Last week, I mentioned that I was running fewer races this year than I did in the year before, which has me thinking about why I’ve chosen the races I did this year (or even why I run races at all – but that’s another topic for another day!). Conveniently, this week’s Tuesdays on the Run is all about how we choose races. Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and Marcia for hosting!
Several things go into my race choices:
– Location: First and most important is location. If it is local and at a site I like to run, that’s always great. If it is in a place I’m going for work or a place we’d like to go for vacation (like all of those Disney runs!), even better!
– Time of year: I tend to race more in the fall and the late spring, because that’s when my running mood is always the highest and the weather around here is the most runner-friendly. It’s hard to drag myself out in the heat and cold to race.
– Price: I’ve got to balance the costs of those Disney races, so for anything local, the cheaper the better unless it is for a cause I’m particularly dedicated to.
– Fun themes: I don’t really dress up myself, but I love when there’s a fun theme and I can enjoy everyone else’s outfits or the pre/post race parties.
– New distances or challenges: For my big races each year, I choose based on the distance and the challenge. Is it something new in terms of type of race or a new time/distance goal for the year? That’s always my biggest driver, like for the back to back half marathons I’ll do in a couple of months (yikes!) and the marathon I’ll do in January (double yikes!!). I also look at the previous finishing times. If I’ve got a PR goal, then a less crowded race might be good (and a flat race!). If I don’t feel like being dead last (some days that wouldn’t bother me, honestly), then I check to be sure that it isn’t a race that caters to an exclusively speedy crowd.
How do you choose the races you run?