It’s that time of year. The time when runners eagerly start planning out their race schedules for the year. Obviously, I’m no exception. I didn’t run a single race in 2018 due to pregnancy and having a newborn, so I’m itching to get back out there. Some shiny new PRs would be great, but I mostly just want to have some goals to work toward now that I’m not working.
Because I’m a full-time mom and we are now living on a single income, I have to be a lot more selective about races. These days, location and price are paramount. Gone are the days when I could wake up at 3:30 am and drive to upstate New York and back in a single day just for a race. If it’s further than an hour’s drive, it’s not happening. And the price-to-swag ratio has to work out. I’m not paying $50 for a race with no medal, ya dig?
The pickings in my area are rather slim, but there are a few good races that I’m pretty excited about, including some repeats. Obviously, it’s early days, and I’m not 100% sure that these races will all work for me, but I think one-ish race per month from May through November is realistic from a training and expense standpoint.
Behold, my tentative race schedule:
Right now, I have three races that I’d like to do in May, but will likely only run one or two. First, the Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k, which I’ve run every year since we moved back from Boston except last year. They haven’t actually posted the date yet, but it’s an annual event, and usually takes place in early May.
Next up is the GMAA Pump it Up 5 Miler on May 4. I ran this race back in 2015 and really enjoyed it. With a $15 registration fee, it’s a deal, and it’s also very close to home. There are no frills–no medals, no shirts, but there are bagels at the finish line and VERY good raffle and age group prizes. Unfortunately, the Jiggety Jog and Pump it Up 5 Miler have a history of being held on the same day. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen this year!
Lastly is the Vermont City Marathon Relay. I’m definitely not ready to train for another full, but I’d love to run a leg of the relay. I have some friends who usually put a team together, so we’ll see what happens there.
I’ve put the Stowe 8 Miler on my race wish list many times, but I’ve never actually gone ahead and done the thing. It’s a unique distance, it’s close to home, and finishers get a medal, a shirt, and a craft beer. This is my kind of race!
Another race I’ve heard great things about but never gotten around to running is the Fairfax Egg Run. They offer a 5k and 10k in addition to a kids’ race. I haven’t run a 10k race in ages, and they serve breakfast at the finish. This race is also super close to our house, which is a big bonus.
I got my current half marathon PR at the Leaf Peepers Half in 2017, and while it was a VERY challenging course, it was also lots of fun. Registration is cheap, and while you don’t get a medal, you can get a shirt for an extra $5. Post-race food is good, and again, it’s fairly close to home. I’m not sure I want to train for a half this year, but if I do, this will be it.
Another unique distance and fairly new race on the scene would be the Vermont 10 Miler. Last year was the inaugural race, and from what I saw on social media, it was very popular. The registration fee is very reasonable, and finishers get a medal and a shirt. Stowe is also just a hop, skip and a jump away, which makes it all the more appealing.
What are some criteria that help you decide which races to run?