Moe Johnson Running with Moe
Fall running events are popular
I enjoy seeing posts on social media of local runners at races they have run. It made me think about my running days and the races I entered over the years. The posts came from different races in towns and cities throughout the United States. I started to wonder how far a runner would travel to enter a race. It is an easy entry if the race is in San Marcos. This past Saturday the Blue Santa’s 5 Miler and 5K race was held out at the soccer fields. Next Saturday, September 30th, the Kiwanis Pumpkin Dash 5K will be held out at Country Estates. This is a popular race with not a large entry number so the prospect of winning an award is good.
There will be less than 100 runners on the scenic out and back course that local runners enjoy. The fact that the race is in San Marcos means a runner can sleep in an extra hour or more and still make the race without having to spend that hour or more driving to an out of town race. The best part of races at the Country Estates location is that it is scenic, chances of seeing wildlife are good, and the runner will know many of the other runners. The next week on October 7th the SMA Bear Run 5K and 1K will be held out on the campus of the academy. This will be another good race to enter without worrying about traffic or driving out of town for a race.
Being a runner offers many opportunities to enter races in any number of locations. Here in Texas a runner can enter a race nearby every weekend. Austin and San Antonio have a race, or two or more, every weekend. Kyle is starting to host a number of races for close driving to a race.
New Braunfels, Lockhart, and Seguin have races for an easy drive to enter.
When the race is a ‘big’ race like a marathon runners will travel farther to run. The winter race schedule has marathons in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin for the serious long distance runner.
There are runners that attend conventions or expos in cities around the United States and look for a race in the area to run while at that city on business. I had two runners enter my half marathon from New York that were in San Marcos for a conference and saw the race listed for that date. I have run races in Las Vegas and Maine while on business trips.
If you know a relative or friend in the city of a race all it takes is a phone call to request a place to stay while running the race. I have a sister that lives in Chicago. We had about five runners in my group that ran the Chicago Marathon and stayed with her. A nice saving on room expenses and she enjoyed the visit.
There are some runners that enter races in other countries while visiting. I ran a race in Dublin, Ireland, while being a support for Pat Price who was running the marathon.
The best part of the sport of running is that it is a world-wide sport and depending on your travel plans a runner has a good chance of entering a race while visiting.
Katheryn Switzer, the woman credited with being the first registered female to enter the Boston Marathon, started organizing marathons in other countries with the Legg’s Company. She organized enough marathons all over the world for women that she was able to approach the Olympic Committee to have a marathon race for women in the Olympics. Prior to that the longest race for women was 800 meters. Joan Benoit, from the USA, won the first women’s marathon in Los Angeles. After that the distances from the 800 meters on up to the 5K and 10K races were allowed.
For the average runner the distance to a race is a major factor in deciding if they are willing to drive a long distance to enter a race. How far, and how long a drive, varies with runners. Driving for an hour to a race is considered a time that is not much trouble. Then the question of how much more time is the runner willing to drive. An hour and half, two hours, three hours, and then a runner has to consider that after the race there is the drive back home. The one important point for a runner to drive an hour or more to a race is ‘what is the reason you want to enter that particular race?’ What is the deciding factor a runner is willing to drive two hours to a small town local race?
I remember driving to Old Dime Box for their Homecoming race not even knowing that there is a town called Dime Box nearby and needing to ask directions for Old Dime Box.
Looking back at driving a few hours to a run I recalled the race scene was different.
There was not a race every weekend in Austin or San Antonio and smaller towns nearby only held one or two races a year. Times change and runners have more options now.