Selecting A Race – Marathon – Ultra Marathon – Running A 5K – 10K or Half Marathon


How I Choose A Race.

First off I’ll say in addressing how I go about choosing a race, I’m writing about how I choose a race that is not an “A-Race.” I define an “A-Race” as a race I target for the expressed purpose of setting a new distance Personal Record (PR), time PR, a destination race or a bucket list race. I’ll focus on the five things I look for when selecting a “fill in the training calendar race.”

My list of five things is not rank ordered in any priority system, depending on my current situation in regards to: money, travel plans and family time each of the five items might be weighted differently from time to time.

  1. DISTANCE – When filling out my race calendar, the distance to a proposed race does come into consideration. I’m not against driving two to three hours for a select race and have been known to drive three hours to a 50 mile race (Moonlight Boogie) just to turn around and drive home after running the event. If friends are involved distance does not matter. Normally I try to select races that are no further than an hour away from home.finish
  2. LOCATION – As compared to distance I look for races in unique locations, on a boardwalk, in the mountains or through an historic district. Not saying I won’t run the cookie cutter inner city road races but I’m drawn more to the unique settings.IMG_20140308_171233_760
  3. BLING – Yes I’m a sucker for the shiny stuff, lack of bling won’t keep me away but I often do focus on the medals or awards if I’m undecided between two races. A unique one of kind finisher item is a plus for me…one of my favorite awards was a simple rock from the MEDOC Meltdown 50k.medocroack
  4. COURSE – Much like the location, I find myself drawn more to unique race courses…. Races that are run over the hill, dales and routes passing through covered bridges gets my vote and race entry fees.knapp_luther_mill
  5. THEME – If your not gunning for a PR races with a theme are much more fun. Even if you choose to not dress up, running the Wicked 10k surrounded by ghosts, goblins and the longest touchdown run ever as well as the Peach Tree Road Race  raced on the 4th of July is so much fun with a themed race to set the stage.wicked10kstart

There are many things to consider when selecting a race. The cost of racing is not getting any cheaper so if you’re going to lay your hard earned money on the line as you do your training you may as well select a race that gives you that little something extra.

What do you look for when selecting a race?