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.
For all the other races, this is my decision criteria :
- Date. Our weekends are very full, so finding a date when I can race is actually very difficult.
- Distance. All depends what is on my training plan or my mood.
- 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.
- 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.
- Size of race. If I have a choice, I favor big races.
- 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 ?
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