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Sep 14, 2011

Register for a race a year early?

5 miles on the schedule today....done!  It's getting cool in Michigan and was in the low 50's today for my run.  Tomorrow will likely be long sleeves and dare I say it....long pants.  We're hitting the 40's!


Is it just me or have races been starting to advertise earlier and earlier?  There is a race I have been considering and it's already half full and it's not for another 49 weeks!!!!  Do we really need to plan a whole year ahead?  This goes for Ironman races as well.  It seems they are sold out literally within weeks of opening up.

Is the field really starting to fill up that quickly.  I see all these series of races starting up all over the country and they seem to be pretty popular.  Rock N Roll, ING, Diva, Irongirl, Warrior Dash, Urbanathlon, Tough Mudder, Spartan, Muddy Buddy and on and on.  Are most people really trained for it?  I didn't sign up for my first half marathon until I knew I was really trained for it.

It just seems crazy that something has to be planned that far in advance - and I'm a planner!  I have not committed to any races next year yet but now I'm under pressure if I want to run this race because it's likely it will be full in the next couple weeks.

I'm all for saving money so I do tend to register when the price is the lowest.  For example, this year I registered on January 1 for the Detroit Marathon that is on October 16th.  That the the lowest cost you could get.  That's the farthest in advance that I have registered ever for a race.  Now it might start being the norm.
Register early to save money!

What if you get injured?  Are you really going to know 10-12 months ahead of time.  I guess I would not think it's that big of a deal as long as I would be able to defer until next year or sell my race bib but I have not seen that at many races.  Typically it's no refunds allowed.  If I only had a crystal ball...

Of course, this is primarily for half marathons and longer.  The 5k, 10k's still seem to be within a few months of the race.  Too bad I don't have any plans to run any of this distance next year.

Question of the day?  Do you want to commit that far out for races?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!


  1. No I don't want to commit that far out but like you said, sometimes it seems I have to. I just got an email yesterday for a fantastic deal on a half one year from now. I considered it, peeked at the registration and the cheap spots were already full!
    I also think certain race series attract less serious/not as well trained runners.

    Yay for cool weather!

  2. I think it's the 'first to the market' mentality for a lot of these races. Because the companies putting them on see that running is becoming more and more popular and they want to get in on the take, but to do that, they have to beat out the other races around the same time. Most people don't run three halfs or fulls 3 weeks in a row. Ya know? I signed up for the Broadstreet Run in Philly the day it opened and then couldn't run because of an injury. I also signed up for the Detroit Half in Jan to get the best price. It's a major conundrum. Love seeing more people getting into running, but it's getting expensive too.

  3. They're all trying to get their race out there earlier - I think to get people committed. I mean, so many races to pick from now... the earlier they get their numbers, the easier it is for race planning. I've already got my spring races picked out... just waiting for registration to open & then I'll get the best $ deal (I hope!)

  4. There are 1 or 2 races I will (and have) registered that far out for knowing that they fill in a hurry. To fill out my schedule I wait and look for smaller events.

  5. I commit pretty far in advance. I am already committed to my first 50 miler and it's not until August of 2012!!

  6. I generally work on a long term plan and don't mind committing that early to races. We have a few races here in SA with very long waiting lists and the only way to get in is to enter months in advance. The only negative is that you can't get your money back if something happens and you can't run. In general I'm willing to take that chance.

  7. I try to commit pretty far ahead of time so that I stick with my training. However, it is a bit odd that some races open registration so early. In fact, a few days after I ran the Kalamazoo Marathon this year, I got an email from the organization publicizing the 2012 race. Geez, people, I just ran one this year! It's almost disheartening to start thinking about next year's race already.

  8. I tend to sign up early to save money, but it has bitten me in the butt more than once and then it just ends up costing more money. I am kind of undecided on the whole thing, but yes if I really want to do a race and I know it's going to sell out then I sign up early.

  9. I am a last minute kind of girl. I too want to make sure I can do it. I get why races need a head count in advance, but I think that the increased fee's aren't a deterrent for people any more. Lotteries while effective for events that sell out, I think are starting to be used as a way to make a race seem more desirable.

    That being said, I entered the Nike Women's Marathon lottery and it was only when I was accepted that I decided I WANTED to run a marathon this year. I guess I probably should have been committed before I registered.