Race Courses - Behind the Scenes

What is it about a race course that makes you feel happy? Do you like the out and backs, the point-to-points, flat and fast, or hilly? If you had a choice to pick a course, or provide input on a course, what would you say? Would your input be different depending on your current running/racing goals?

I haven’t met many race directors but I can say I know one who does put a lot of thought and consideration into the race course. ...and she is not a runner.

Do you remember my training plan HERE to PR at the Run and Walk for the Whales? I am going to try hard to get into this training plan but I don’t think my PR, or goal to break a 2-hour half, will be in February. And no, I am not just getting pessimistic. It is all about the course.

2011 Map
Courses for races may get altered over time for various reasons. The race director for the Run and Walk for the Whales wanted to get the course officially measured. Awesome! In addition, some course redesign was in order. Some of you runners out there who have done this race may like to hear that the double loop looks like it is vanishing. So good for the mental side of running. Going around that twice bogged me down, although the aid station in the center of it rocked! (Thanks research team!) But all things come at a cost, this pushes the course further north and into a hilly section. Yep, more hills, and a steeper one at that.

The race director set the proposed course in front of me, told me her thoughts, asked my input, and with my idea of running a sub-two in my mind fading, I said go for it! It looks good! It is just a hill! But I am that crazy running mom that bought a 10% incline treadmill for at home.

But the course isn’t just about the where. Race directors need to think about the aid and safety. Where do police need to be? Is it safe for the runners? Where will the aid stations be? Top of hill? Bottom of hill? Should you pass them twice?

With all that in mind, I am excited to race this run again this February. Will I get a sub-two? I don’t know. If I don’t will I cry? No. I have another half in April. Will I have fun? That is the point. Have I registered? Oh yeah! Do you want to register too? Go for it HERE. And if you do, let me know and we can say ALOHA! By the way, the race rates are good and the hotel will be offering run rates that seem to be really awesome this year.

P.S. Just a friendly reminder, although I work for the company that hosts this race, I am not being paid to share my opinion and yes, this is truly how I feel about this run.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Honest blogs
  • Shortbread cookies
  • Prayer
  • Good news
  • Clear skies


  1. More challenging rather than a double loop? That sounds fine with me! I will take on any course- I love it all! Hills are challenging, I can go fast on the flats, road, trail (trail is my preference), rain, shine, heat, cold! Anything- I love to run and race! Kick some butt in the 1/2!!

  2. I know you're gonna go sub-2 in this half! Good luck and kick some butt!

  3. Thanks for the positive energy! I love there are others who would opt for more challenging versus the double loop. :)


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