Monday, August 9, 2010
What's Your Distance?
When you see a race you are interested in joining, which category do you join? The shortest one or the longest one or the middle distance?
Races ARE happening every week now and usually two events at the same time. So there are a lot of choices for us. But once you've chosen the race you wanted to run and it could be because of a variety of reasons such as proximity to your house, the cheap registration fees, the nice singlet, the finisher medal, the charity it is helping, the friends who are also joining said race or many more countless reasons, you are then forced to choose which category you would tick off and pay for.
Right now, mostly all races have a 5km and 10km event. Some have the shorter 3km event or the longer 15km or 21km distance. And of course, there are races that offer the full 42.2km distance. For me, price doesn't come as a factor in my decision making as longer distances are just P100- P200 more expensive, which is justifiable given that there are more water stations and marshals required for the longer route and more fees needed to pay to close off the additional road that is needed to cover said distance.
For Runrio races, there is an additional perk to joining longer races. For the recently concluded Rexona Run last August 01, 10km and 21km runners can download their pictures via photovendo. But for 3km and 5km runners, they can only get the free pictures at the finisher area (via picture taking booth at one of the tents there). For the 21km runners, they have an additional perk of getting a finisher medal once they have completed their races.
New Balance had the same thing two years ago when they had their event in Clark. Aside from the finisher medals for 10km and 25km, the singlets had the race category of the runner written at the back of it. Bragging rights indeed!
Some races though have the same perks for all categories - that is finisher medals for all categories and same color singlets. But before you start complaining that it should always be equal for all race categories, let me tell you that that isn't the case for international races. In the Singapore Sundown run I did, they only gave finisher medals and finisher shirts for the 42.2km and 84km finishers. Shorter distance race categories get a singlet or loot bag at the finish line. So, it really comes down to the race organizers choices on this and we just have to respect it.
When it comes to perks, I am usually biased to joining the longer races for stuffs that the shorter distance will not get and that is usually in the form of finisher medals. Yes, I am hooked on these shiny shiny things!
If every category were the same and you will all get the same stuffs, what would you run?
The short but out-of-breath-and-can't-talk-anymore 5km event?
The longer but still lung busting 10km event?
The torturously long 21km but can finish it at a much slower pace?
The super duper hard 42.2km that takes away your entire morning? And something you really need to train for!
The crazy crazy 50km, 80km or beyond ultramarathons? Where your training here is Running 42.2km once or twice!
For me, it's always the 21km as it is the right distance for me given the pace, speed and the bonus of calorie burnt in it. Without that, 10km becomes my default race category, which is quite good too for speedworks.
Unfortunately with my injury right now, 10km becomes my race distance category unless a shiny shiny object blinds me again and have me ticking off the 21km box again..
There was a time I was hooked on doing 42km but training for it just takes too much time and for now, I am very very lazy to hit the road on my own for a period of 3-4 months just for one race.
What about you? What's your distance?