This weeks question comes from MCM Mama and she asks: We’ve all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run? Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else? Tell me how you decide where and when to race.
Why I Race: After some not so stellar races last year, I really began to question why I race. I am clearly no Chrissie Wellington or Kara Goucher and this will never be my full time job, but for me…racing is doing something bigger than myself. Each time I race, especially at the big ones (Philly, Baltimore, CGI…etc) I think about how amazing it is that so many people are together at the same time doing something so awesome. I race to feel accomplished and I race to be a part of something I believe in which is the healthy and active lifestyle. I may come in at the back of the pack, I may never break a 9/minute mile and I can assure you I will never get to Kona…but somewhere out there, someone is inspired by me. And that keeps me racing.
How I Choose My Races: A variety of factors go into why I choose the races I participate in.
- Location: I choose the majority of my races by where they are located. For the most part, I pick races that are within driving distance and that do not require a hotel stay. When choosing races outside of those parameters I focus on places I would like to visit so that I can make it a mini-vacation.
- Race Directors: This is vital when picking triathlon races. The triathlon race directors can make or break a race, therefore I do research the races and take feedback from other atheletes seriously. For example, I will always race with CGI but you will never find me at a Danskin race.
- Swag: I will admit it, I am a swag whore. I love it. I have a collection of shirts, hats and gear that are all mine for simply going out and doing something I love. That is a win in and of itself.
- The people: With the exception of Baltimore which I chose and ran without any friends, all of my races have in some way been chosen through discussions with others who are doing the same race. Being on a team means that most of the time we race the same races, and I really love seeing my teammates on the course, so I will pick them at times based on who else is racing. Likewise, my friends who are not on my team who also run are good motivators for race choices. In 2010, three of my races are road trips with friends which makes racing that much more fun!
- Charity: I want to know that my money is going somewhere. Sure, I have picked races before that donate to charities I normally would not on my own, but I do look for races that directly support charities I believe in and would donate to regardless.
- The Calendar: I work full time and go to school so my schedule is pretty jam packed. I race most from May-Sept when school is out of session and in the months when school is in session I try to plan around exam weeks and etc. I focus more on running in the Spring and Fall while the Summer is more focused on Triathlon. I do like to plan my races in advance, especially the 1/2marathons and triathlons, but I will pepper in smaller races as they pop up just for fun.
MCM Mama also asked for race suggestions because she is looking to run in all 50 states (AWESOME) so I would like to personally suggest the Broad Street 10 mile run in Philadelphia or my most recent race, Baltimore. To date, those are my favorite running races 🙂