Running FoMo: the pain of spotting a race you’re not entered in

Okay, normally I write about running. But today’s entry is technically about not running…

After a string of events in the past few weekends, I had the luxury of a quiet weekend largely to myself. A welcome chance to relax and kick back a bit. So, of course, as the weekend approach I started thinking to myself ‘hmmm, I wonder if there are any races on’.

I had a scout around various running websites, and found a number of possible events. That’s not all that difficult at this time of year: there are plenty of runs in June, and I live in a part of the world where it isn’t hard to find a huge variety of events without going far. Heck, there are plenty of runs that go past my house (such as the one I did last weekend).

Anyway, I searched through the list of events, and found myself sorely tempted by a ten-mile race. It was based on a route I knew well – a loop down the River Thames path between Hampton Court Palace and Kingston-upon-Thames. Tempting… very tempting.

Then again, a weekend off. I had plenty of things to do and sort. The weather forecast was mixed. In the end, I decided I’d rather have a free weekend without the commitment of having to be somewhere at a set time to run a set distance. It made the most sense.

Decision made. Great.

I still did the parkrun on Saturday morning (my 81st parkrun outing was rewarded with a strong 19m 56s), and got plenty of stuff sorted the rest of the day. My rough plan for today involved doing some shopping in the morning, having a lunch at home while I did a spot of work, and then going out for a late afternoon run up in Richmond Park.

So this morning I walked down the River Thames towpath to Kingston-upon-Thames. And then, the moment I reached the town centre I spotted… runners. With numbers pinned on. Doing a race. What race was this? And then I suddenly realised: it was the race I nearly entered.

I was instantly hugely jealous.

Yup, jealous. Of people doing an event I’d made a conscious decision not to enter. The moment I saw them, I really wished I’d entered that race. Which is pretty much what I do whenever I see people taking part in a race that I’m not doing.

That looks great. What am I missing out on?

It’s daft, really. I chose not to enter the race, yet now was full of regret I hadn’t done so, and was jealous of those who had. Entering the race would have required getting up early, trekking to the start (much further from my house than the part of the race I encountered), warming up, doing a ten-mile run, cooling down, recovering and getting home a bit achey – and having to fit everything else I needed to do today around that. In short, entering that race this weekend didn’t make sense for me… and yet I was still regretting the face I hadn’t!

What’s up with that? Is that fear of missing out? Or just a sign I’m slightly too addicted to running races than I should be?

Either way, I stuck to my original plans for the day, and had a lovely late afternoon run in Richmond Park, with several herds of deer for company. Beautiful.

And yet, in the back of my head, I can’t help but wonder what I missed out on by not doing that race…



  1. Pingback: Running doesn’t take a vacation | Atters Goes Running
  2. Pingback: The pain of not running the London Marathon | Atters Goes Running

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