It was not my long-term ambition. However once you start running distance, speed, hills, interval, injury-free, appearance, feel-good-feeling and many other words become relevant. A bit of competition does not hurt either if only on a fun level.
So some of the participants of the park run equivalent Saturday morning 5km followed by breakfast started talking about races. Joined the local formally organised runs etc.
Never participated for any other reason that exercise it works. Having someone to chase, setting a personal best (PB) or something else does make it a bit more fun. Even if you are not fit, not fast, not a great technique or a bit embarrassed about size it is worth it. So a half marathon is a long run. 5km is long enough. Long enough to practice springing, hills, interval and many other elements. But the time will some come that you want to see a different scenery. I personally MUST run to music. So a treadmill? No – hate it. Far too boring for me. Even if running on hills (incline in treadmill speak) or specific programmes – boring boring boring. However some like it so good for you/them.
The half marathon was in Seville. BEAUTIFUL! And it was not only us 8 from the local running club. We were almost 10 thousand runners. Cold in the morning (6C when we got up but already 13C by the time we finished the race) and fantastic architecture, lots of spectators and also observing the fellow runners was a huge motivation.
Summary. Don’t frown at a race. Join park runs, look for non-competing running groups or not. Even a loose WhatsApp group announcing to run tonight in case anyone is interested is fine.