July 25, 2017

What makes a great running event?

I have run hundreds of races and there are some great ones and not so great ones. So what makes for a great race? Here are my ten pointers.

Organising running races

  • Have plenty of loos – queuing for four toilets is timewasting, smelly and annoying. It’s more annoying when you get there and there is no loo roll.
  • Have enough drink stations. Seriously race organisers listen up. Waiting 5km for a cup of water on a 35 degree day is not good enough.
  • Don’t start too many people at once – either start in waves or restrict it based on the funnel of the start. People falling over each other is not a good look.
  • Have showbags – people love show bags and suppliers love supporting these things. It’s a win win.
  • Have a medal. Not enough runs now give out medals; it is a sense of achievement so please give us a medal no matter how crappy it is.
  • Make a clear exit route at the end so knackered people know where to go and what to do; by that point you are slightly delirious so it needs to be easy. The Mother’s Day Classic do a great job of this.
  • Bag drop off. Offer it and make it easy to drop off and pick up. Put all bags in sections and get one person to man each section, e.g. 1-200, 201-400. Sound simple? That is because it is; but it is amazing how many organisers get it so wrong.
  • Have chip timing – you’ll get the serious runners entering and everyone likes to download a certificate with their time on.
  • Offer clear instructions on the course, chip timing, results, bag drop off etc. online and in a leaflet sent out to participants.
  • Plan the course so it is traffic free, iconic (that will get people wanting to run it), easy for spectators to access and not too hilly.

I could keep going on but I need to restrict this to ten. Any other thoughts on what other people think makes a great race or any recommended races out there?

MS Walk and Run – how was it for you?

Last Sunday Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra held fun runs to raise money for MS. People round the country were running or walking 5km or 10km for this cause. So how was it and how did we do?

Run Rabbit at MS Fun Run

Before the race!

My boyfriend and I gave the Melbourne run a go. It was a pretty chilly ten degree morning and the run was around Albert Park, an awesome running track. It’s flat with a great outlook, what more could you want!

The race started at 9am and we got there by 8.45am. We were positioned at the start line when I decided I needed the loo; it’s always that moment of deliberation for a runner. With these events there are never enough loos, never enough loo roll and always a massive queue.  But MS you didn’t do too badly.

And they’re off! It was amazing to have so much red around and lots of people running for MS; it made for a great atmosphere. But it was a bit of a crazy start. The 5km and 10km start all happened at once and people were tripping up and sliding around in the mud; now that didn’t make for a pleasant start and it took a good few kms for it to thin out a bit. After that it was fine. The course itself was great, flat and lots of people pointing to where to go so that was excellent. There were also plenty of people clapping and cheering at the half way mark.

Luckily for us the weather held out and it was cold enough to be great running weather but we missed the rain; unfortunately the walkers didn’t.

My pace was all over the place mostly due to the amount of people on the course; it’s quite tricky to get a good rhythm but I kept around about a 5minute per km pace which I was happy with.  My heart rate at one point reached 183bpm which given I have a resting HR of 41bpm was definitely too high so I scaled it back and maintained a HR of about 170bpm.

MS did well on the water, there was plenty round the two lap course.

Finishing the MS fun run

A lot of sore bodies at the finish!

I got across the line in 50 mins 20secs which is not as quick as I would have liked but a perfectly respectable time. Unfortunately my boyfriend beat me by a minute – typical! Back to interval training.

But what did I really miss – the show bag. I love a good show bag at the end of a race; it’s that treat for finishing. I, instead, treated myself to smoked salmon and eggs at Blue Tongue in Elwood. Yum!

For all the results and more info click here.

All your race results in one place!

One of my outright favourite running websites is Athlinks. Athlinks is an awesome website which holds all of your race results in one place and it’s a great site to get your geek on.

athlinks race homepage

Athlinks pulls race results from high and low profile races all over the world so you can access them in one place. I have race results from ten years ago stored in the database! It doesn’t seem to capture all races as my London marathon races seem to have been missed; however you can add ‘unofficial’ race results yourself.  You can see gender, age and overall position per race along with pace and any other data they can pull. Pace is probably the most interesting one to look at.

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Run Melbourne – First Timer!

This week we are talking to Andrea.

Running your first 10k

Andrea is a bit of a newbie to running. However Andrea does enjoy yoga, bike riding, keeping fit and is a big fan of eating healthily. Andrea also has a personal trainer to help her build her strength; she tends to focus on resistance and weight training. This will be Andrea’s first Run Melbourne 10km having run her first 4km run in February this year. Last year she took the 5km Run Melbourne race on but did walk quite a lot of it. This year she’s serious about it!

Andrea is keen to run this year’s race in under 70 minutes. Well really she is keen to run the whole thing so a time is a bonus.

Her current training plan focuses on getting out there and running. For Andrea the real barrier to running is time, motivation and self talk. Andrea plans to do three short twenty minute runs a week and combine that with yoga and cycling to and from work.

We’ll keep track of how Andrea is doing up to race day.

Top tip: Don’t talk yourself out of training; get out there and be positive.

Enter Run Melbourne here

Run Melbourne – another contender

This week we are talking to Pete, a keen triathlete. Pete is a pretty good swimmer and as such has developed his running so that he can compete in triathlons. Next year he is aiming to complete Ironman Melbourne. So we think Pete’s pretty good despite his protests.

Suffering a lack of aerodynamics with a mo in tow

Pete (on the right) ran this year’s Run 4 the kids in an excellent time of  61 minutes. Over the last year he has improved his average pace by over 30 seconds per km. Pete puts this down to, losing weight,  changing his training slightly, incorporating some interval training and also having a coach to help him focus on his goals and targets on a wek to week basis.

The target this year for Pete is to beat his PB of 1hr 34min and go as close to 1hr 30min as possible. But the real goal is the Melbourne marathon in October and the Iron Man race next March.

 

Pete’s training plan up to the race consists of 3-4 runs per week (as well as swimming and riding). An average week consists of an interval session (10-12km), 1 or 2 easy runs (7-10km) and a long run currently around 100 minutes (17-20+km)

Top tip: Don’t get ahead of yourself; build up slowly to avoid injuries. 

Enter Run Melbourne here.

 

 

Run Melbourne – the training starts

Run Melbourne is a fantastic run that is taking place on Sunday July 15th through the streets of Australia’s food capital….. Melbourne.

There is a 5km, 10km and half marathon course; last year I completed the half marathon and it was a great event, well organised, plenty of water and a good route. It was still hard work though!

I’ll be doing this year’s half marathon again and for the next few weeks we’ll profile someone different whether they be an experienced runner, a first timer, after a PB or simply want to get round. We’ll keep track of their training and see how they actually did when the race is done!

So this week it’s Julie, also known as Chief Bunny!

Julie, runs lots but wants to get quicker

Chief Bunny

I haven’t run a half marathon for a while so this is my journey back into it. I’m really after doing a 1hr 50 time so I need to start revving up my training. At the moment I focus on 4 or 5 runs a week and some of those will incorporate interval training.

Three months out from the race I’ve started to get a bit more serious about my training; I have a plan which incorporates shorter runs during the week and longer runs on the weekend. I also make sure I keep the interval training going but I’m more planned about it. In addition I try and get some shorter races in so I have the Mother Day Classic planned for May 13th and a 10km race around Albert Park in June. I find it helps you pace yourself and get used to race conditions again (I am always quite nervous before a race and my experience is that your stomach can play havoc with you).

Following on from Run Melbourne I’ll be running the Melbourne marathon in October so then the really tough work begins!

Top tip: if you are using gels or sports drink incorporate in your training; don’t use what’s provided on the day. Your stomach won’t thank you for it!

So if you want to get involved log on to www.runmelbourne.com.au and enter today.

Next week we’ll be talking to Pete, a triathlete, runner and soon to be Iron Man contender!