Do you find yourself Google searching for you next race? Maybe you are on the fence about where you want the race to be located? Well, here are six reasons that your next race should be local:
1. You probably know the course!
Having a sense of direction during race day can be advantageous during a race. Specifically, you know how much further you have left and what the terrain entails. Sure, GPS watches let you know where you are; but, sometimes having a clear picture of the course from start to finish can put your race day jitters at ease.
2. You know the people
Odds are that you are going to see familiar, friendly faces at the start line and volunteering out on the course. Maybe they are your friends, a local run club member, that one group from the track, or a colleague that you can wave to, cheer on, and share some miles with. Seeing a friendly face always is uplifting during a race.
Let's not forget that it’s a great opportunity to encourage your non-running friends or family to come and cheer for you on the course. This is something they might not do if you were racing out of town.
3. You know the race
Local racing does not always mean "small" in terms of quality swag and awards. Most races that are smaller try to make up for the lower attendance with great swag and fun ideas. It also means knowing that each year you can rely on the race to put on a quality event.
4. A smaller field means better placement. Toe the line knowing you could actually WIN this race or place in an age group! These categories are much more attainable when it’s a small community race.
5. You are supporting local
We know the benefits of supporting local businesses. The same can be said for local races. Spending money locally subsequently benefits the local economy. Often local races rely entirely on local businesses through participating sponsorships; however, local races also bring in additional money to local businesses through food, lodging (if out of town people register), course needs, and more!
Also, these local races are put on by local small businesses themselves. You would be supporting directors that are just trying to break even while fulfilling their dream of putting on an event that provides community, exercise, and showcases their hometown. It is every race directors' dream to have their race become a yearly "must do" race. Help them out by registering and sharing with a friend or club.
6. You get to sleep in your own bed
Getting a sound night sleep in your own bed has been know to lead to race day success. When you race out of town not every hotel you find is as nice as the ones you know locally. You don't know what you are getting until you are sleeping on top of the comforter inside your hoodie and sweats.
Secondly, sleeping at home can also eliminate the “oh no, I forgot…” situation the night before or the morning of your race.
In summary, racing local invests in your community both socially and economically. You will gain stronger connections with your local businesses and neighbors.