Today’s guest post is from Lauren Brueckner, founder of Race Advisors. She starts with a background story of where it all began, followed by recommendations on some of the top races reviewed so far. What could be better than a site full of advice and recommendations to find the perfect race? Check it out at www.raceadvisors.com!
You’re all ready to register for a race! But wait, which one? What distance? Where? So many questions to ask. Well, let’s start by focusing on how to choose a race that’s right for you…right now. As women, our lives change on a minute-to-minute basis so rather than planning out our lives for the next few years, let’s focus on the next month or two.
What do you enjoy in a race? Do you dig cool swag? Beautiful scenery? Valuable price? Let’s make a list. Honestly, the best option might be to learn of an awesome race from someone else. We all have great experiences in our lives, especially with racing, so why not pass on the good (or bad) word to others about races?
When I was training for my second marathon—one I would finish 7 seconds shy of qualifying for Boston—I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a race review website, sort of like TripAdvisor or Yelp for the race industry? It would have all the races in the country listed on it and you could search by distance, location, or name. And then even maybe do a more specific search for races that give out great swag, women-specific cut t-shirts, great spectator support, and beautiful scenery. And perhaps search if it’s walker friendly or stroller friendly…just in case the kids want to come too?
Bam, enter Race Advisors, a website I launched in April of 2017 with the hope of being able to help athletes, especially women, make solid choices and commitments to races. In the midst of launching this business, I also had a baby. Yep, birthed a business and a baby all at the same time. Probably not the wisest of choices, but totally typical of how I do things: all or nothing. At the time of this writing, both business and baby are nearing 9 months.
I know that if I’m going to be training in the wee hours of the morning before my husband, babies, and dog are awake, I want the race to be worth it. I want to know that all of those hours were well spent, that the shuffling around of kids for care was worth it and if my fan club—hubby, two kids, and mother—will come cheer me on.
I started Race Advisors with the sole goal to populate it with as many race reviews as possible so that it becomes the go-to site to find out what others are saying about races. While it houses mostly running races, there are also swimming, cycling, triathlon, duathlon, and paddling races included as well, since so many athletes enjoy multiple sporting competitions. In these first few months, we have spent countless hours doing one-on-one contact with race directors, athletes, and athletic companies to share the site services. I spend a majority of my time emailing race directors with their race link asking them to send out a post-race email to their registrants to have them write race reviews. While I receive minimal action, the results are great. When people are asked to write a race review, they generally do! And, the reviews are mostly positive, constructive, and helpful for future competitors.
So, when deciding on a race to do, first decide whether or not you want to travel for the race. If so, how far are you willing to travel? On Race Advisors, you can select a city for a race, then search within 5, 10, 25, or 100 miles. Then, the distance. Do you want a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultra? Do you want a road race or a trail race? You can search for all of these specifics on Race Advisors to help narrow down what you’re looking for. Then, hopefully there is a race review to go along with the race so you can read what others have to say about that race before committing.
Here are our Top Running Races as reviewed so far:
For a 5k: a top choice would be Nassau County Police Department Memorial in New York
A Half & Full Marathon: the Monster Mash in Dover Delaware
Trail race: the Dirty German Endurance Fest in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ultra race: Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultra Race in New Preston, Connecticut.
Race Advisors also houses some great reviews on races outside of running.
Top triathlons include XTERRA Tri the Torture in Glorieta, New Mexico, the Hopkins Royal Triathlon in Minnetonka, Minnesota, the Jersey Girl Triathlon in Long Branch, New Jersey, and the Rochester Triathlon in Rochester, New York.
Cycle events include MAAH HEY DAY races in Watford City, North Dakota, the Bike the ‘Burg in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Red Earth Classic in Negaunee, Michigan, and the Blood, Sweat, and Gears race in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.
Paddle races include Kayak Trader Lanier Challenge in Gainesville, Georgia and the SUP El Camino Real race in Bastrop, Texas.
Take a moment to visit www.RaceAdvisors.com and see if there is a good race for you.
Contribute to Race Advisors:
Have you done a race that was super awesome and you want to tell others about it? Then write a review! Have a top tip to help someone in a race that you did? Then write a review!
Share your race thoughts and experiences with others to spread positive and helpful vibes around the world. We want to hear from you! We are all united as Strong Runner Chicks!
In hindsight, I now realize it was a blessing not to have qualified for Boston when the idea for Race Advisors hit me in 2015. If I had qualified, I might not have the baby, or the business going for me now. So for courage, determination, and sheer stubbornness, I am truly grateful.