Monday, September 9, 2013

Picking A Race

How Do You Go About Selecting A Race?

Picking a race to run can be a big deal.  A lot of training miles are invested in one day.  A lot of money can be spent on travel and registration expense.  Selecting a race can be a major decision point.   

Do you enter a race based on the distance, part of a training cycle?  Do you sign up for a race based on the destination, a getaway with the family.  Do you register for a race based on performance, are you attempting a BQ bid?  Or do you decide to run a race with nothing in mind other then a good time, the bling/swag, the party and the fun?

So how do I pick a race?

Mostly on distance.  I pick most of my races based on the distance I need as part of my Marathon/Ultra training plan.  I normally target a few select races during the year, then the rest of my racing is based around races that will support these races.  The trend lately has seen most of my races being Half Marathons and longer.  Looking back at 2013 and I've only raced twice at distances shorter then a half (10k and 14K).

On Location:  I'm not an Elite, not independently wealthy and not sponsored by a national shoe company.  Selecting a race and associated travel costs and vacation days I would need to blow are a major factor for me.  Most of my races are local events, but a few I run in combination with long weekends or already planned family vacations.  Reviewing my race travels for last year I ran, nine races within the 757 area code and four in combination with a night out of town.

On performance:  This year my eyes are squarely on running a sub-four hour marathon.  I selected both Cleveland (failed attempt) and Niagara Falls (up-coming) with the hopes of providing a flat and fast track.  I have yet to avoid a run based on the performance.  I've gone into a few races knowing it was going to be a slow tough event for me.  In 2013 I ran both easy races and one (Medoc Mountain Meltdown) that I knew would kick my butt.

With my eyes on the bling/swag:  Yes I'm a sucker for the big and shinny  And I love the free goodies and event shirts.  But in reality I do not pay much attention to the bling or event goodies when I select a race.  I love finding out what the medal looks like (after) and I like a lot of chrome and shinny stuff, but I do not select a race based solely on the bling/swag.  The swag at the expo and the finishing bling is a bonus.

Saying all that, I Just signed up for the 20th Annual Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run!


So how do you select your races?

No matter how you do it, get out there and run, race and do your best!


  1. You are going to kick ass at the 100 miler. I pick my races for a lot of the same reasons as you, whatever fits in my schedule for my goal races, location, etc.

    1. After I hit the 100 miler submit button...I said, what did I just do?

      Oh boy!

  2. Sounds very similar to me. I always try to find a Half Marathon to run one week prior to a Full. Next Saturday the Midtown Half in Raleigh, followed by destination race, Asheville Full, a week later. Still in NC, but a four hour drive, and perfect chance to spend a long weekend in the mountains during Fall. I live 1/2 hour from Umstead Park, it's tough.

    1. Thanks for the reply...Umstead will be interesting, I've done a few 24 hours races..75 miles is my longest run. I have a 12 hour run in two week...will give it my all