Take a glance at my Race Recaps page, and it’s instantly obvious that I love to race.  


If you’re thinking, “But I’m not good enough to race!” STOP!  You are good enough to race.  You don’t have to win.  I’m not the fastest girl in the pack, or the strongest swimmer, and I’m certainly not the steadiest on the bike, but I still love to race.  I have literally been the last person out a lake during a triathlon and the first female across the finish line at a 5K.  Both races were equally exciting and motivating. 


Racing isn’t about winning.  Racing is about experiencing


The most important part of a positive race experience (besides training, of course) is choosing the ‘right’ race.  There are many, many different types of races out there, and each has a unique atmosphere.  There are benefits and drawbacks to every kind of race, and I think the key to selecting the ‘right’ race is to pick one that suites your tastes and desires.


Here’s my step-by-step guide to selecting your next (or first) race:


STEP 1:  Decide your race type and distance.


Running races usually come in the following distances: 5K (3.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles), 15K (9.3 miles), Half Marathon (13.1 miles), Marathon (26.2 miles), and Ultras (more than 26.2 miles).  There are sometimes in-between distances, like 5 milers.  


While I’m only going to discuss running races for purposes of simplicity, there also lots of other ways to race, too!  Bike races usually come in Metric Century (100K or 62 miles) or Century (100 miles) distances.  Multi-sport events include triathlons and adventure races.  Triathlons involve a swim, bike, and run leg, and adventure races can be pretty much anything, but often involve watersports, trail running, mountain biking, etc.  There are also triathlon-style events that only feature swimming and biking, running and biking, or swimming and running.  For a breakdown of common triathlon distances, check out this post.


If you’re a new racer, a 5K or a 10K is a good place to start (my first race was a 10K).  While plenty of people sign up for a marathon as their first race, I think this can feel very overwhelming.  


STEP 2:  Decide the terrain.


Next up, you’ll want to decide if you want to run a road race or a trail race.  Road races are usually larger and feature better volunteer and spectator support.  They are often usually more expensive.  Trail races are more relaxed, cheaper, and less supported.  Your times will generally be slower on a trail race than a road race, which is important to consider if you’re gunning for a personal record.


STEP 3:  Determine the necessary training time.


Training time varies from person to person, but here’s a pretty good guide:



Once you know the race distance you’d like to do and how long it will take to train, you can calculate what month you’d like to race in.


STEP 4:  Factor in commitments and weather.


In addition, you’ll want to think about what commitments you have coming up.  For example, is work extra crazy right now?  Probably not the ideal time to train for a marathon – check out 10Ks or Halves instead.  Also, consider the time of year you’ll be racing.  Longer races aren’t usually offered during the hottest months and are non-existent during the worst part of winter.  If you’re looking to do a marathon, time it around spring or fall (of course, yes, this means you’ll be training in less-than-ideal weather, but that’s just the way it is!). 


STEP 5:  Search for races.


Finally – it’s time to search for races that fit your criteria.  I recommend Active.com, Runner’s World, Running the USA, and Cool Running


When searching for races, you’ll want to consider several things:


  • Do you want a big race or a small race?  Big races are fun because they are organized and energetic.  Small races are awesome because they are cheaper and race day is less hectic (no parking issues, etc).  I’ve ran a marathon with 17,000 other people and one with 500 other people.  Honestly, I preferred the 500-person race!  I think it really just depends on your personality. 
  • Are you willing to travel?  Traveling for races is very fun, but it can get expensive.  You’ll need to factor in the cost of driving/flying, eating, and a hotel in addition to the entry fee.  Also, if you travel, you will be out of your ‘routine,’ which isn’t always a good thing right before a race.  I flew across the country for a Century bike race, and while it was very fun, the entire process was exhausting.  I’m not a fan of traveling for races; some people love to use racing as an excuse to see other parts of the country or the world.  I’d rather relax on my vacation.
  • What is the elevation profile like?  Definitely check out the course map and elevation profile, if available.  You will want to know ahead of time if the course is SUPER hilly.  You can also figure this out by reading the course description on the race’s official website.  Elevation changes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but again – you’ll want to be informed before you sign up.  Surprises suck.


STEP 6:  Search for race reviews.


Lastly, Google the race name + “race recap” to pull up bloggers’ reviews.  You can also check out the lovely site Racevine.com, which recaps many larger races.




Commit!  Sign up!  Pay that race entry fee!  There is nothing like shelling out $75 for a race to get you motivated.  Print out your confirmation and tape it to your fridge, right next to your training plan. 


On that note… I’ve signed up for my next race! I’m doing the Amica 19.7 Sprint Triathlon on July 17.   The course is similar to the sprint triathlon I just completed, so I’m hoping to beat my time.  Ready, set, RACE! 


How do you select races?  What races are you eyeing?



  • DadHTP June 16, 2011, 10:47 am

    Start looking for winter races! Find a team race with a swim leg, and I’ll start training now!

  • jen @ taste life June 16, 2011, 10:50 am

    I’ve only run two races and the way I did it was by saying, “I want to run a half marathon in this month!” And then searching around for one close to home or a reasonable distance that I had time to train for. Very scientific.

    I told myself I’d never race again, but I’m eying the Savannah Half Marathon in November….lots of bloggies are doing it, it’s about 4 or 5 hours from home, I love Savannah, and I wouldn’t mind trying to shave a minute or two off my PR from March 2010.

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) June 16, 2011, 10:51 am

    I like doing local races because I like really knowing the route, it’s a mental thing for me I think. I also like running the same routes for training runs so I know exactly how far I have left. I’m running my second half marathon in Nashville in September. After that though I probably do need to branch out, it’d be fun to plan a vacation around a race!

  • Khushboo June 16, 2011, 10:57 am

    Great post! As much as I love to run, the thought of doing a race scares me! I always have that nagging ‘what if I don’t finish’ at the back of my mind!

  • Lindsey June 16, 2011, 10:59 am

    I like to partcipate in local races that raise money for various charities! But recently I am getting the travel bug to race away from home in a larger race. I am doing the Disneyland Half Marathon in September and eyeing up the Las Vegas Half in December right now too!

    I also have learned from experience I am not a cross country runner! haha

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 16, 2011, 11:02 am

    Good tips! I’d stress the elevation and terrain one. There’s nothing worse than showing up at a race and being totally surprised by elevation changes that you didn’t know or train for.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 16, 2011, 11:02 am

    Great tips Caitlin! Also, for anyone in Canada looking for races, you can check out the calendar on runningroom.com – it has tons! I usually pick races where I know the weather is (or at least should) be decent – I’m not a running-in-the-cold kind of girl!

  • Kati June 16, 2011, 11:02 am

    I just signed up for my first sprint triathlon on July 23rd in Golden, CO! I’m so nervous and excited. I’m most nervous for the biking – 10 miles sounds like a lot, even though I know it will go quickly!

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:58 pm

      It will be over before you know it!

  • Michelle from The Cooking Life June 16, 2011, 11:03 am

    Love this! Thanks for posting.

  • Monika @ Powered by Paprika June 16, 2011, 11:04 am

    What great advice!

  • Jen G. June 16, 2011, 11:06 am

    What a great post! After almost six months of injury, sickness, and non-stop conference traveling, I’m trying to get back into running (not an easy feat with the extra 15 lbs. I put on!). Having a race ahead would be great motivation!

    As a side note — you need to change the URL in your hyperlink about being the first female across the finish line at a 5K. It’s the same as the hyperlink to the triathlon story.

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:58 pm

      Whoops! Will change now.

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out June 16, 2011, 11:06 am

    My city’s track club has an awesome website that lists all the races in the area and close by, including all the way up to Nashville. They make it so easy. I just ran my first race in May. LOVED IT. Totally addicted.

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith June 16, 2011, 11:07 am

    I’m taking your advice on the “look at your commitments” front – starting a new job + training for a big race doesn’t seem like the best idea for me right now.

    I like the idea of a trail run, though! I didn’t realize they were cheaper …

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg June 16, 2011, 11:11 am

    I starting running in races because my dad wanted us to train together — I think that is what helped me: having someone with me at the starting line, at the packet pickups, etc.

  • Leanne @ The Skinny Architect June 16, 2011, 11:13 am

    I signed up for my first race in a long time. I think the last time I ran a race was in August 2002, wow. Between then and now life has taken over and I got away from running. I signed up for a 10k in September. Thanks for writing this post, it is super helpful for people like me who are terrified of the 6 mile marker! 🙂

  • Steph @ A Life without Ice Cream June 16, 2011, 11:13 am

    Great post! I’ve been thinking about doing a tri this summer / fall but am trying to figure out how much training time I might need. I know I need to work on the swim. The cycle and run I wouldn’t be too worried about (although at this point I don’t usually do them one right after the other).

    Another factor for me is always start time. I don’t always feel great in the morning as I have some stomach issues so I tend to go for 5ks that start at 10am.

  • Mac June 16, 2011, 11:15 am

    Just signed up for the RCU Charity Classic 10K in Eau Claire next weekend :))

  • Leah @ L4L June 16, 2011, 11:15 am

    I’m a newbie runner! I did a 5k in 2008 and a 12k last month. I’ve signed up to do a half marathon next month and a 190 mile team relay next month as well! I’ve also got my eyes on an easy local 4 miler at the end of next month. July seems to be prime racing season around here! We had an unexpected move come up in the midst of all this training that has me stressed out but I think we’ll manage fine. Might just have to skip a couple training runs but I already feel mostly ready!

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:57 pm

      Congrats on your new races!

  • Michelle June 16, 2011, 11:15 am

    My first 10k was a trail race by default of me wanting to race longer and that being the only race before winter set in. I fell so deeply in love with it! (And i’m a city gal through and through). So my advice would be – take a chance! As long as you think you can handle the terrain, maybe step a little out of your comfort zone for the race. it will be good for you!

  • Samantha June 16, 2011, 11:15 am

    I’m interested to see how I feel about traveling for races — I traveled to NYC for my first half-marathon, and while it was a bit tiring, it was amazing! Then again, I only traveled about four hours to get there, so it wasn’t too bad.

    I’m headed to New Orleans for my birthday! My two roommates and I are going to run the Iron Girl Half Marathon in New Orleans in November. I’m also hoping to go to Florida for the Disney half in January, and then I’m running my first full marathon in Nashville this April! So I guess let’s hope I really like traveling while racing!

  • Gracie (complicated day) June 16, 2011, 11:18 am

    For marathoners, you just can’t beat marathonguide.com. It links to websites for races and you can search by month or location. And of course, each race has multiple reviews.

  • Danielle June 16, 2011, 11:19 am

    I think this is a great post! It’s so true that racing isn’t about winning it’s about knowing that you got off your butt and DID IT! Nothing can replace that amazing feeling of crossing the finish line after a race, whether you’re last or first.

    I’m not sure that I’ll be participating in race season at all this year as I’ll be about seven months pregnant once it cools off enough here in Florida. I know there are plenty of pregnant ladies who totally kick booty at seven months (and beyond!) but I’ve been sidelined the last 13 weeks with morning sickness so I’ve lost quite a bit of fitness, I’m sure. I’m starting to feel a bit better so hopefully in the next few weeks I can get out there and see how I’m feeling but I’m not holding my breath, and that’s okay! I’m due at the end of December so maybe I’ll be able to do the Gate River Run in March but I’ll have to see. There is always next year 🙂

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:57 pm

      I hope you feel better soon! 🙂 I am so happy for you and your pregnancy.

      • Danielle June 16, 2011, 7:13 pm

        Thank you! 🙂

  • Marisa E June 16, 2011, 11:21 am

    I just started running in January and I’ve completed 3 5K’s and a 10 miler (Philadelphia Broad Street Run) and I love it. I am S-L-O-W but I don’t care. I just feel blessed to be out there doing it! I have my first Half coming in Sept- Philadelphia RnR Half and training begins at the end of this month. The race that I am ‘eyeing’ is the Disney Princess Half next Feb…..just gotta figure out expenses….oh, and someone to come with me!

  • Shannon June 16, 2011, 11:22 am

    I am doing my first triathlon next weekend and I was so nervous that I would finish last because I am so bad at biking but I have realized that it doesn’t matter how fast I ride but rather that I finish and have a great time

  • Tanya June 16, 2011, 11:26 am

    I am looking forward to the Monster Dash (Halloween Themed) Half Marathon! I am very excited. It is in Chicago, a flat course and is in October, so more time to train. This will be my first one, Im hoping I can do it. So far this summer I have completed 2 5ks (less than a week of each other) and hoping to find a 10k before the Half. Good luck on the new race you signed up for!

  • Penny June 16, 2011, 11:32 am

    I’ve just started running and I’m getting obsessed! Thanks for doing this post. I’m still a newbie for sure and I don’t have much endurance, but I’m really determined. I’ve been researching races in my area. There are THREE in a few months that I want to do, but I’m only able to run a mile right now. 🙂

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant June 16, 2011, 11:33 am

    “Racing is about experience” – that just might be the BEST way to put it Caitlin! As a back-of-the-pack runner & newbie triathlete that’s exactly how I look at it!

    I pick races basically the same way you outline above – decide on the distance, determine how long I’ll need to prepare & then find one in my price range/in a location I can get to.

    My next race is a Sprint Tri on July 23rd – my 3rd triathlon & possibly the one I’m most excited about!

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 16, 2011, 11:36 am

    Thanks for this post Caitlin! I’m still trying getting the guts to sign up for a race, either a 10K or half marathon. I really need to get moving, or else I’ll be racing in the winter!!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 16, 2011, 11:36 am

    Great post! I always choose the races that are close by<—I hate commuting and stuff.

  • Veronica (Run Write Repeat) June 16, 2011, 11:43 am

    I just made my race calendar through May of next year, so this was a nice post to read 🙂
    I’m going to be running the Orange County Fair 5K in August, the OC Coast Huntington Beach 10K in September, LA Rock N Roll Half Marathon in October, *possibly* the Vegas Rock N Roll 1/2 in December, and the LA Marathon (my first full!) in March 2012 and the OC Half in May 2012.
    I look for races based on proximity, and date. Thanks for the tips about googling race recaps!

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) June 16, 2011, 11:43 am

    My first official running race will be the Jungle Run 10k in Los Gatos, CA close to me. I am still eying the Ukiah Tri, but seeing how training on top of work and painting, I dunno how I would be able to do it.

  • Morgan @ Becoming Rooks June 16, 2011, 11:50 am

    Awesome post! I know I’ll never win a race, but I do it to challenge myself. I win every time I accomplish a new distance or time or otherwise do something I never thought I could. I do the Disney races because I’m a Disney-a-holic and they are way fun, but local races I factor in cost, terrain and scenery.

  • Sarah for Real June 16, 2011, 11:50 am

    I was wondering what your advice would be on signing up for races as an injured person. My physical therapist has been talking like I might be able to start running again in the next few weeks and I’d love to have a small 5k to look forward to in a couple of months. At the same time, I would be more than sad if my recovery didn’t go as planned and I couldn’t end up running it. What would you do?

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:56 pm

      If I were you, I would sign up in my mind but not actually register so you don’t lose the money if you cannot do it. But then you can still work towards that goal when the doctor clears you to run. Also, just be focused on walk/running. Don’t even plan to run the entire thing.

  • Ashley @ Thefitacademic June 16, 2011, 11:54 am

    I want to do a fun 5K obstacle course/mud run this October. I just talked a friend into doing it with me, but now we need to register! : )

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life June 16, 2011, 11:55 am

    I first choose a distance and then I decide my reasoning behind wanting to run a race…. from there I can determine how large of a race I want to do and if I want fundraising involved!

    I just signed up for the RnR Providence 1/2 marathon this august!

  • Chelsea June 16, 2011, 11:58 am

    Wow I love all of the advice in this post! I’m signed up for my second race (10k) right now and am so excitedd! Though it’s in August so I’m having to train on the treadmill most of the time due to the texas heat 🙁

  • Kara June 16, 2011, 11:58 am

    I have a whole system: I won’t drive more than 30 minutes for a 5K or a 10K and not over two hours for a half marathon, and anything further away better be a marathon or longer.

    Lately, I’ve been a cheap bastard about racing (because I’m not working and staying at home with my spawn) and I’ve been loving 50Ks. 30 bucks to run 31 miles? Sounds like a deal!

    I’m running my first 50 miler this fall and I’d pay much more for that (cost per mile makes sense to me for some reason).

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:52 pm

      Hahah I often figure out the cost per mile when signing up for a race 🙂

  • Hillary June 16, 2011, 12:01 pm

    Awesome tips, Caitlin. I agree with your point that racing doesn’t have to be about winning, but can totally be about the experience.

    As for races I’m eying, I’d LOVE to run the Disney Princess Half and the Nike Women’s Half (in San Fran), but both cost a ton of $$ and would require me to travel and take at least a day or two off of work. Maybe next year!!

  • Sam June 16, 2011, 12:05 pm

    Yay, thanks for this! I am needing to transition from running 5k to 10k for my first race in october, and I am now considering the link you posted 🙂

  • Aimee June 16, 2011, 12:22 pm

    You are so right that anyone can race. Seriously if I can do it then anyone can. I try to find races that keep it fun yet challenge me. I love the enthusiasm and energy of a race. I actually do incorporate races into weekend getaways so I can experience a new place and new scenery or a family vacation as in the case of my first marathon this coming January at Disney! Great post.

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 16, 2011, 12:23 pm

    Awesome post, CaitliN! I just ran my first race.. a 10K in May. I randomly decided to sign up online one night. I’ve been wanting to a another.. but my weekends are so packed. AND there are tons of races around here that don’t allow headphones. i don’t know if I can do that!

    • Jenny June 16, 2011, 3:31 pm

      I’ve found that even though races don’t “allow” headphones, most turn a blind eye. It’s more an insurance liability issue than anything. It doesn’t get enforced.

      • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:52 pm

        Yup, it’s not usually enforced. Very very rarely.

  • Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous June 16, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Great post!!! I also LOVE love love races. But for me, the training for those races is killer and boring and miserable no matter what I try. So, for me I stick to 5Ks which I don’t have to do much training for, and keep my regular workouts to others that I enjoy (group exercise classes, yoga, walking my dog, etc.)

  • Kate June 16, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I love racing! I just ran an 8K last Saturday, it was a new race and I loved it! I always try to keep races on my schedule to keep me motivated. I like trying new races and also races that give back to charities. I have a half early Sept. and I’m currently looking for some 5 or 10k’s for July and August.

  • Devonshire June 16, 2011, 1:06 pm

    great post! I just signed up for my very first 5K for the second week in August and am using the C25K program. I guess you could say i’m a beginner runner (ran a lot in high school, then stopped once i hit college and got married). I love reading your blog everyday! You’re inspiring and lead an interesting life!

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:51 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Shrinking mommy of 2 June 16, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Racing isn’t about winning. Racing is about experiencing — I LOVE THIS!!! It is totally how I feel. My daughter says she wants me to win and I tell her it is the fact that I am doing it…it is better than most people can say they have done. My next goal is to find a 10k in my area. I think (ok..I know) I can do it!

  • Carol June 16, 2011, 1:20 pm

    “Eyeing” a biking/running race. Not sure I will enter. I was very interested in entering local 5ks until I got injured in Jan. Now I just run because I can. I am thinking I am a runner and not a racer. I like that you made the comment “racing is about the experience.” I agree and I am not sure I am ready to run in front of a bunch of people:) I just like running because it makes me feel good.
    You have given me something to think about…

  • Chelsea June 16, 2011, 1:23 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have been running for 4 weeks now and have been looking around for a training plan and advice for picking races in the future. This post came at the perfect time! Thanks for the advice!

  • Mary June 16, 2011, 1:24 pm

    I love this post! you’ve hit all the necessary points nail on the head! I am thinking that I’m going to sign up for my first triathlon soon!! Hopefully I can find one close to me in Raleigh to sign up for! 🙂

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) June 16, 2011, 1:49 pm

    This is a great post! I’m going to bookmark it and pass it on to friends who want to start racing!!!

    I’m currently training for the Chicago Marathon in October! I figured that I wanted my first marathon to be a BIG DEAL so I went with a big race with excellent crowd support. If I end up HATING the marathon distance, at least I went with a big race to make it memorable! 😉 (I also wanted an excuse to fly up to Chicago!)

    When I did my first half-marathon (Disney) back in January, it was HUGE, but I loved it! It was a memorable experience and made me excited for future halves. I did my second half a few weeks ago in Hickory, NC, and while it was difficult (um, hello hills!), I actually preferred it to Disney. The crowd support was AMAZING for a local race!!!

  • Bree F. June 16, 2011, 2:21 pm

    On Saturday I’m running my first race ever. It’s a 10k mudrun at Camp Pendleton and I haven’t really had time to train for it so I’m just looking to have fun. I would like to sign up for a 5 or 10k in the future and be serious about training for it to see how I do since I’m not a runner in the least. My goal once I’m out of nursing school is to run a half.

  • Joanna @ braverealworld June 16, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Thanks for such a thorough post on this! I have my sights set on a 5K later in the year. I am just starting with the C25K program. I can’t wait to run my first race. I really appreciated what you said about not needing to feel good enough to race. It can sometimes seem like racing is only for the uber-fit.

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:51 pm

      Good luck! You can do it!

  • Marlène June 16, 2011, 4:50 pm

    I also think there’s something to be said for tried and true race organizers. Having a well organized race makes it SO MUCH MORE enjoyable.

    For anyone in or around the Ottawa, ON, Canada region, Somersault events are the BEST. Their races are always well-organized, they take care of their participants from start to finish, and have an accreditation group to keep standards high. http://somersault.ca/index.html

    (and no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way)

  • Alison June 16, 2011, 5:04 pm

    Love this post! I am surprised you didn’t mention Jeff Galloway though…he has really amazing plans for new runners/first time racers!

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:50 pm

      He does! Can’t believe I forgot.

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 16, 2011, 5:52 pm

    Some friends of mine decide races based on what the medal looks like.

    Have you heard about the Escape from the Rock triathlon? You swim from Alcatraz, as in the shark infested waters to shore!

    • Caitlin June 16, 2011, 6:50 pm

      OMG I would never, ever do that.

      • Molly @ RDexposed June 16, 2011, 6:55 pm

        And that’s what we said to our friend who’s contemplating the race!

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) June 16, 2011, 5:52 pm

    Fabulous advice!! It can be overwhelming to sort out the deets of racing – esp for newbies to running. I’ve been running for years but never entered an official race, and figuring out what and when to sign up for my first was confusing in the beginning! I picked Nike Women’s half with Team in Training, although I never took the hilly terrain into account before i signed up- oopsies. 😉

  • Abby June 16, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Love this post! I decide my races based on what works with my class schedule and other obligations. Since I am in nursing school it can be hard to get away and travel for a race so this is also important to consider. Right now I am eyeing the American Discovery Trail half marathon in Colorado Springs on Labor Day. I am a bit concerned about doing this race because I live in Nebraska so I don’t know what it would be like running a 13.1 mile race at a completely different elevation than I am used to. I am following a training plan right now and hope to make a decision soon!

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 16, 2011, 6:36 pm

    I love this post! Thank you so much for compiling this! I have been wanting to do a race for awhile now, but have been too scared to sign up! I just get nervous that I won’t finish, but you’re training plans will help a lot. You’re right it’s not about finishing first, it is about the experience. Thanks for the push and the words of encouragement :).

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 16, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Thanks for the tips Caitlin! I’m actually searching for a 5k race to do this summer. I never thought about checking the elevation profile first. That’s such great advice! I would hate to get to the race only to find out that it’s all uphill. 😛

  • Alaina June 16, 2011, 7:28 pm

    There are two 5ks that I do each year in Providence so those are always a given. I like to find routes near where I live or where my parents live. My schedule also changes so finding a race that just fits into my schedule is a big factor. I also look at the price. I still haven’t signed up for a R&R race because they seem too expensive.

  • Lauren June 16, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Great tips! I always look at the elevation profile – I know there will be hills at every race I run around me, but I tend to avoid the races that are run literally on mountains.
    I also love races with fun music or things like homemade ice cream & beer at the end – there’s a 8 mile race in 3 weeks that I’m doing with ice cream & beer at the finish!

  • Lauren June 17, 2011, 12:47 am

    This is such a great post! from someone who has always been intimidated about which race to decide to really go for, this breaks it down in a really easy to understand format. Now I feel like I can go to Runners World, for example, and not be overwhelmed by the different race types and wonder how I would choose the perfect one to be my first! ….By the way, your book writing so far has been about empowering girls and women of all ages to feel great about themselves and stop the negative “fat talk.” Ever think about doing something completely different and writing a book about running? I think you’d be great at that! Thanks for all the great info! Enjoy your next race. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 9:31 am

      Hi Lauren! Thank you so much, you are so sweet.

  • Joey June 30, 2011, 11:20 pm

    I keep referring back to this post over and over as a reference for choosing races. I’ve recently started training… My ultimate goal is to run the half marathon at the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon this year (it’s in December) and I just started today at “ground zero”… Thanks for all the advice on choosing races and all your great posts. You are very motivational and inspirational 🙂 I would love for you to come run in Vegas with me! 🙂

    • Caitlin July 1, 2011, 8:03 am

      I want to run with you too 🙂 You are going to do great.

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