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The Penndulum

The Penndulum

Thrill of the Race

Thomas McGann
Running vs. Driving

The thrill of the open road, the rush of adrenaline as the finish line draws near, the excitement and anticipation of the race. Whether by foot or car, racing offers many a sense of exhilaration and sometimes a wonderful accomplished feeling. In both ways, the runner or driver must have a certain fitness level. Runners must tackle exerting muscles to maximum capacity, and drivers must be able to handle the harsh conditions of controlling a vehicle at the speeds at which they are moving. Both require focus, concentration, and strategy.

Michael McGann, a lifetime runner, made some comments of his own to describe how others might compare the two (racecar driving and racing on foot). “It still gets me excited for something, and makes me feel younger. As a lifetime runner, that starting line nervous feeling never disappears and becomes a part of you forever,” answered McGann when asked why he races. “I consider myself an avid racer, even at age forty-nine. I just recently accomplished another year of running the Boston Marathon,” McGann continued, providing credibility to voice his feelings and experiences towards running. While McGann is not familiar with racecar driving other than the basics, he understands how someone could feel strongly about driving fast cars in a race setting, just like how he enjoys running in a race setting. In response to being asked if driving a racecar in a race could provoke similar feelings of a running race, McGann answered, “When running a race, there are these indescribable feelings that I know I get, and I’m sure others get. As someone who doesn’t drive racecars, I can’t exactly say I’d feel the same in that situation that I would while running a race. I can definitely see someone who enjoys racecar driving as much as I enjoy running get such feelings though.”

Racecar driving is popular among many Americans. To many, fast cars flying around a racetrack at high speeds are more enticing than people running a race. The two different racing styles still have some similarities though. Without being conditioned to accomplish these feats, a person wouldn’t get through the race. For example, running a marathon without training is ill-advised. A marathon is 26.2 miles. If the average person were to try this without running beforehand, it would be more than a struggle. The same goes for racing around the racetrack at inhuman speeds. If someone is not prepared physically for the challenge of controlling their vehicle at such a velocity around a track, the outcome wouldn’t be something anyone should desire.

Running and racecar driving have parallels, but still quite an abundance of differences. Whichever one catches your eye more doesn’t matter, as long as it’s clear neither one is easy for anyone to do at the elite level. Both activities require a combination of mental and physical toughness, as well as strategy and skill. Running requires endurance and discipline, and racecar driving requires situational awareness. Racing in either form shares a similar goal, which is to push the limits of what is thought to be possible. Pursuits in either field of racing can push anyone to new heights and set a higher ceiling for capabilities once deemed impossible.

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About the Contributors
Jake Potter, Student Writer
Jake Potter, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include playing hockey, riding dirt bikes, and driving. He plans to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Jake will be majoring in Aerospace Engineering. The school is located in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Thomas McGann, Student Writer
Thomas McGann, Grade 12. Interests include running track and cross country.

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