endorphins: This nationwide running group has a strong presence in New York City. While the group runs every Monday are a big draw, joining Endorphins also gets you access to online resources like ...

  26. Tropical Storm Beryl: Latest Texas updates on storm's damage

    By 7 p.m., the National Hurricane Center discontinued all tropical storm and storm surge warnings. But a public advisory said the storm would continue to produce flooding rains and a risk of ...

  27. Climate change is pushing up food prices

    Wheat yields, for example, are drastically reduced once spring temperatures exceed 27.8C, yet a recent study found that the major wheat-growing regions of China and the US were experiencing ...

  28. Opinion

    On the night of Super Tuesday, as Joe Biden was delivering his celebratory speech at a rally in Los Angeles, two anti-dairy demonstrators rushed the stage, only to run smack up against the ...