Linking up with Marcia, Patti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.
Last week I wrote about how often I race. Today I will write about the thought process that goes into selecting my races.
Well, basically I go for timing, location, and price.
Timing-I do not race as often as before but there are a few races that I will do because they fit into my training schedule. Last year I ran the Chicago Half Marathon because I had to run the same number of miles for my Chicago Marathon training. The Rock ‘n’ Roll also falls perfect into my training but that one I will NOT do because it is in July and for some strange reason it is always HOT on race day. The last time I did this race was in 2013 and I was very thirsty throughout the race. I always have a great time spectating. One year I saw Shalane flying by and last year I missed Meb.
Location-I like all of my races to be in the Chicago area. I like taking the train downtown and it is cool seeing other runners in the train car going to the same place. I don’t mind driving either and the farthest I’ve driven is about an hour for the Fort2Base Race. I might still do this race this year since it is 11 miles and I have to run 10 miles that day anyway.
To meet my 50+1 goal, I also travel to other states. To date I’ve run in 36 states with 15 to go (I am counting DC as a state). I did most of them in 2013 thanks to my TourPass. Plus, I live close to Midway Airport and that helped in picking races that I could fly out from Midway.
Price-This is a tricky one. Why are races so darn expensive? And it seems like the more I pay, the less swag I get. Yes, RunDisney, I am talking about you. I hate paying so much money for races. Yes, I’ve paid $180 to run 26.2 miles but have also paid $45 for 31 miles. Insane right? It has to be a race with good reviews, easy to get to (if I am traveling out of state), and I must really want to do this race in order for me to fork up the money to pay for it.
I also pick races because they’re fun and/or tradition. I love running the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k. That race pretty much starts off the running season in Chicago. You run through parts of the course of the Chicago Marathon. There are many spectators and there is free beer at the end. Many runners get a group of friends to run this and it is always a blast. I love running this every year. My first one was in 2016 but I’ve missed it a few times for different reasons.
Another race I enjoy running is the Elmhurst 4 on the 4th Race. It is always on July 4th and I love that it is 4 miles. This is the only race I’ve run that it 4 miles. I ran this yesterday (4th year) and it almost fit perfectly with my training schedule (6 miles). After the race I ran an additional 2 miles.
The races I definitely will not do are those that are not chip timed. And those races are the “fun runs” (Color Run, Foam Runs, etc). Yes, I like to have fun in my races but I also want a finish time to go with it.
So I look at timing, location, and price when selecting a race. It can be only one of those factors or a combination. It may not be ideal but that is how it works for me.