The pros and cons of races
Labour Weekend is coming up quickly and the other night James and I were discussing what we should do ..
Me – Xterra Waihi is on that weekend. Waihi is only a couple of hours away but ..
J – But?
Me – It costs $59.00 to enter (plus gas) and it’s a long way to go “just” to run 13km. We could run here – for free.
J – True, but it’s a good excuse for a trip isn’t it?
Me – Yeah but we could just as easily drive somewhere new and “just run” saving ourselves over $100.00
Yep – I’m cheap BUT it’s not just about the money ..
Back in my previous incarnation as a runner I used to do just about every event on offer during the summer months because that’s how I stayed motivated to run (because quite frankly, I disliked running, at that it was merely a means to an end – eg I ran so I could eat loads of shit AND stay lean). These days, things are very different and while I now “love” (in the loosest sense of the word) to run, I’m not that keen on doing events – perhaps it’s because I no longer need the added incentive to run.
That’s not to say that I don’t often refer to the the running calendar and dream, some events (especially those on trails) look amazing BUT I’ve yet to commit to any even though I keep telling myself that the money would be for paying for an “experience” and experiences are just as (if not more) important than things .. well unless those things are shoes .. shoes (in my opinion) trump everything except feeding and clothing my kids.
For those of you who have yet to do an actual race and are considering it here are the pros and cons of running races as seen by moi
- Race swag! Some races do better with this than others.
- Race bling! Although not all races offer medals.
- Race photos.
- The course is set and volunteers point the way.
- An out of town event is a safe way to run in unfamiliar areas.
- You have a set date and something to train towards.
- Most provide timing chips and you can find a record of your time quite easily even years later!
- Races can be quite expensive (even non timed events offering no race medals can be $50.00+)
- People – lot’s of people!
- Lines … especially when it comes to the toilets! (due to point 1.)
- Parking can be a hassle (also due to point 1.)
- You are bound by the date and time of day set by the organisers.
- Dog legs* – Race Directors love dog legs ..
- Race photos (although cool) are usually $$$$
As you can see my cons mostly revolve around spending money and sharing but honestly? I think I hate dog legs even more than sharing at least when I’m in charge of my running route the only dog legs I have to do are when I realise I’ve gone the wrong way and need to do a u-turn. 😉
Till next time
*A dog leg is an out and back section on a race course designed to increase distance. It’s a bit like if you wanted to do a 5km run around the block from your house but you can’t just run around the outside perimeter (because it’s only 3km) so now you have to run down and back up every single street you pass (dog legs) to make up the 2km you are short.