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I've only done one, but I am stressed out by huge crowds of people. Our race was really small (under 200). It was fun and intimate and not overwhelming for my first race.


What size race do you like and why? Benefits? Downside?

Thanks!

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Under 200 definitely. I love small races. The biggest race I've done so far was about 500 people and that's not too bad.
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It depends on the length of the course. For shorter races of 10K or less, then smaller fields are great. For longer races 1/2 marathon or longer, than larger fields can help you have someone to run with. However, 18,000 was WAY to many for a race!
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I'm a competitive snot so I'll say 1,000. Less than that and there gets to be too much "no man's land" if that makes sense.
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I don't care as long as they have good parking.
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I've run extremely small races (under 50 people)
and big races (9,000)

I've got to say...didn't matter too much. One thing to be said for small races, you don't have to dodge anyone.
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I find the opposite to be true because in the small races, the 10-12 year old kids line up at the front because they think they've got a shot at winning, but usually die out after the first 100 yds.
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I'd say a few hundred is best. The really small races just aren't as much fun because you really aren't racing against people. After about 500-1000 (depending on race length), it just gets too crowded and I have no chance of getting hardware (at least not yet).

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The smallest I've probably ever done was 1000. I think a 200 person race would be really cool. Although, 40,000 in Chicago was pretty cool too, lots of company for the long haul.
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My 5k and 10k races usually have no more than 300 runners at the max. My half marathons have sometime 2000 or so runners. I did run the Virginia Beach rnr half this year with 12,000 other runners, but that's unusual on my part .I don't schdule full marathons with more than 1,500 runners. My next marathon is Nov. 8 at Chickamauga Battlefield. There will be maybe 250-300 of us.

The only drawback in a marathon with fewer than 1,000 runners is you can be on that course by yourself and generally the only crowd support you will find is at the water stations.

I really enjoy the smaller marathons, but they are not for everyone.
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lets go with midsize......I've done some big ones that I really don't enjoy the port a john problem like Disney, Shamrock, Grandma's. And the smaller races, you always have to face what PH mentioned...having to kindly tell the little kids and walkers that they should line up behind you. So I'll say 1000-3000 for marathon and less for shorter distances.....unless they seed....then I really don't care how many walkers are behind me.

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The largest races I've done so far are about 1500 people which is still moderate-sized. The smallest ones I've done range betwen 20 to 80 people.
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I like both real small and real big. Real small because it is more personal and real big just because it is a neat experience.
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The large race experience (ie, the Broad Street Run), neat seeing runners of all abilities get together for a good time and some racing. Plus the bigger race have cool free stuff
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As long as I don't come in last, I don't care about the size. :D
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