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How do Runners Choose a Race?

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by Jason Gray on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of How do Runners Choose a Race?

How do Runners Choose a Race?
The Die Hard Runners Always Crave the Race
Die hard runners will compete in anywhere from 5-30 races per year. There are 656 races scheduled on the 2014 calendar for Utah alone. How do they decide which races to run when there are so many options? It depends on the individual. Sometimes the choice is based on a single factor, other times the runner wants the entire dream race package.
Pick a Theme
The trend of unique and crazy race themes has grown exponentially in the past five years. You can practically just think of something you’re interested in and then find a race associated with it. If you love Halloween, you can come compete in “Humans Run, Zombies Chase.” Disney fanatics can even run in multiple Disney themed races based out of California or Florida.
In today’s social media driven world, decisions are also based on which would make a better Facebook or Instagram picture. Everyone loves to show off the big events in their life, especially a half marathon they might have completed, and reaching the end of the race with colored chalk all over their face might seem more enticing than a simple finish line photo.
Pick Your Level of Difficulty
The Runner’s High is not often reached after a casual stroll through the park. People that train hard like a challenge. People that don’t train as much may like something a little easier. The definition of hard and easy is also different for each person, because a full 26.2 mile marathon will start to feel more moderate to someone who’s finished five marathons this year. That same marathon runner could despise an obstacle-based race where someone else might see it as more fun. Runners need to understand their own capabilities before they choose their race.
Location Location Location
Location matters a lot to some people for a few different reasons. Some people just don’t like to run for hours and hours without something to look at. The view and environment around you plays a huge factor in how you run. Many runners love to have interesting scenery around as a nice distraction
Weather and temperature can vary quite a bit depending on the location of a race. Some runners prefer to run in cooler weather, and others love to be dripping with sweat the entire time.
Altitude is another reason to thoroughly evaluate your location decision. This can mean shaving off or adding minutes/hours to your finish time. Once you’ve trained at sea level, a run in Salt Lake City or Denver can seem unbearable. On the flip side if you train at high elevations, you will be able to go much further with less effort at sea level.
Swag
When planning a race or choosing which one to run, take these things into account. You might surprise yourself how much they can affect your running experience.
Running medals and t-shirts are sometimes all it takes to lure in more people. Depending on the advertising or word of mouth, someone might sign up purely for the custom race medal they’re offering if you get past a certain point. A Facebook picture may be nice, but those keepsakes from the race will last a lot longer.
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