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Looking for some opinions on races and what makes a good one

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I know that here in the NE we a re a competitive bunch dare I say picky.... but there are so many races that seem to be popping up all over the place - how do you determine a "good" one?

Does anyone belong to a running club that certifies races? What is the criteria?

To me:
1. Preregistered fees offered for under $20 for 5k $25 for 10k, $50 for ½ $65 for full.
2. Safe clearly marked certified distance course.
3. Awards: 10 year age groups for races with 150 or less runners and all ten year age groups recognized by pre-registration. 5 year age groups 151 and up
4. Awards 2 deep for 75 + runners to 125, 3 deep for 126 +
5. Any race that uses the technology must award by net time for all awards other than overalls. Any race with more than 1,000 must have chip start and finish.
6. All advertised awards will be given on race day if the race is held.
7. Staffed Water stops 5k = 1, 10k = 2 , ½= 4, full = 8

Got any other ideas?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    On full marathons, there should be adequate water, food for late finishers. Finishing in near 5 hours there should be refreshments.

    Also agree that half and full marathons need water/gatorade every 2 miles.

    If all the runners are not ready and in corral by the start of the race, it should start ON TIME anyway. Why should those who got there on time be punished and made to wait 15 more minutes because of inconsiderate late arrivers? This happens way too often.

    Directors should announce that runners should run no more than 2 abreast. Too often I've had groups of 4 or 5 running side by side at a slow pace blocking me.

    There should be no need to remind people of this, but apparently there is. Men should remove their hats during the pre race playing of the National Anthem.

    1509 days ago
    I agree with PastaFarian mostly... While I agree with gun time for placement, I want all races with chip timing to have START mats as well as END mats so I can get an accurate time (I'm usually racing against my PR, so those seconds count!)

    Larger races should definitely have starting corrals of some sort. I've been outplaced by someone who's gun time was faster than mine, but whose chip time was nearly 2 minutes slower.... means she started way further forward in the crowd than she should have...

    I agree on certified courses for road races - I thought I PR'd one time and the course was almost a quarter mile short.

    Good list!
    1514 days ago
    Wow thanks for the well thought out ideas!

    I will wait and see if there are any other ideas and get THE LIST together.

    With the amount of races that continually "pop up", it's disappointing for the "end user" to not get a fair and safe experience.
    1514 days ago
    Oh, here are some more ideas for your list:

    8. Any race claiming to be a charitable benefit must state the amount of the race fee that is tax deductible.

    9. There must be public transportation OR no parking fee at the race start.

    10. Race must have reasonable refund, transfer, or deferral policies.

    11. No surprise fees. Parking, shuttle, bag check, etc.

    12, Must have race-day packet pickup.

    13. Water stops must also have gatorade (or some type of electrolyte drink).

    14. Race fees should allow option to save money by not buying shirt!

    I have a lot of advice about races having decent websites. Don't get me started!

    Oh, one last thing - your #2 is inappropriate for trail races. Trail races are rarely certified.
    1514 days ago
    For #3, 10-year age groups are ALWAYS a bad thing. If the race director is simply trying to control the value of awards, better to adjust the depth of the awards in each AG. But it's irrelevant how many runners are in the entire race; What's important is how many are in an age group. So I would restate #3 and #4 as follows:

    3. 5 year age groups ALWAYS. But, see next rule:
    4. Awards 1 deep for any age group with 2 or less runners; 2 deep for any age group with less than 5 runners; otherwise 3 deep.

    Your #5 just leads to well-known problems of people not being able to see their competition.

    Your #7 is too much of a generalization. For community races (where people do it with no training), your rule is ok. But for trained runners, none need a water stop for a 5K. In a 10K, one water stop is sufficient. Anything more than 10 and less than an ultra should get water stops every 2 miles.

    1514 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/29/2013 3:27:38 PM
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