I have noticed lately that a ton of new-ish races popping up around the area are seemingly omitting the one key detail of the race - THE COURSE! I am excited and happy to see so many area programs are partnering with local businesses to create fundraising opportunities for truly noble causes and the fact that it involves running is even better. For me, because as a runner, I'm always looking for a diverse range of opportunities to race, and for the general community because it gets people off their behinds to help fight this obesity epidemic!
But for the life of me, I can't figure out why a race website doesn't post the course. I also understand that many courses are not finalized until it gets approved by USATF and the local jurisdiction for the race permit. But to not even have a placeholder that says "pending approval"? However, I am also seeing this on sites for races that are only 1-2 weeks from happening, so I'm pretty confident that last step has already been accomplished. In some cases, a short description is provided, but in others, there is nothing. Neither of these options do me any good as a potential participant in these races.
You see, I like to create a race plan for any race I am running. And it makes it virtually impossible to do this without a specific course. At the very least, I want to know what I am actually signing up for.
I want to know if your definition of "rolling" equals mine
I want to know if there are lots of turns (or worse, turnarounds) that will impact my consistency
I want to know where the water stops (if any) will be and what will be served at each station
You get the idea. I need to know these details so I can figure out how I should structure my racing strategy based on the details of the course. And you know what? I won't be signing up for any race that I can't see the course for. It's as simple as that.
So listen please - you race organizers and managers of race websites - no course map, no registration fee from me.
Got it? Good.