Need Your Help Picking a Race!

May 30, 2015

June 1st is approaching…which means race price increases (here is an old post on Race Registration Savings Tips)! As you all know I am tweaking my Chicago Marathon training plan this weekend.  Like last year, I plan on incorporating some races as part of my long runs this summer/fall (at marathon pace).  This is where I need your help…I am torn between two races for my 20 miler weekend (not too concerned about swag):

Race Option #1 – Navy Air Force Half Marathon

Image: Navy Air Force Half Marathon

  • $90 for registration (Price Increase June 1st)
  • 7:00AM start, which is 2 miles from my apartment
  • Flat, familiar course (I ran this last year)
  • Crowd support
  • Temptation to come home and will be 17 miles for the day vs 20 miles, perhaps cover 5 miles beforehand

Race Option #2 – Metric Running Festival – Metric Marathon

Image: Howard County Striders

  • $55 for registration (Price Increase July 31st)
  • 26.2K = 16.27 miles, which means I’ll cover 3.73 miles on my own (likely beforehand)
  • 8:15AM start, about an hour drive from DC or 30 minute drive from my parent’s house
  • Not a flat course, and something new! I am not opposed to some hills
  • Less crowd support

Which race would you choose?

UPDATE 6/1/15: Thanks for all your comments! I chose the Metric Running Festival πŸ™‚

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    1. Since you ran the Navy/Air Force half last, you should run the Howard County 26.2K. I like to do different run, just to see new places. I enjoy reading your running blog. I starting following you after the Shamrock in Virginia Beach.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        That is a good point, I’ve never run in Howard County before. Thanks for following, Olander! Hope you had a great weekend and thanks for your help.

    1. Definitely try something new! Plus it’ll be closer to your miles for the day, less miles for you to run on your own. Plus, I find what smaller races lack in volume they make up for in enthusiasm πŸ™‚

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Ahh you are a HoCo grad! It is a unique distance I’ve been wanting to try.

    1. I would vote for the howard county race too since it’s something new, closer to the actual distance you need, and no temptation to go back home early πŸ™‚
      Chaitali recently posted…Semper Fi 5kMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        All very good points, and to make sure I run all 20 I could arrive early (which I usually do anyways πŸ˜‰ ) and get the mileage in.

    1. What do you think the weather will be like at these races?

      I am trying to decide if I should travel for a half marathon in September to get ready for Chicago since we don’t have any halves here in South Florida. Ideally I’d like to run someplace where the weather will be similar to what we’ll experience on race day as well.
      Kristina recently posted…I Have Bronchitis and am Re-Listening to SerialMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I looked at my recap from last year year and I described it as “perfect running weather”….but the weather in DC in Sept/Oct has a mind of its own.. it can be humid (I remember a week later it was) or chilly. Do you have some races in mind already?

    1. Interesting. since your goal race is flat, I would suggest the flatter course. Unless you are managing injury where it is better to have variability in terrain. Specificity is key in race prep. That said, if you think you’re less likely to get the run in with the logistics of the Navy/Air Force half, then the hilly miles are better than not getting the miles in.
      Kelli recently posted…Church Creek TT (40K)My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks for your feedback, Kelli! I think the logistics, I’ll likely get all my miles in with the hillier course (I’ll drive through the course ahead of time to get an idea of the elevation change). Hope you have a great week!

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Good reasons to choose the metric marathon, thanks for your vote!

    1. Both sound like good choices. I like that the Howard County is cheaper & is new but the first starts earlier & is closer. Depending on the forecast, the earlier start may be the better option if it’s going to get very hot/humid. Look forward to seeing what you pick!
      Jennifer @ Running on Lentils recently posted…Weekly Recap: May 25 – 31My Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I wish the Howard County race started earlier, I could get there an hour earlier to begin my run. I checked my recap from last year and it was “perfect running weather”, but Sept/Oct can be very random each year.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Very cute, right?! This has been on my bucket list for awhile.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Cheaper is appealing – the extra $45 can go towards Chicago …or other races πŸ˜‰

      1. Run Jenny Run

        It is! I’ve only heard of one other in the area (Kent Island) and that is usually held during Cherry Blossom time. Thanks for your vote!

    1. I’m not a fan of hills so I’d be tempted to re-run the flatter course, but I think you should go for the Howard County Striders since it’s significantly cheaper and new scenery makes a run a bit more fantastic!
      Christy recently posted…China AdventuresMy Profile

      1. Run Jenny Run

        I’ve never run a race in the county before, so it would definitely be a nice change in scenery. The price is very appealing as well.

      1. Run Jenny Run

        Thanks, Deborah! I went with the HoCo race πŸ™‚

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