(Well, not really, since I don't approve of bandits.) So what? Winning doesn't afford that many opportunities for emotional growth.
TO ESSAY IS TO TRYWe get the word essay from the 16th century French writer Montaigne.
If you can do that by writing about running, go for it.
But understand that you are not writing about running you are writing something about yourself. In fact, once you start sounding like you have the answers, you're in danger of writing one of those mind-numbing "In society today" essays.
Instead, you have only to pose an interesting question and wrestle with it.
Here's what I believe about writing: We write to make people fall in love with us.
Writing requires discipline and patience and multiple revisions.
Pick up any running club newsletter or click on a friends blog and you will see hundreds, maybe thousands of words, but most of them are not arranged in a way that makes you want to read them.
If you can't imagine someone reading your stuff, write a journal.
College admissions officers are generally nice people, sometimes smart enough to have been admitted to the universities from which they are now rejecting thousands of applicants, who read huge numbers of files from identically-qualified students. Much has to do with personal preference and the reality of the numbers.