71 Comments
Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

It matters a lot to me. If I am paying for an event what do I get for my money. A shirt and medal isn’t enough for me to pay over 30.00 for a 5k

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

The music doesn’t mean that much. The swag is great though. For me, all the people lined down the streets cheering you on for 13.1 miles, now that helps me make it through.

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author

Same here.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

If it is an expensive race, then I want some fun swag or entertainment to make the $ worth it. Some of my favorite gear has come from races. I have way too many t-shirts, but I have gotten some nice jackets and rain coat from a few races that I wear all the time. Anything that helps give the crowd energy, like music, is fun. When the crowd is cheering, it gives me more energy to keep going.

I have enjoyed some very rural runs through wineries and smaller towns that were very quiet and peaceful and I didn't get a lot of swag and didn't feel disappointed because the run was so pretty, but I also don't remember paying a ton for them, so I felt the price was reasonable.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I appreciate the support along the run, especially longer runs. That can be music, people in costume, signs (one of my favorites was, "This is the last hill, until the next one"), even the kind folks handing out Kleenexes. The swag bag is great too, as Jaunita mentioned. In addition to the medal and shirt, I've enjoyed some really neat race related items like microfiber towels, snacks, socks, etc. Most if not all were provided by race sponsors.

The after race festivities isn't really my cup of tea. I just want to get home, clean up, and chillax for a while reflecting on the accomplishment.

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deletedJul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson
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This brought the biggest smile to my face in FOREVER!!!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

It's very important! I run along the streets with no fanfare and notice every day, why would I want to pay to do that! My first Rock'n'roll race was in Las Vegas and it was wonderful. The more the better! Also, I love lots of swag. It doesn't have to be expensive, I just love looking through all of it - like Halloween!

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lol agreed, it's just like Halloween!!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I love the cheers from the crowds, music not necessary. However, I am big on awards. The usual T shirt and ribbon don't cut it. I'd rather have a beach towel, bag, dinner gift certificate. That's what matters.

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author

I love the cheers too! I wonder, at what point does it all become too much? I like your ideas!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I really don't like running in big crowds. I don't need all the fancy amenities. I prefer a small race with food, beer, giveaways, etc. I'm more of a trail runner, but that doesn't mean that there aren't amenities. (I wasn't impressed with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon I did. It started over 20 minutes late, a few water stops did not show up, and bands also failed to show. Yes, there were things to do before and after the race, but the late start impacted my race.) I would rather run a low-key, well run event that might not have the bling, but gets it done.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

Every half marathoner has there basic needs, I happen to have started my half marathon career as a low need person. I carry my own water, carry my own gels and I swallow myself up in music and enjoy running and the scenery. To me the race was my quiet time to be alone, however, I've done 42 half marathons in the past 6 years and I have to admit, with each passing race, there is a level of loneliness that you feel when you are in your own head for 13.1 miles. Amenities and entertainment has started to become a source of energy, joy and company for me and seeing the smiling faces of musicians, cheer leading spectators and super cute little kids asking for you to give them a high five has become my drug! Post race food still isn't a big priority for me as I have my husband there for me scoping out where we will eat after the race...however...that being said...there was a certain Freaky Fast 1/2 in Idaho where they made beef BBQ covered waffles that were ridiculously good prompting me to "kiss the cook" much to his face reddening embarassment...to sum up...cheer me on, play music for me, ask for a hug or a high five...it's lovely to be encouraged if you are a toddle or an old broad like me!

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author

That's awesome, Joan! I hear you :)

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I wish race directors would put more effort into the design of their courses. I am getting sick of courses with too many turn-arounds. Point-to-Point or legitimate full loop courses are always the best. Regarding amenites, the most important thing is to improve the keepsakes/memories for participants. A nice finisher medal and free pictures on the course and at the finish line are always appreciated.

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Agree....also, not sure why the photographs are priced so outrageously ! Why not $1.00 per photo as opposed to the expensive single or package prices when you aren't sure how any you'll get or guaranteed to even get one !

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

It depends where the course is but I do like some atmosphere like music etc to keep me going. Although to be honest...toilet access is literally the only thing I care about on the day. Even on a half I know I’ll probably need one...and a million times before and soon as I’ve finished 🤦🏽‍♀️

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author

Those are key!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

Truthfully, since I wear headphones and listen to music when I run, the bands along the sides don't matter to me, and you only hear about 20 seconds of music. The beer gardens, wine tastings are nice, but after a race and I'm all sweaty and grimy, I'm ready for a good shower. Just give me a nice scenic, crowd cheering road race.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

Race is not a run ..that’s why we all have to pay? Run is not a race and always free!!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I just ran the FULL rock n roll marathon in San Diego (my first full) and it was AWESOME! The hundreds of people cheering you on throughout the course is the most important and most fun part of it for me! I do like the music, even though I have my own playlist. I just pause it when I pass the bands so I can listen to them. I love the people in costume, the people giving out sustenance on the course - one person actually was giving out pb&j sandwiches at mile 19 and that was SO appreciated!! My favorite sign I saw was "If you can make it through season 8 of GOT, you can get through this!"

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I love that!!! (The whole post, but especially the part about season 8 of GOT! ;)

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

Yes, I ran a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in Washington, DC and it was suppose to have bands playing at every mile. Sounded pretty cool when I signed up to run this, but the problem was that the day of the race it was raining. It rained all morning non-stop. Of course the Marathon went on as scheduled but only a very few bands showed up. I really didn't mind though, my main goal was to finish the Marathon and that is what I did. So I was happy even without all the on course musical bands.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

1. Destination 2. Weather 3. Course 4. Volunteers and water stops 5. Post-race food nearby 6. Medals ... importance to me in that order. I program my own music.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

The amenities and the medal offered are most important for me when choosing I race. I have learned to do my research. I've been to races that barely have water, disorganized, no medal and no snacks at the end yet charge a premium price for entry.

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author

That's a great point. I don't see as much about this lately as I once did, but several years ago there was a big issue with unscrupulous races duping the running world with, as you say, barely organized races. (The color runs that were a huge it a few years ago seemed to draw a lot of scam artists: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/run-away-from-these-scam-color-runs/)

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

The swag is a super benefit and really encouraged enrollment, especially for some of the pricier events. The experience during the race is just as important, since it is usually what gets all the extra spectators out to cheer and wave as runners/racers make there way through. Some of the best races I have done were equally pumped in both areas ... Swag and swagger!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I don’t think it’s necessary but it is welcome! I love runs that awaken my senses I’m blessed to live in coastal New England and highly recommend the Newport 1/2 run the run takes you through historic Newport and by the Ocean. Don’t get me wrong I love the support of the spectators the fist bumps and power up signs. I love meeting people and chatting along the way I don’t run to compete with anyone but my past self... I don’t need another sling pack however but keep the peanut butter and bagels coming! I’m not one for the after run festivities but I love a good expo the day before! It’s a great way to see what is out there for training new shoe tech or new tech I love it all!

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oh that's true! a good expo is key! That's where I get my Gu and Stroopwafels for the race, and learn about other fun running things! And enter contests! I love it!!

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I want a race that does not have a stupid name.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I love when there is an afterparty at a race, especially if we are running with a group of friends. Bands along the course are nice and help keep a party vibe going, but they aren't necessary. Give me some food and beer after my race and I'm very happy, lol! I really over getting cotton t-shirts. I'd much rather have a technical fabric shirt or jacket. Something that I can run in will get much more use. That said, the course is really the star of the event and one that is well thought out is very much appreciated. Please don't take me through a sketchy part of town or down a road full of potholes.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

I enjoy all that’s provided. The music, the people cheering me on(sometimes I need this), the Medal is my favorite, shirts are too. The after party of beer, food, gathering of accomplishments for everyone is awesome.. of course the bottled water and fruit are great too. The photos I like but they are just tooo much $$. A finish line photo included of my accomplishment would be great. Having vender booths are always great with samples, new race events, massage. The medal ultimately makes my race, I love the 5k and half marathon challenge medals too. Being walker friendly so that people don’t feel they have to run if their not able to run is the best. I personally don’t run,( saving my knees) but walking is hard just as running. We are all at different levels of exercise. Thanks for always making the races a fun event! Remember” sitting is the new smoking, so join a race event.”

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

To me, the amenities start with how easy do you make it for me to get my packet (bib, shirts, etc) ? If you're disorganized at the start, it tends to cloud my view of the event. Are the volunteers informed (I've seen runner directed the wrong direction on course - and I try to thank every volunteer I encounter, before, during and after the race) ? For me, during the run, I'm not looking for entertainment, if it occurs, great but that's not my reason. I use this time to reflect, think and refocus.

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Jul 14, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

For me it’s all about the the finish line! I think it’s a cool idea to have bands along the route, but to be honest I don’t pay much attention to them because I have my own music and you only hear the bands for a few seconds as you run by. I do love all the fun after parties. I can then 13.1 at home, but the point of the races is enjoying finishing with lots of others that love the same thing and beer and music just makes it such a fun experience!

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Same here.

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Jul 13, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

The combination of participation from the local gentry, friends, family and both local and big name talent is inspiring. Once we pass the half split, it really becomes noticeable, as sometimes the trek can be daunting. The quirky signs and songs like "Don't stop, believing" as mile 20, 22+ pass help power (?) through the very real mental and physical challenges to completing the course. Me likey!! ;-P

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Me too! Those last few miles are tough without people to lean on, aren’t they?

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

Nice shirt is fine. Other then that the amenities don't really matter. Friendly cheerful people at water stops is enough. The course is of primary interest though. I have recently started running ultra and many times there are no spectators on course and that's fine. I'm in my own little world out there. One of the earlier responses from Mr. Leitshuh sums it up for me "It's All About Testing What's Inside You".

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It's all about testing what's inside you...

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

A good course is key to my registration. I like if a portion of the fee benefits a good non-profit. I need another tee shirt like a need another hole in the head, so if the swag is something other than that, it's a motivator to register. Even a nice tech tee would be nice. I ran the Park City Trail Series last year and they gave out branded Sili pint cups. There were four in total, one for each race (5k/10k/15k/1.2). I use them everyday.

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Jul 12, 2019Liked by Terrell Johnson

You can never have enough porta-potties...nuff said.

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Medals ... medals ... and more medals. I especially like having them engraved and being able to look back at them and talk with family and friends about where and when I got each and sometimes there is a story that goes with them. I love the cheering crowd and I do appreciate as well those low keyed races. Scenery will do it for me. At the end, music, that good vibes and something to replenish before getting home to a cooked meal. I’ve been to a few races with a raffle at the end and I love sticking around to see if I have won anything. Has NEVER happened ... yet anyway!

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I love the live music and the vibe it brings to the race.

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I’m all about the amenities! Not to much the music, but swag and after race food, parties, etc.

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After so many races, the "swag" becomes less important. The experience of the race for me is very important. That experience includes the ​expense of travel and lodging, weekend activities​ around town and then the race. I am a slow runner. I appreciate those who stick around to cheer at later stages of the race. R-n-R has no control over the turnout of the local crowd. But they do control road safety, water stations, end of race goodies (bananas, coffee, water) and race route entertainment (cheerleaders, bands, DJ's, high school groups, etc.) I appreciate so very much those who stay with us and sing and play and cheer and pass out water when I am rounding the last bend at the 2:45 mark in a half-marathon or the 5:45-hour​ mark in the full. They get my love, my high-fives, my praise. This is a race I will enter next year!

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Totally depends on the location of the run...the more rural, the less need for the hoopla, but a big city run should be a party!!

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The course is extremely important (shade, views, hills v flat, crowd, etc. However, the after-party is also very important as well! Without an after party, the fast folks are gone when the slower runners (myself included) finish. Nothing sadder than finishing with no one there to acknowledge, cheer you on, and celebrate your accomplishment, no matter the speed. It has to be a pretty special cause for me to participate in a race without the swag and after party. As for the bands, that's just icing on the cake. It's a GREAT motivator along the course, but not mandatory.

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Yeah, I finished a little slower on my last race due to rain and gravel, it wasn’t even that much slower, they were packing up. I was like, really how rude!

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if the run is good. i would run through an empty bean field. having said that, yes it is very cool when there are things to enjoy after the race, once i recover.

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My favorite priorities in a race include:

1. Scenic course - example: Revel Rockies, desceding through a mountain valley along a creek, or along a beach.

2. Low to moderate hassle factor - Easy Parking race day and packet pickup.

3. Well organized - accurate course, water stations, results

4. Food at the end -

5. Reasonable price

Music and bling don't even make the list.

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I love the bands, spectators and race support - otherwise I would do a 13.1 mile run myself. The best sign on a race was "Worst Parade Ever."

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I just started walking (race) 4 years ago, and my first half was the RnR in DC. As I was coming down the long stretch through Rock Creek Park I stopped dead in my tracks: there was a 15-person acapella group belting away the most perfect notes! If not for my friends pushing me along I never would have finished and probably would have joined the group. Music does it for me, along with a finisher medal and good post-race snacks. T-shirts are lame unless they are tech. If a race is poorly organized, makes bib pickup difficult, and does not have enough porta potties at start/finish/on course then they are a one and done for me and I never go back.

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I ran a Rock 'n' Roll race in New Orleans a couple of years ago and I have to say that I wasn't impressed with the amenities. I really liked the medal though. I've run other races that have had bands along the route plus nice after race food/activities. Honestly, what makes me choose one race over another is first, what the average temps/weather is expected to be at that time (I absolutely hate running in cold weather - southern girl here), what kind of terrain the route covers and third, the coolness of the medal (LOL). I do appreciate highly organized races and those that have a ton of crowd support. The Chevron Marathon in Houston in January is a prime example. I highly recommend that race. For me, if a race advertises bands playing along the route, I don't count on it because that change due to rain etc plus I run with my own music.

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I really like it when there is music of some kind and cheering support along the route. One of the most fun, supportive spectator appreciation runs I've done was the Midnight Sun Run in Fairbanks a few weeks ago. It was like a 6.2 mile long block party! I like tech type shirts and for swag I appreciate snacks and race related items. Don't really care if there's a medal, in fact I'm good with no reward. I keep my bibs for reward :) I rarely stick around long afterwards...rather get home and clean up for the rest of the days activities.

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And now that I've read through some of the other responses, I want to add that having enough port-a-potties at the start/end and even along the way for long races is essential!

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For me, it is having restrooms available before, during, and after the race. Having Gatorade and water is a big one too. I do not need the music but it is nice every couple of miles when you have volunteers to stop traffic and cheer you on. Having a bit of a festival at the end of the race can be fun after I have recovered but I do not need it. Bottom line is the run itself and what I am running for.

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The music is nice but I prefer a really nice shirt with the race date and year on it. That’s a real memento

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I enjoy having the music on the course, but I don't usually take advantage of finish line festivals, etc. The Rock n' Roll marathon is the best musical experience I have found on the course so far. For example, the race in San Diego this past June featured two different mariachi bands. Always fun, but not the main reason for running a race.

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I find music and such distracting. I rather be on a a well thought out and safe course. I'll bring my own music.

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I don't need a medal or shirt for a 10k or less. Really only want a medal for a marathon. Too much extra stuff just costs extra.

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I've never really listened to the music during a race as it's there for a few seconds then it's gone. The people that line the race course and cheer the runners on are what really makes the race more fun and enjoyable. Some times there are young kids standing on the sidelines giving out High-Fives and that makes me smile every time and it gives me a little boost that they are there too. The nicer T-Shirts and medals are great and keep me coming back for more. I rarely get a beer after a race, but I always enjoy the banana, cold water and I really enjoy the cold towels I get at the finish line of the Dublin, OH Emerald City Half Marathon.

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It matters a lot!

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I love the music on the course - after I finish the run all I want is a hot soak and cold drink

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I like a race that has excellent/ helpful/ knowledgeable volunteers at the aid stations. Good course markings and plenty of restrooms or porta-johns. I don't care about having a shirt or bling. I don't need or want alcohol at the end. I eat a piece of fruit and some water... Simple race benefiting a good cause and I am in.

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I want a reasonable price. If a race is too expensive, then I don't care if it supports good cause. I expect an accurately measured course and professional timing. I want a medium T-shirt, and I don't want to hear, "All we have left are small and extra-large". I hate expos and I prefer race-day packet pickup. I don't like races that get canceled at the last minute because it too hot or that make slow runners move to the sidewalk. I could go on, but I might as well stop now.

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I agree with race day packet pickup.... I don't want to pay for a hotel or extra gas for a reasonable distance from my house race

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