Large Race or Small Race?

I don’t know why I have been thinking about this lately but like most of my thoughts……they are random and have no reasoning behind them.

I was trying to figure out what I like better.  Large races, small races or somewhere in between?

The largest race I have done had about 8,000 runners and the smallest race (a sprint-tri) I have done had about 200 people.   8,000 may not be nearly as big as NEW YORK, BOSTON, CHICAGO, LA or any of the Rock n’ Roll marathons but I think it definitely is kinda on the larger side.

I decided to make a pros and cons chart of each because I am cool like that and stay up late the night before my first day of school because clearly this takes priority over sleeping or being prepared for today.

P.S. These are based off of my experience….I am not saying ALL small races are a certain way or ALL large races are a certain way:)

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In other news we ate leftovers for dinner.  Do you really think I could turn my mom down to eating more lasagnaee goodness with a side of carbs and more carbs in the form of fudgee brownies?!?!

Added bonus:  I have taught my niece one good thing so far in this life.  Always hold your hair back when licking syrup off of your plate.  I have learned this lesson the hard way one too many times.

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What do YOU like better….large races or small races or somewhere in between?  What are some of your pros and cons?

Are you a leftover eater or do leftovers sit in your fridge until they go bad?

-I LOVE leftovers and refuse to let anything go to waste in my fridge.

What is the largest race you have run?  The smallest?

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75 comments

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I love leftovers – I always find that most things taste better the next day! I like running in big races..lots of people watching — :-) Have a wonderful day –
P.S. I’m having a fun giveaway starting today…
xoxo from Trinidad

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I have never been in a race…so I cannot help you there! But, I am a leftovers beast haha I never let anything go to waste/or go bad :)

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I love this comment! leftover beast! lol

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It’s so hard to say because there are awesome things about both – my favorite thing about small races is NO LINE for the portopotties! And I think my favorite thing about large races is the medal. And stuff like massages at the finish line. The largest race I was in was about 20,000 people (The Baltimore Marathon) and I don’t know what the smallest race is – maybe a half marathon with only a little over 100 people? I am a psycho about leftovers, and plan my week around them so nothing goes to waste. I don’t understand when people say they don’t like them – delicious food + no cooking – what’s not to like?

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My most favorite race would also happen to be my largest one. The energy was really fantastic at the Women’s Half in Scottsdale last year. That was only about 7-8K though. I thought it was a blast though. I’m not sure I enjoy the smaller ones just because I thrive off of the energy of other people. My smallest race was a 5K with under 100 participants.

I like to make a casserole type dish on Sunday and then eat that for lunch the rest of the week. It works out pretty well. :)

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I think my biggest race was Bay to Breakers in San Francisco where it was estimated to be over 75,000 peeps. I’m not sure if that was accurate or not. A lot of people run it without registering. I do know it was absolutely insane. When I did the Bolder Boulder in Colorado there were over 42,000 finishers. That was crowded too.
The smallest race I think had maybe 18-20 people. It was a 5k. I finished last. lol
We love leftovers here too. In fact I’m having leftovers for lunch!
Hope you have a great first day of school!

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I love the somewhere in between. Too much hassle to get to startline makes me crabby, and I forget that I actually love running until mile 5 when endorphins set in. Also, but not relevant anymore due to chip timing, but I hated waiting in the shoots after ripping off the bottom of the bib. Too small feels like I should have just run by myself for free. However, i have felt like a better runner than I actually am in those small races, big races put me in my place when I am 213 out of 500 in my age group. :)

Left overs: Bring it!!!
Side note: 4th crawler since your doughnut pic a couple of weeks ago………I need an intervention.

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Oh, I eat leftovers–as long as I liked the meal. Who doesn’t want more of it??

I think whether you like large or small races depends on if you’re a “racing introvert” or “extrovert.”

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I love larger races because you can’t beat crowd support! I also love the feeling that SO many people are out achieving the same thing and working towards the same goal! That being said, one of the best races I ever ran was a small 100 person trail run!

The largest race I’ve ever ran was the NYC Half in March. It was totally the reason I’m running the full in November! So much energy and excitement! And for the half they shut down times square an you run through it, which is clearly awesome!

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I have ran races with about 5000 people and races with 40 people! Like your (awesome) charts I think there is pros and cons for both. For the marathon distance I like larger races – mainly for the crowds and excitement. But for smaller races where I do feel mentally I need as much “pumping up” I do enjoy the smaller races, I find them less hectic, more local and there is more of a sense of community – if that makes sense! You are not just a bib number :)

I never used to eat leftovers! My hubby has always loved them, so he took care of them. Now I do eat them but he still eats 75% of them for his lunches which is okay with me ;)

I think the largest was a Mothers Day Run with 5000 people, so nothing really big!

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I love leftovers! Tonight is leftover Lentil Enchiladas and I’m soo excited :)

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BAH HA HA! The syrup comment/picture are absolutely adorable!

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One cool thing is that lots of marathons seem to be getting better about corrals, which mean you don’t have to weave much, if at all at the start. RNR (at least the San Antonio one) is like that — everyone around you is going exactly the same pace as you! And Boston is definitely like that — they’re strict about the corrals and there are about 30 of them (RNR has more like 40 I think).

Hard for me to say what I like better. All my fave marathons (Boston, Twin Cities, NY, St George) are pretty big by your standards (I thought St George was small at only about 7-8k). But I’ve also run smaller ones like Journeys (I only ran the half, but there were maybe 100 marathoners). I think overall, I’d say I like the big ones better. I like the crowd support, the conversation, the company, the competition, the camaraderie on the plane ride home, the city’s support,the organization, etc.

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Ok that photo is hysterical!!!!!! Largest? Disney Marathon.. Smallest. Brandon 10k in Florida.

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You must have lived in the same area I did in Florida. I just moved to Ohio a couple of months ago, but was living in Brandon and then land o lakes. I have always wanted to do the Disney Marathon.

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Another con for small races, is a lot of the time they don’t have water stations. Of course, bigger races have longer lines for the bathroom!

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I generally only do local races, so they’re fairly small. But then, you’re right, I usually end up running alone. Oh well, I can entertain myself with my awesomely hilarious thoughts!

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I’m torn on this subject of large/small races. the smallest one i ran was my first 5k…but it was pretty well organized and alot of fun..prob a couple hundred people at most. my 1st half was bigger, but not as well organized (i didnt even get my tshirt, whatttt)…the biggest was the philly rock and roll half I did last year, and it was HUGE and more expensive, but really well organized and I thoroughly enjoyed the expo and postrace food. The half i’m doing in october will def be smaller, so we’ll see how this one goes, and its all female! i’m excited for a new experience.

I definitely try my hardest to use leftovers in my fridge, it KILLS me to let food go to waste…my boyfriend is the opposite and is the type to let the leftovers sit until they go bad. I tend to pick at his leftovers too :D

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on a random side note, i picked up a carton of Edys Coconut Pineapple ice cream last night and OMG–heaven. if you see this, its a must buy!!

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I have think all of the races I have done are mid size races, but I definitely agree with your pros and cons lists…tough choice!! I usually am NOT a leftover person for some reason…it’s not like I am weird and have a phobia of the leftover, I just want to make something new….who knows why!

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I have to say that I love big races better. I love the energy, the expo, the amount of people that cheer you on.. it’s all so fun!!

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I tend to like medium-size races :)
But really, I think maybe slightly smaller rather than larger. I like running alone to concentrate on my form (victim of 3 stress fractures, form is everything to me now).

Leftovers always go bad in my fridge.

HAPPY FIRST DAY BACK AT WORK!!!! MUST BE SO EXCITING!!! (I’m 1/2 way through getting my teaching certificate and will be subbing this year – can’t. friggin’. wait!!!)

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I prefer large races usually, which is good since I live in NY. However, I do not mind a local 5K in my neighborhood (around 250).

Are you a leftover eater or do leftovers sit in your fridge until they go bad? – They sist there until hubby eats them or I throw them out. I only like leftover Italian food. (Is that weird?)

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I love large races. I like big crowds of spectators and hoopla. I ran Marine Corps Marathon last year and that was around 25,000 people. It was awesome.

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I have never actually run in a small race, I supppose. I think my smallest is 5,000. I do know that I’ve run in a few different sized marathons: Disney as 10,000 and PERFECT. Chicago was 40,000 and WAY TOO BIG. National Marathon was 30,000 with Half Marathoners and only about 5000 once 13.1 is up. I much prefer about 10,000 people. I thought Disney was the perfect-sized race. I didn’t really enjoy Chicago at all – I felt like it was impossible to slow down or stop because I was constantly surrounded by people. And on an 80 degree day in the middle of October, that was just not cool.

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I like larger races! My largest run was about 8000 (my first half in May) andmy smallest was about 75 but that was toooo small and I was not really a fan! My next half which is the Rock n Roll in Denver on October 9th is gonna be huge and I am so pumped for it! I love the crowds and excitement and of course the food!!! I am a middle of the pack runner so I am not trying to place but I like being able to pick people out and challenge myself by trying to pass them!

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I’ve done both, the biggest being the Detroit marathon, and the smallest being a 250-person 5k.
Big race pro: Better medal!
Big race con: Getting overexcited by the crowds and surging in the first few miles.

Small race pro: Higher chance of placing in your age group
Small race con: Lack of aid stations!

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Con for a smaller race: sometimes they can be very, very unorganized, which can cause back ups and unnecessary frustration. I once did a small 5k where I stood on line for an hour waiting to get my bib. They didn’t have pre-race packet pick up and there were only a few hundred runners, but they were so unorganized that it took forever and the race started late! Also, sometimes the smaller races don’t have the high-tech bib chip timing system. They do it old school and rip off your number as you come through the finish line. It always makes me uneasy!

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I love leftovers!!! There are just two of us so lots of time it is easier to cook for four people and than we have leftovers for the next day!!! Which means one less day I spend making dinner for the man!!

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I like races somewhere in between :) (how’s that for being indecisive?) Too large is a pain logistically and too small seems lonely.
As for leftovers…LOVE THEM! Although, my husband seems to think that if I make something that should serve 4 he needs to eat the entire thing at dinner that night. I have to constantly remind him leftovers are OK!

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Leftovers always come to work with me!
I agree with your pros and cons list, but I will throw in there that with careful shopping Rock ‘n Roll events can be inexpensive, too. I’ve done two RNR marathons, one for $55 and one for $65. It’s tough to find even a small marathon for less than that. RnR is big into coupon codes and specials!

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I love leftovers! Sometimes I let it go to waste, but I try not to. I have yet to run a race yet, but i’m DYING to. I’m just super nervous!!

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I LOVE BOTH big and small races… mostly for the same reasons as you! :) My favorite thing about the large races are the spectators because they cheer so loud for everyone!! It really gives you some added energy when you need it most…
small races are fun cuz its always a community event and you see the same people at all the little races… it’s easier for those of us who aren’t very speedy to place ;)

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Our area races are a good mix, medium size races? I think I like those best. Except in smaller racers I have a chance to place in my division, and my ego feels good.

I eat all the food in my fridge…even if there’s a little mold on it. I’m disgusting, I know.

The biggest race I have done had about 20k in it, but I am doing Chicago in a month and that will likely be my biggest…probably ever.

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My biggest race as 27,000 at the seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. It is fun in some ways, frustrating in others. I like to do big races when I have big goals. I also love small races though, ones I have a chance of winning.

I love leftovers. It’s like a free meal that isn’t any work for me.

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I would have to say I enjoy the large races better. They usually involve travel (a pro) and the expo’s are better (more shopping, always a pro). But I do like to support my local, smaller races as well.
Leftovers: Only if they are take-out, my husband’s spaghetti or turkey chili!

The Kidless Kronicles

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Are you a leftover eater or do leftovers sit in your fridge until they go bad?

…My hubby & I did the most amazing thing on Sunday: we made a meal out of all the odds & ends left in our freezer. There were burgers, sweet potato fries, perogies & 5 chicken wings haha… it was a great meal… & now we have more space in the freezer!

I figured they are kinda “leftover” food in the freezer.. so I sorta gave an answer to this question!

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I used to be a big fan of small races and avoid large races. I love the personalization of small races. One of the marathons I ran has a facebook page and the director is constantly on there asking people what food they’d like at the finish and other improvements people would like (That race had amazing food after the race). At the end he is there greeting every finisher. But then I did Boston and I loved it. You start based on your qualifying time so that eliminates much of the need for zig zaging at the start, since you start with people that are around as fast as you you can easily find someone to run with and it’s just a big party the whole way.

After Boston I decided it wasn’t a big/small thing. It’s an organization thing. If races are organized well I’ll probably like them no matter the size. A benefit of big races is having people to run with/chase down. At small races you can get unlucky like I did in a 10k on Saturday and ran alone much of the way.

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Definitely large races!! I did NYC last November and loved all the people. I like looking ahead and looking behind and seeing just as many people.

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I am ALL about leftovers!

I like mid-sized races…. :) Annoying to be inbetween, eh??

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I haven’t done many races, but I think I’d enjoy the excitement of a bigger one. For me, the fun/excitement would kind of be the point!

I love leftovers, but my husband is so weird and won’t eat them! Oh well, more for me! :)

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I love that you made a chart!

To be honest I am so tired of having to get to a bus line at 4:30 am for a 7 am race. I just think that it’s silly. I understand if the race starts at 6, but 4:30 for a 7 am race? I guess this means I like smaller races, lol. The smallest race I ran in was a half marathon that had 1700. Largest was SD Rock N Roll which I believe was 30,000. Food was just ok and getting out afterwards was awful! SD needs a better transporation system or needs to move the finish line elsewhere!

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I’ve never run a race (YET) so I don’t know what my pros and cons would be.
Hmm- well usually I don’t eat left overs unless the meal was REALLY REALLY good then I might. But if I don’t eat them, my dad does so they don’t go to waste. :)

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I like both large and small races for very different reasons. I was wondering what races are on your calendar right now? I know you were having trouble recovering from your injury but are you planning on racing anytime soon?

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I have never been in a race but I think for my first one I would prefer a big race, I think I wouldn’t mind getting lost in the crowd my first go around!

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I think leftovers are usually better! Nothing goes to waste in my house!

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I think the largest race I have done had 16,000 people, and the smallest had 50. I like the smaller ones because that’s my only chance of placing!! haha :) But seriously my favorite race thus far was one of the smallest, but it was because the race organizers were so good. It all depends on the organization and quality of the race for me, if that’s good, it doesn’t matter to me how many people are participating.

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I love inaugural races, and then small races…and then big races.

Biggest I’ve run: Boston.
Smallest: a local one in my town (5k), I think about 150 runners. I could check Coolrunning for more specific numbers though!

I have run races like the Falmouth Road Race (7 miles, 12,ooo people) and I wanted to cry. I hated pretty much every minute of it. It was so crowded, I walked the first 1.5 miles. I can’t believe races oversell like they do!

I really want to qualify for Gansett marathon! Really badly. Working on it. We shall see. I love the idea of a small marathon.

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ha ha that picture of your neice is epic! Love it. I run a lot of races and it is still so hard for me to decide. I think I would have to go with medium sized races. Like small enough that they are responsibly priced and I can maybe win a prize, but not so big that they are overpriced and everyone is so crazy competitive I feel out of place. Honestly some of the smaller races I have ran lately have actually been my favorites.

Goodluck at your first day back to work! :( I miss you my friend!

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Leftovers are the bomb diggity!

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I am on the fence about this one. Small races are super fun in my opinion because of all of the pros you mentioned. They’re not stressful at all. You just show up, have a place to park and you run. Plus, it’s much easier to place (or win!) I love the crowd support at big races but the crowds of runners are not quite as enjoyable. I hate maneuvering around people, it stresses me out. I am in for it at Chicago — 40,000 runners!!! I’ll be doing a lot of maneuvering. Yikes. Maybe starting in the 2nd corral will be helpful. Crossing my fingers.

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I generally prefer larger races because I feel like I’m part of a crowd. Some smaller races really struggle in the planning of it (to be expected). But not having porta potties on the race or signage really stinks. I ran a 10k as part of an Olympic Tri and there were no mile markers or porta potties. That had to be the hardest race I’ve run bc I had no idea where I was! Those things usually don’t happen in a big race.

I tend to start farther back than I should and end up trying to zig zag around other runners/walkers (don’t get me started on walkers who start with the faster runners). I’m not fast but it gets really frustrating.

And I do love a big expo with all kinds of freebies. You don’t find that with smaller races!

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I ran in an ultra in South Africa called, “Comrades.” I ran in 2010 which was also the year that World Cup was in South Africa. There were 30,000 runners. Race day was honestly one the THE BEST days of my life. There were people all along the race cource from start to finish – all 56 miles! The energy from 30,000 runners was AMAZING. Awesome, awesome day.

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gaaah, I really like both! there are so many up and downsides to both… I just hate paying for a big race if the swag isn’t there (like rock and roll va beach half).

what can I say, I like to get a lot for what I paid for. ;)

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I love leftovers! We eat last nights leftovers for lunch everyday! Mmm!

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What do YOU like better….large races or small races or somewhere in between? What are some of your pros and cons?

– I think I prefer large races, mostly because of how organized they are. My largest was Disney World Half which was extra awesome because of their entertainment; I expect the Disneyland half that I am doing in a little over 2 weeks (yay!) to be as fun. I think my smallest race must have been one of my 5Ks, either my first or my most recent. The problem I have with smaller is when they don’t have as good traffic control. I can barely manage myself, much less duck cars!

Are you a leftover eater or do leftovers sit in your fridge until they go bad?

– I always eat leftovers, and as a matter of fact cook so that I can freeze servings for later!

BTW, just back from vacation – with a new 5K PR! 31:03; next stop, under 30!

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i love leftovers. I plan when to cook around needing to eat leftovers and making sure nothing goes to waste

most of the runs that I have done were what I’ve considered big and have had all the great things that you mentioned. I did my first smaller race this weekend, there were def less than 1,000 and i thought it was great. I think it I had been racing to win I wouldnt have liked how casual the start was, but because I was running for fun I loved the relaxed atmosphere. and meeting the race coordinator

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I love leftovers. I have recently got into juicing, so if any fruits or veggies are about to go bad just make juice out of them! Es. Spinach, you dont even taste it when you add an apple pear and beet, or w/e you choose. Fresh Juice is the greatest!

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Love leftovers! It makes packing lunch so much easier!

I like both. I like smaller races because I’m more likely to place in my age group :) but bigger ones are fun too. I ran RnR Las Vegas last year…that was huge. I dislike the crowded corrals though, especially in the beginning.

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I like large ones. I ran the Disney marathon which is HUGE and then I did a 1/2 marathon last spring with only 100 people in it.

The bigger the better.

oh, and I guess I ran the Bolder boulder 10k this year and I think 55000 people ran it. It was awesome.

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left overs for dinner all the way!
your niece is the freaking CUTEST i love her little riglets!
my first 5k was like 150 people…and it was really nice because i came in like first for my age group….but hahaah that will never happen in a LARGE RACE!
i just cant wait to RACE aka INJURIES HEAL NOWW!!!!

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I think the largest race was the Tufts 10k in Boston last year, I ran it with my mom and my little sister and there were like 10,000 people.

The two small races I have run, I really liked becuase they were less stressful and I placed! I just ran a 237 person half marathon and placed third in my age group, so that was exciting!!

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OMG, that pic of your neice is hilarious! That’s an awesome legacy to leave behind.

I’m totally not a leftover person unless it’s pulled pork or stew. These two things always seem to get better the longer they “marinate.”

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I’ve done both large and small races – the largest was the Rock N Roll half I just ran. It was AWESOME as far as all of the pros you listed (aside from the all day rain).

A con of a small race is gun timing! I’ve only run one race that was gun timed, but I didn’t have a Garmin yet, so I had no idea how I actually did!

I love leftovers – food does not go to waste in my house. I even save the fat/pieces I won’t eat off of steak for my dog.

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Hmmm, haven’t decided which I love best yet. Of course I haven’t really done any big races yet-my first biggie will be St George in October! Other than that the biggest I’ve done was about 1200 people, but it was only a 10k so it felt really crowded. I think I prefer the smaller couple hundred people-they are big enough to be an event with spectators, but not so huge that it feels claustrophobic. :) We’ll see how St George goes.
Oh, and I was going to say-a definite pro of the smaller races (especially for us only quasi-speedy folks) is a better opportunity at placing. But I see that less chance of placing is a con on your big race list. :)

I feel lost without leftovers to have for lunch the next day. Leftovers are good good good!

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I LOVE leftovers… I hate buying lunch, so leftovers save me from PB&J more than 3 times a week. :)

I’ve only ever done really big races. Both the Austin Turkey Trot and the Austin (Half)Marathon had 20k entrants. I thought both were tons of fun! (Which is good because I’m doing 2 more BIG races this fall: The NWM in San Francisco and the Rock n’ Roll one in San Antonio).

I’d like to do a small run sometime. I’ll have to keep my eyes open. One thing that I like about the big ones is that there are A LOT of middle of the pack runners like me; I’m worried that I’d be the “slow one” in a smaller race….

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Small races, please! I wish I could do longer races. More power to ya!

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I like smaller races! I’m a tad claustrophobic, especially when people run really close to me.

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I like bigger races with bigger crowds to cheer for you! I love that!

Welcome back to Utah by the way:) Looked like you had one fun summer!

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I love small races for certain reasons and big ones for others. But small races means I might win in my age group. :) The biggest race though was either Rock n’ Roll San Antonio and San Diego… But Miami ING was pretty stinking big too!

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I am new to all this. I am only running 5ks. I run most of them in Charlotte so there is a good crowd. I have friends tell me to go to some of the smaller races around. Stronger chance to place. They say it helps a lot with the mind part of racing.

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I Love the big races because of the crowds!! They motivate me so much!! I’m very excited because I’m training to run the NYC Marathon and it’s one of the biggest!! I’m hoping the crowd will carry me all the way through because I’m nervous to run it without my husband or my friends. I know the crowd will be a great support tho.

I save leftovers but hardly ever eat them.

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I gotta admit, leftovers aren’t my favorite- if I do have them, I prefer to change them up a bit… Meatloaf= sandwich, old pasta= baked casserole, tuna= casserole, etc.

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Your niece is the cutest!! I imagine she receives lots of kisses from her Aunt Janae! :)

Biggest marathon – LA marathon, biggest half – disneyland.

Pros about small races – better opportunity to place in AG or overall, Cons – less camaraderie and support

Pros about large races – camaraderie! makes it soo much fun and they really help you to fire on all cylinders!!, Cons – hard to weave your way through the people in the beginning

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I love the larger races. I am super slow, so with the smaller races I have the fear of coming in LAST! I actually was last out of the starting gate on one 5K race, but eventually caught up to the group and smoked 2 or 3 people in the end. Huge achievement. :)

The longer races I’ve done have always been GINORMOUS (Disney) – between 10,000-18,000 people. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, which I like. I always know that someone is behind me! :) And Expos are SO fun!

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