I'll be running my third half marathon of the year this weekend, the hopefully appropriately titled Best Damn Race. I mean, that's a pretty bold title choice for a race. Like, my expectations are pretty high. It got me thinking, too.
What makes a good race?
For me, it's a few things. In order of importance from most important to least:
- Weather (this is out of the race's control, although you know if you run anywhere in Florida in the months of May, June, July or August you're probably going to sweat your @$$ off). I consider weather in the high 40's - low 50's to be ideal. Too bad it's like that for all of three weeks a year here in Central Florida.
|That'd be "cool" weather for us|
- The course - lots of turns, or long straight shots? For example, Best Damn Race has all kinds of hairpin turns, which are not my favorite. Makes me glad I ran the Daytona Half a couple weeks ago. Is it hilly, or flat and fast?
- The crowds - are we talking a local 5k where you can sign up race day, or the back corral of the Princess Half Marathon?
- Course support - It would be helpful to have enough volunteers to man the aid stations. Cough, cough, Lake Minneola Half).
- Entertainment/crowd support - I don't really mind an empty course, but it is nice to have spectators to push you through those last tough miles.
- Medal. I like cute ones, mmmk?
Things I don't really care about:
- A post-race "party" with beer. I like to grab my food and get out, and I've never been able to choke down a beer right after a run. I will say that the pizza at the Chicago Half Marathon was legit.
- The shirt. Truth be told, I think most of them aren't very flattering. Most of my race tech tees are now pajama tops. I did like the Space Coast shirt, though.
- Gus/Gels/Energy bits on the course. I just can't try new stuff. My stomach hates me for it.
What makes a race good for you? I didn't mention price, but obviously that's a really key factor too.