Choosing the Right Race

How do you decide which races to run each year?  There are a lot of races both local and not so local that are appealing to me and each year I battle which ones to place on my calendar.  Do you decide based on distance, medal designs, field size, location, work or social calendars?

I have goals of completing a marathon in each state so that is where I start planning each year.  I have to decide which states I would like to try to run in, which are the best marathons in that state, how far apart they are on the calendar, and which ones can be easily accessed via a local airport.  Usually, this process takes me down to 1 race per month.  Then I have to cross reference with the high school football schedule to see when I can and can not take off work to travel to a race.  I always start with marathons, then work on half marathons, then fill in gaps with local events where I can.

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Does the medal design or medal size influence you?

 

There are always some things that help me choose which events to participate in when I travel.  For instance, runDisney events take a precedent on my calendar and I have to work around those weekends.  Any time I’m travelling between April and October I try to find races with nearby MLB teams that are playing a home series so watch a game in a new stadium. (This year I’ll be watching games in Kansas City & Anaheim).

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What are some of the things you consider when setting your race schedule?