Lately I have been in a deep state of dilemma when I realized there were so many good races towards the second half of the year, yet so little time for me to participate. I had to sell or give away a few race kits to fit into my schedule because new, much more interesting races keep popping up (transferring race kits is not advisable but we’ll save that story for a different day). If I can be in two places at the same time I would have signed up for everything! Unfortunately, until scientists invent time travelling, I have to prioritize.
So here some determining factors that I use as a guidance when I am stuck between choosing 2 (or more) races:
Step 1: Determine your distance
-There are no rules stating that you must start by 5KM races, then gradually progress to 42KM. I am a big believer of ‘you can do anything, as long as you train for it.’ However, I like to use shorter goals and milestones as a build up to the full marathon. For example, when choosing races, half marathons and trail runs take precedence over shorter races such as 10KM or 5KM. I focus on longer distances or more challenging terrains for now because they are a part of my full marathon training. If you already have a distance in mind that you are aiming for, then by all means, go for that race instead.
Step 2: Organizer’s background check.
– Unless if the race you plan to enter is an inaugural event, such as Nike We Run KL or Reebok Spartan Race, it is best to read up on last year’s event to determine how reliable are the organizers. You might also want to check the sponsors too so you can look forward to the goody bags and coupons. For example, Penang Bridge Marathon were organized by reputable people but I was disappointed on last year’s event because it was not up to my expectations. Therefore, bigger event does not always mean better organizers. If you trust the organizers, then yes by all means, go for that race instead.
Some organizers went to great lengths to impress. Some were meh, uneventful or insignificant. Some needed much improvement.
Step 3: Fun Factor.
– Running should not feel like a chore. You should never wake up at 4 am on a race day and wish you spent time in bed instead. After all, you decided to participate because you want to enjoy the experience. If running in mud, being thrown with coloured powder, or running with your friends makes the race much more enjoyable for you, then by all means yes, go for that race instead.
If running with your fellow sisters makes you happy, then by all means yes, go for this race!
If you ever find yourself stuck between 2 or more races, just remember the 3 steps as a guidance. Is there any other determining factor that you use when you are torn between choosing 2 races?
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.