Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Consider these things for your next race

What do you look for when picking a race? What is important to you?  Do you sign up for every race that comes your way? There are so many races out there which is a good sign that racing has become very popular. You could probably find a race every weekend if you wanted to.  How do you narrow it down?


Personally, the things I look for has changed from time to time.

Destination: I use to look for races that were in a destination that I wanted to visit and then I looked to see if they offered a distance that I was willing to run. I'll pretty much travel for all distances if I feel it would be a good race.  Destination races are larger in size (so I was certain I wouldn't come in last...lol). There is usually some other event going on, the swag is cool (usually a great tech race shirt and a fancy medal), and they end up being a long weekend getaway with just the girls or a family affair. I usually don't care too much about the price for a destination race because I consider it a mini vacation.  For a destination race I DO want to make sure it includes a medal but I don't really care what it looks like. I prefer to be surprised at the finish line but that rarely happens anymore thanks to social media.  A few of my favorite destination races include Disneyland, Rock n Roll Las Vegas, Disney World, and races at the Beach!

Now that I've pretty much done all the destination races that I've had any desire to do I want to cut back for a while until something else sparks my interest. In the mean time these are some things that I look for in NON-Destination races.

Weather/Time of Year:  Because I hate being cold at the start line of a race I make it a rule to not do any races north of the Mason Dixon line during the winter months.  One exception to this is if it's a 5K.

Race Course: I like to stick with fairly flat course. I'm not big into challenging course for a local race, although I totally missed the mark on this one recently.

Cost: I don't like to pay a lot for a local race, especially when it is a course that I could normally run for free. I also like to see what is offered for the cost. The last few locals I did gave great tech shirts and the money went towards a great charity so it was a win-win.

Events: I like to do races that are associated with a larger event or festival. It's nice to be able to hang out afterwards and see what else is going on, maybe grab a bite to eat, etc.  I don't like crossing the finish line and then heading right back to the car.

                                          We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

33 comments:

  1. I also like to do destination races for longer distances. For a 5k, I will stay local and prefer not to pay too much. I think the 5k is the only distance I will be willing to run any time of year!

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    1. Yea, cus hopefully we aren't on the course for too long!

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  2. Good tips! I'd say location, time of year and the course are biggies for me! Hope you had a great holiday.

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    1. Yea, they seem to be the general things everyone looks for.

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  3. I agree with you on the post-race events! That's definitely something I look forward to as well.

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    1. Yea, I like to stick around for a little bit and see what's going on.

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  4. I'm getting pickier about which races I register for - like, I didn't run the locak Firecracker 5K on Monday because it was too expensive for a little 5K on the same route that I've run many times already...but I will probably run the Houston half marathon every year, even if they never change the route. Go figure...

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    1. I hate when they make local 5Ks so expensive!

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  5. I think cost, timing, and the course are big things I look for when I'm choosing local races.

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    1. You've been pretty good at selecting your races!

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  6. I'm all about flat courses especially with my knee. Theres a half marathon around here that is in the fall & I was debating doing it - but the course is SOOOO hilly so I'm out.

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    1. Yea, I skip out if I know a race will be hilly.

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  7. I agree with you!! A race that is attached to a festival is the best choice!

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  8. I mostly do 5k's local, but the first Disney race I did was one of their 5k's. I knew I could do the distance, so it was mostly to make sure I could absorb the race atmosphere and see if I liked it. I figured I could stay calm knowing I could do 3 miles.

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  9. I do most of my racing locally. It's just easier with the current state of my life. However, I do love a good destination race and try to get at least one in per year. I like to meet up with a friend and her family who live in a different state and our families vacation together along with the race. I tend to not worry about hills, but time of year is certainly a factor. I hate hot, humid races.

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    1. Yes, it is definitely easier to do local races.

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  10. I still have not done a true destination race, though I have done races in Maryland and DC (I'm in Philly). I look for a lot of the same things you do. More than anything, I want to see some great sights while on a race, so the course does play a big role!

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    1. There are so many destination races right here on the East Coast!

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  11. Cost and location are the two big factors for me. Maybe once my kids get older I won't have to worry about location as much. Or once I buy a pop-up camper. :)

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  12. There was a lot going on in Saratoga yesterday, but basically we finished and came back home. Probably because you have to go up super early to get decent parking. And I gotta say I was pretty beat yesterday anyway!

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  13. These are definitely things people should consider before taking on a race - I myself, would never do a race as I am so not competitive - but I do love that these races can be insanely motivating for people!

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    1. I'm not competitive either but I do them for fun! You are really only competing with yourself anyway!

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  14. It's funny...sometimes I look for a race that's part of a festival, but sometimes that's a deterrent because it can impact the cost of the race! I look for time of year, location, cost...and swag. If there are finishers medals, I'm way more likely to sign up! I know it's silly, but I like the memento :)

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    1. No, that's not silly at all. I wouldn't actually travel for a race unless I got a medal. I'll do local ones that are real close though even though they generally don't give them!

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  15. Completely agree with every single factor you consider in selecting a race! I am totally with you on the Disney races being wonderful destination races. I've never done a race that runs along the beach, though. Note to self for the future!

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  16. I look at the course first- is it somewhere I'd enjoy? Cost and location are always important. I don't race too often, so I try to make it Disney and make a trip out of it! :)

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  17. Great points! I find myself pretty price sensitive with local races. Some around here are getting ridiculous.

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  18. I love the events after races too, but I'm usually so tired and ready to just GO that I miss out on a lot. Phoenix Marathon has a great after party atmosphere with good food... so I stick around for that!

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  19. I have done a lot of destination races this year and it's been great. I've been able to run a lot of places and I'm thankful for that. I def agree about doing shorter local races. I don't think I would ever travel too far for a 5k.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.