Monday, May 17, 2010

Races Come in All Sizes – Pick One

I have to admit, I only have four half marathons under my belt. The biggest race I’ve done so far was the San Francisco Marathon (1st half) and the smallest was the Glass City Marathon. I’ve learned there are perks to both.

Large races come with bragging rights. Now I can say, “I ran SF, I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge.” That’s major. There were great views of the Bay, great course support with plenty of water, sports drinks and energy gels, and a nice expo packed with vendors. Although there were more than 20,000 runners, the start was well organized and the finishers’ village had tons of goodies.

Small races are quality experiences as well. The smaller field means you’ll cross the start sooner. Often they come with cool swag like mugs and hoodies in addition to the standard technical tee and medal. Plus smaller races have shorter lines for the post race massage and you have more of a personal race experience.

I recently met a woman who is planning to run her first marathon in the fall. She chose the Chicago Marathon. “10.10.10,” she proudly proclaimed. She wanted her first full to be a big one and with 45,000 people registered to run, she’ll get her wish.

Having run both big and small, I ultimately think it doesn’t matter as long as the race is well run. I want nice swag – a technical tee and medal, good course support with water, sports drinks and gels, and crowds to cheer me on.

What do you look for when picking a race?

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