As the sport of running & trail running grow more popular we are seeing an introduction of new options for races each year. With so many choices it can get tough to pick the right race that align with your goals. Of course it is all very exciting, you are feeling confident in your training and it’s finally time to actually make the choice. Which race are you going to choose? Today we are going to explore the options of what is out there and hopefully give you some direction when building your 2019 race schedule with the best race styles for you.
Trail races range in distance but often you will find these are more groomed yet still technical terrain that may not require scrambling. Naturally with this comes larger elevation fluctuations however there doesn’t have to be that much of a shift to be considered a trail race. Of course me categorizing this many people will say “I run trail” or “i run road’ but for the sake of being specific I am making sure I differentiate to help you understand the options.
Mountain races are often not so groomed and more technical and would likely require scrambling. Typically this implies starting at the bottom of a mountain and reaching the summit and then descending to the bottom again on a trail that may not be as laid out as what you would find in a trail race scenario. A good example of this would be Speedgoat or The Rut.
There are 2 types of stage races you can do. The first is much like the Marathon Des Sables where you will go on a multi-day endeavor and you must carry all supplies throughout the entire race except for water which is provided to refill your bladders and bottles.
The other type of race is one that will have a hub or home base and each day the runner will begin at the home base and refill/restock and then spend the day running a specific course.
Like trail races there are many distances you can choose from and like the name entails, you are primarily running on the road. One interesting option are the timed races where one would go for 12 hours or even 24 hours typically on a loop and go for distance, how many miles can you put down in that amount of time. A good example of a race like this would be A Race for the Ages.
Multi Event Race:
These vary in activities but for example you can find race options where you have to run, paddle, and cycle a certain amount of distance and this is great for those who are actively involved in multiple endurance sports.
It is important to pick races that align with your training and overall goals. Start small and crush some 5 & 10ks and before you know it you will be doing those halfs and marathon distances. The fastest growing category as of today is the half marathon which tells us that distances are getting longer. What is your favorite distance to run? What is your favorite type of race?