Let me dispel this silly notion that "it's not a race." It's always a race. Always.
The only time it wasn't a race would have been in the distant past when there was only one organism on the entire planet. That first organism had it good... until the second organism came along, and then it was a race.
Billions of years of races followed, each organism competing in a myriad of races: race to not be eaten, race to eat and survive another day, race to breed.
And thus we come to humanity, the pinnacle of evolution. But don't think that just because you're riding a hipster fixie that you're somehow above this proletariat competition. Even your conception was the result of a race that was won by a single sperm cell.
Do you know the name of the second person that made it to the North Pole? The South Pole? Second solo flight across the Atlantic? Second man on the Moon? If you know all those names off the top of your head you may be a history buff or just quick with Google, but everyone knows the names Peary, Amundsen, Lindberg, and Armstrong.
Did Ronald Reagan tell the players "sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they've got and come in second for the Gipper"? Hell no.
Ignore these retro-grouches that claim it's not a race. They want you to believe that. That way they can slowly work their way up in the pack until they're on your wheel, and then jump past with 50 yards to go.
Don't believe them. Second place is the first loser.
To quote John Mason: "Your 'best'! Losers always whine about their 'best'! Winners go home and fuck the prom queen."
You think it's not a race? Oh yes it is...
“If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?” - Vince Lombardi