If you could create your own fitness event, what would you include to make it stand out? (e.g. theme, music, location, cause)
I see this as related to "What makes you pick one event over another?" What makes events stand out to me depends on the race. In Chicago, it's the 1.7 million spectators and the flat course. In Cincinnati, it's the great communication from the race, entertainment (and food) along the course, and the sheer amount of nice stuff I bring home (great value for the cost).
When considering half marathons, the primary thing is that it's close to home. Alternatively, if I'm on vacation and there happens to be a half nearby, I'll take whatever is offered :)
For 5Ks, I want a small race that I can feasibly place in the top 3 if I have a great run. I also want it to be cheap (under $30) and pretty close to home. Alternatively, I want a super different, fun theme, like the Pi run.
For 1-mile races, I've only done the Little Kings in Cincinnati because I'm already there, and the Ann Arbor 1-mile because it's a night race and it's close to home. If considering another, I'd want it cheap ($20-$25), flat and officially timed.
A lot of races raise funds for charities, many are committed to "sustainable practices" for the environment, none of that matters to me. Other events are more fun based, like color runs, or glow runs. Again, not my cup of tea. I look for a more serious event with winners and official times. I also prefer races from established companies that have a ton of experience staging races.
Sites to find events:
Running in the USA
What was your most memorable/worst moment at a race?
Most memorable - too many to count. Some of my favorites:
- Hitting mile 25 of my first and realizing I was actually going to finish
- Breaking 5 hours at Columbia City on a ridiculously hard course
- Running a PR at the 2014 Chicago marathon
- Finishing the 2015 Flying Pig with a huge PR, after running PRs in the 1-mile and 10k earlier in the weekend
- Finishing the 2016 Flying Pig with an injured foot and zero training.
- 2014 Martian marathon - the course was flooded and we had to run the emergency route on a 2-loop course, weather was drizzly and low 30s. Yuck!
- 2014 Indianapolis Monumental with the flu. Then my iPod died. Then it started cold raining!
Consistency is everything. I don't think for a second that I know how to prepare for a race, so I've always relied on Hal Higdon or the Hansons and let them do my thinking and planning for me. Then stick with it. Day after day after day. Consistency is the most important factor. On race day, don't try anything new. Stick with clothing, food, fuel and hydration strategies that worked successfully on the long runs. Above all else - have fun!!!!