The year of racing locally

Runner's World half marathon

Returning to Bethlehem, PA, for the Runner’s World half might be as far as I go for a race this year

I didn’t really intend this, but it is looking like 2013 is going to be my year of racing locally. I’m not sure, but I think having two big marathons (Boston and CIM)  tied to big travel last year have made me want to stay fairly local this year.

For instance, when it came time to pick a March marathon (I zeroed in on March for better weather odds) I didn’t even peruse options that were far flung, which is unusual for me. Then as I put together the rest of my year (for the most part) I again found myself looking locally.

I do love traveling for races and racing in new locales. I think, though, that when I travel for a race, it somehow makes it even more of a big deal. I’m sinking money and time away from my family into this one event, and that can’t help but result in it becoming a bit larger than life.

It just seems like there’s a little more (self inflicted) performance pressure in these cases. I mean, if I am going all the way to California to run a marathon, I’d just better have a good race, right? Um, wrong in this case, but anyhow…

It all leads up to my race schedule this year, which is more or less going to look like this:

  • March 16–B & A Trail Marathon in the next county over
  • April 28–IronGirl half marathon right here in town. This one is tentative. I’ve found if I don’t have a commitment hanging over my head post-marathon, I do a better job at recovering properly, so I’ll leave this decision until the last minute.
  • August–IronGirl sprint triathlon right here in town.
  • September–IronGirl sprint triathlon in Rocky Gap, Md (short drive)
  • October–Maybe the Runner’s World Half if I am lucky enough to be invited back
  • November–Rosaryville 50k in nearby Virginia

Of course, plans change, so not much of this is written in stone. But as you can see, I’ll be hanging close to home this year. I kind of like this–it’s nice to support the local race scene and around here, there’s no shortage of choices when it comes to racing. So that’s that–my year of racing locally.

Are your race plans close to home or far away this year? Which do you prefer? And if you have an amazing race that IS farflung, do share–I am always open to consideration!

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  1. says

    I think this makes perfect sense, really. I always feel less pressure when I’m running locally – specifically because I didn’t sink so much money into the travel. And I think that I don’t enjoy my travel *quite* as much if it’s for the purposes of racing, because I’m worrying about food, rest, time on my feet – AND seeing all the sites (since, after all, I paid to travel wherever it is I’m traveling).

    So if I run while traveling, I always make sure that the primary purpose of the trip is really THE TRIP, and the run is just an extra/bonus.

    So far, I’m taking it easy and staying “local” this year – but since I’m living in a new place, the races will certainly all be new to me. And heck, if you happen to change your mind and want to race in Southeast Asia, just drop a line. :)
    Holly KN recently posted..Night SafariMy Profile

  2. says

    I like to keep it local. Supporting the local race scene, businesses, and just having tons of friends running it keeps it fun.

    That being said, a racecation is something that I want to do one day. Maybe in 2013, maybe 2014. I still need to map out my race plan for this year.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..I Jinxed MyselfMy Profile

  3. says

    Most of my races are local, well a short drive into DC. I am going to Chicago in May to run the Soldier Field 10-miler but my in-laws live there. I love living in the DC metro area because there are always a bunch of races to choose from.
    Natalie recently posted..First time running on paleoMy Profile

  4. says

    As in everything, I think there’s yin/yang in racing too. I traveled a ton last year as well and plan on staying much more local this year. Although if the RW invite comes up I am so there this year–still bummed it conflicted with MCM last year.

  5. says

    I have often weighed the *value* in the idea of flying to races. As I’m looking at ever increasing airline costs to get back over to Germany often to see family, I also see higher and higher costs flying stateside. At some point, the costs become too high to make the whole event a real value to me. Something like Boston is an exception, special races are definitely different. I have a lot of really good races I can run that are within a reasonable driving distance (but of course I live in the land of BQ’s so plenty to pick). Air Force Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Flying Pig Marathon, Indianapolis based marathons, anything in St. Louis … :) I am trying to get to the Marine Corps Marathon this year, but I have family that lives there and we are a military family, so it makes it special and worth the airline cost. I get to see family in the deal :) I do dream about that LA Marathon though … ending up on the beach … hmmm! But then I’d try to incorporate a whole vacation out of it to get more value in the airline and hotel costs. I think staying close to home is not a bad thing at all, plus most of us have many races nearby that we can get to.
    Christina recently posted..Compression running socks and a rest dayMy Profile

  6. says

    Sounds like a great plan! Since, I started my year with a couple races at Disney, I would love to say the rest of my year is local. And for the marathon distance, they are…but I also got in to the Nike Women’s Half in DC…..and I’m climbing a mountain. Maybe, I’ll do more local next year. :)
    Mandy recently posted..Gone Goofy: The MickeyMy Profile

  7. says

    I love seeing some tri’s in there! My goal is to get a sprint or two under my belt this year too.

    I like racing locally but I do find that it diminishes the excitement around the race. I just go home, take a shower and go about my day instead of celebrating the accomplishment.

    Love the race schedule! Can wait to see you kick some butt!
    Katie recently posted..You Got ThisMy Profile

  8. says

    When planning my races this year I had two criteria…driving distance and no hotel required! I run 90% of my races locally anyways and I really love it. It makes me feel not only very tied to the running community here but it also decreases my mommy guilt because I am home most of the time! New England is a great place too for runners since there are so many races around!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Fitness Friday….Best Body Bootcamp Week 2My Profile

  9. Denise P. says

    I’ve actually been trying to be more selective with local races because I’m saving up my pennies to knock more states off my 50 states goal. I have a tendency to register for every single charity 5k in my area because I just like to contribute and they help keep me on track.

    So far this year I am flying to Dallas for a half in March. April brings another half about 2 hours away that I won a free entry to but I’m not totally convinced I’ll do it. Then a metric century bike ride an hour from home in May. And that is all I’ve got scheduled. Its kind of nice to not have a bunch of things lined up to stress me out, but I also worry I’ll slack on workouts without concrete goals.

  10. says

    I am with you… sticking with local yocal this year or where I can drive and stay with someone I know. Last year was pricey and want to spend my money more wisely this year… when it comes to running!

  11. says

    I go back and forth on whether I like to travel or not for races. After driving 8 hours to run the Eugene Marathon last year and then flying to CIM, I have decided that IF I am going to travel for a race it will most likely only be for a 1/2 marathon. I love race-cations because it is the only way I can talk my husband into going anywhere. Going to Houston last year to watch the Olympic Trials and then run was one of the best vacations ever. This year my marathon will be locally and then I might do a fall marathon in Portland, but I can stay with my family. I am traveling to San Fran to run a 1/2 and then possibly Las Vegas and Vancouver, BC for 1/2 marathons.
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Friday Favorites: Guest FeaturesMy Profile

  12. says

    I think it’s a great idea, to both run locally, and schedule an earlier marathon. The weather hasn’t be too co-operative in the last year! I love the 50K you have scheduled for November as well. I’m pondering my first ultra in June, a 6 hour event.
    Robin recently posted..Cross Training and Winter (?) FunMy Profile

  13. says

    Except for racing with my sis in WI (8 hour drive), I have pretty much only raced locally (within relatively short drive). I think I’m just too cheap to spend all the extra money to travel when I know I am still going to be slow and often struggling to just get through it. Plus, when I travel – I want to see the sights which often isn’t wise for before/after races.
    TriMOEngr (Christina) recently posted..Trainer TimeMy Profile

  14. says

    I think wanting to run locally may be part of the cycle of a runner. A couple years ago I would fly to different states to run Ragnar but this year I think I’ll be turning down running Ragnar in Utah. Traveling for races obviously has the flight/car expense but it also has the expense of taking time off work to travel to those locations. When I ran Boston I took a week off to see the sights but afterwhile I find myself low on vacation time.

  15. says

    It’ s good to change things up every so often. And why travel when there’s a plethora of good races right on your doorstep?! But having said that I’ll still probably go to Melbourne in October because that might be my only holiday all year.
    Char recently posted..The Power Of PurpleMy Profile

  16. says

    I’ve mostly stayed local for most of my running, with the exception of going to Virginia Beach for Shamrock and a couple of Rock ‘n’ Rolls, but that’s only a few hours of driving. In the past 4 months I’ve now traveled specifically for racing and I’m not sure how I feel about it. The travel is definitely stressful and can take away from the experience, but running in a completely different place is also pretty cool. That said, there are a ton of races within an hour of me that I’ve never done but would like to.
    David H. recently posted..2 months ’til ShamrockMy Profile

  17. says

    I feel the same way. I’ve been debating going to Milwaukee for USAT Nationals or Arizona for duathlon nationals but will be unhappy if I don’t make the US Team after spending all that money getting there.

    I’m so glad you shared your race plan though because I want to do IronGirl Rocky Gap but haven’t found anyone else who shares my love of hills! Do you need a roommate or are you driving there race morning?! Hope it’s still open.
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Professional Athletes Aren’t Heroes. THIS is a #RealheroMy Profile

  18. says

    I think I’m going to be racing (relatively) locally for the foreseeable AJ…unless someone wants to cover airfare for me! HA. Too many costs for the kids/home for me to even think about spending that much on races.
    I am seriously considering doing RW hat trick this year =) Would LOVE to spend time with you again!!
    And yay for 50k!!
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Cold Weather RunningMy Profile

  19. says

    I’m keeping it local this year, except for 1 race. I will be running the Rock n’ Roll Chicago half again, and while it isn’t close to home, it’s an inexpensive trip for us (BF and I) because we stay with friends. The other 4 races are local.
    I’m doing that, because my goal for next year is to run Goofy’s Challenge in Disney World, and Dumbo’s Double Dare in Disneyland. 2014 will be an expensive year!
    Heather @ Bake, Run, Live recently posted..Improv Challenge: Banana Bread Cookies with Streusel ToppingMy Profile

  20. says

    I’m with you about the local races this year too. After my two destination road marathons had crappy weather (Cellcom Green Bay and CIM), I’m sticking with my running club’s races for the most part. I’m lucky enough to have a really great and cheap local running club that puts on many free races and two marathons a year (Avenue of the Giants and Humboldt Redwoods). At least if the weather is crap, it will be the flavor of crap that I’m used to, right?

    I’m still planning major adventures this year to Alaska and the Alps, but they are non-running. :)
    Karen recently posted..Prairie Creek RedwoodsMy Profile

  21. says

    I usually only race locally. I am going to a running camp in Colorado, though :) But that might change depending on my hip/ pelvis MRIs on Tuesday. We’ve got so many great races around! I do plan on adding tris back to my racing, too. If I travel more than an hour, it’ll be for a tri since there aren’t many too close.
    Erik recently posted..Another dungeon ride and a diet change.My Profile