Are There Too Many Races?

  As I was in Fleet Feet Sports this week, purchasing another pair of running shoes (my third pair ofMizuno Wave Inspire 11), Brett, the owner, and I were discussing future area races.  This question came up: Are there too many races?

As we talked about up coming races, here is what we found.  This weekend, there are 2 races witting a half an hour drive of each other.  On the weekend of  September 12, there are 2 more races (if you count the color run as a race) within 15 minutes of each other, and then on September 19, there are 3 races witching 30 minutes of each other. 

With all of these races, it basically mean what could be some good races, with larger crowds, and more competition don’t happen because all the runners are spread out between races. The results are that there are just small, mediocre races. In Denver and Raliegh, they have limited the number of races that can be held or had road closures for these races. 

As a race director, I know that these races have special meaning to those involved, but are there too many?  I would argue that there are.  Not only are the number of races hurting competition, but also hurting the organization who depend on the financial assistance they get from the races as well as from sponsors.  For some charities, these races are their primary fundraiser for the year.  So how can everyone be happy?

1. Look at the local race calendar. Is there another race in close proximity to yours that would interfere with your race? If it’s a well established race that typically drawls a large crowd, avoid that date for sure. If you can find a date with no races, book it as soon as possible.  When your race is close to another one, not only are you hurting your chance of having a large crowd, your also hurting the other race by pulling away participants. For the Sarah Strong Run, we chose early March for the race because there simply are no races, especially 10k races at that time.  Late fall through early spring are great times to schedule a race.  Let’s face it, there are too many races in the summer, don’t add any more.

2. Maybe team up with another race. A race can support more than one charity of the charities decide to work together. 


One thought on “Are There Too Many Races?

  1. I definitely agree. Most races have decreasing numbers of runners instead of increasing because every organization wants in on the game. Maybe a little more creativity in fundraising is in order.


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