Salvation is not something we are running to acquire, it is something that was given to us as a "gift". We do not earn gifts, we simple receive them. Rom 6:23.. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Running the race has nothing to with salvation, it has to do with earning "rewards". There are five "crowns" that can be earned as a Christian in this life, but salvation in not one of them.