A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TIART - The Race is the Place

This week's Take it and Run Thursday question from Runner's Lounge is as follows:

We've all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run?

Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else? Tell me how you decide where and when to race. Also, I'm currently on a quest to run a race in every state. Please tell me--and others about a particular race you've run that is not to be missed.

So, first off, why do I race? Well, I race because it gives me a goal. It gives me markers on my progress. And because it's fun! There's nothing quite like race day atmosphere.

But how do I chose my races? As I mentioned in this post, my criteria for choosing a race tend to be based on how close the race is to my house, who the proceeds go to, and, of course, the distance. Of course, I made exceptions on the "distance from my house" thing this year for both my half-marathons. I really like the idea of combining running a race with a vacation. As long as you do the race at the beginning of the trip and aren't super worried about hitting a PR.

I also try to take the course into consideration. Will it be interesting? Does it have something unique about it? Or does the race itself have a unique theme?

Let's break down the races I've run so far this year and why I chose them:

Illinois Half Marathon - The inaugural marathon/half-marathon sponsored by the club that got me running in the first place. Held in my hometown. Free place to stay and lots of family and friend spectator support. Unique finish on the 50 yard line of the football stadium as well as the chance to run through my hometown.

Chase Corporate Challenge - Builds camaraderie with coworkers. Within walking distance of my office. Free entry!

SkirtChaser 5K - Unique theme. Great swag!

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon - Running in one of my favorite parts of the country, ability to finally meet and run with (in person) someone I've been online friends with for years. Plus, an awesome vacation and spectator support.

Rally for Autism 5K - Running with another friend and the chance to possibly place in our age group (sadly, that was not meant to be, but oh well!)

PAWS Chicago Run For Their Lives 8K - My favorite cause! Great pre- and post-race activities for people and dogs alike.

Westchester VeteRUN - The closest 10K to my house

There you go. Why I chose the races I chose this year. I'm sure next year will be a little different. Still trying to decide on a marathon and I'm pretty sure that Holly and I will be running the Soldier Field 10-Miler in May. Sometimes you just have to shake things up a bit!


Teamarcia said...

The Soldier Field 10 miler is fun! Crowded but finishing in Soldier Field is the bomb!

Lacey Nicole said...

i'm putting a paws race on my life to do list!!!! :)

Mama said...

I really want to do the Napa HM at some point. It just looks like so much fun!

Thanks for answering my questions! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes to run near home...

MCM Mama

kilax said...

I meant to ask you what your next race was! When is the 10k?

I pretty much race for the same reasons :) We found a 5K on Thanksgiving that is almost FREE (food donation) so that is a new reason for me - FREE. (like you mentioned, but I had to pay for my Chase entry).

Are you thinking you won't run Chicago in 2010?

Bayjb said...

I would also totally choose a race close to my house. Location is really key. Great post! I love reading why you chose the races.

kristen said...

For smaller races (1/2 marathon or shorter) location location location. Unless I'm running it with a freind and we have plans around it. I also like smaller venues. The larger ones tend to be overated.

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