So many choices, so little time

I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, Erika at MCM Mama runs and Patty at My no guilt life for Tuesdays on the run where today’s topic is how to choose a race.



When it comes to choosing a race, there are 2 situations : marathons and other races.

Marathons : When I chose to do the Paris marathon, it was for practical reasons, as it takes place where I live. I spectate it every year, so it was only natural that it be my first. When I chose NYC, it was on a whim. I was in the middle of training for Paris, feeling good, and entered the lottery. Well, 350 USD later, I got in.

2015-04-12 11.39.38

IMG_0354 IMG_0358

For all the other races, this is my decision criteria :

  1. Date. Our weekends are very full, so finding a date when I can race is actually very difficult.
  2. Distance. All depends what is on my training plan or my mood.
  3. Place. The closer to home the better. I am extremely pragmatic about these things ! Of course if I want a destination race, place will take precedent over the date but for the most part, my races are in and around Paris and it depends on how far I need to drive, or take public transportation.
  4. Practicalities. Start time for example ! Or do I have to drive a long time to get there. A 6 a.m. start time for US races ? Not my thing. It is usually 9 or 10 here.
  5. Size of race. If I have a choice, I favor big races.
  6. Already done it ? I like variety, so if I can I will do something new.

Case in point : I was going to be in NYC recently for work. My thought process :

“Oh, I have some time on Saturday, maybe there is a race  ? (date!) On my training plan I had 8K to do. Wow, there is a 5 miler / 8 K, perfect distance ! I have never never run in NYC, what a perfect place. An 8:30 a.m. race start ? Practical for my schedule !” So I signed up and did the  LGBT Pride Run.

It isn’t always that perfect and I usually use this guide book that one of the running magazines publishes every year, containing on all the races in France.


I first look at the date I want to run :


And also double check the races in my region :


It is as simple as that.

What is your number one criteria for choosing a race ?



Comments: 9

  1. Chaitali July 5, 2016 at 4:03 pm Reply

    I think cost and date are my most important criteria when looking at races! That’s great that you were able to do a race in New York when you were there.
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly reviewMy Profile

  2. Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness July 5, 2016 at 6:02 pm Reply

    I would like to do a race when I am visiting a place for something other than running UT so far it’s just never worked out. So fun you got to do a race in NYC!

  3. Ana July 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm Reply

    France has a race guide book? That is way cool!

    I think my number one priority to pick a race is the price and location. There is a local race that cost $55, it’s a color / glow run, and the prices are low only in March… but who is thinking about a July Race in March? especially for a 5K?
    Ana recently posted…VB RnR and BIH Training Weekly Wrap #5My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France July 6, 2016 at 7:17 pm Reply

      Holy crap that is expensive. I have only paid $55 for a minimum half marathon. US race prices are crazy.

  4. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy July 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm Reply

    I really don’t have a number one criteria. For my halfs, usually I start with somewhere I want to go. Then I start looking at what will fit nicely into my training schedule or when I’d like to run a half.

    I not a real fan of getting up super early for races, even though I’m always up super early, but in the summer, I’d rather they started earlier. My race yesterday started at 9 (9:15, in reality) and that’s just too late in July.

    Yet it’s the third year I’ve run it . . .
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…How Running is Like a New DogMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France July 6, 2016 at 7:16 pm Reply

      You are right, the heat could really affect performance for late starting races. But early like 6 or 7 is not my thing. An 8:30 compromise would be perfect.

  5. Marcia July 6, 2016 at 4:13 am Reply

    Your first two marathons are sweet ones! I think my biggest factor is date with location a close second. If I want to run a race badly enough, I’ll make it work.
    Marcia recently posted…How Do You Choose a Race?My Profile

  6. patty July 6, 2016 at 5:35 am Reply

    number one criteria is probably “can I train and not die in Arizona heat?” Other than that, I look at cost and transportation options since I like to travel to my races.
    patty recently posted…2016 Princess Half Marathon Round-Up | Tuesdays on the RunMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France July 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm Reply

      LOL. I do not have to worry about the heat issue in continental Europe !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge