Have you ever regretted registering for a race?

Last night, I rather hastily did this:

I was checking Google Reader on my way home from work, and Sarah posted that she had already registered for a race in 2013 … in August 2013 … technically over a year from now. So naturally, I got home and immediately registered (after going for a run, eating dinner, showering, and downloading my run to Garmin/DailyMile/RunningAhead).

OK, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that.

It wasn’t just any race. It was the North Country Trail Run. I actually checked out this race (for 2012) earlier in the summer, and thought it looked awesome, but it had already sold out. I made a mental note (that I forgot) to check back for 2013 (although I didn’t think registration would open quite this early).

Trail race in the woods? I’ve always wanted to do one. Local, grassroots feel? Love it. Lots of swag? Check. Looks like an overall awesome race? Definitely. Held in the northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula? Love it and have been there many times. (This was the biggest selling point for me.)

I wasn’t the only hasty person last night. After I registered, I posted a link on Facebook, and another running friend registered for the full.

AND, now I basically HAVE to take trip to my favorite part of my second-favorite state (Illinois is #1, duh) next August. Considering EVERY summer since the last time we went (2008) I’ve been wanting to go back to Michigan for a lazy week-long vacation of sleeping in, going to the beach, watching the sunset over Lake Michigan, going to breweries and wineries, and sitting by a campfire, I’m pretty sure I will NOT regret my “hasty” registration (unless some crazy life event happens, which I hope doesn’t).

sunset over lake michigan
Anytime I look at a picture from a vacation in Michigan, all I can think is “I want to go to there.”

I don’t think I’ve ever regretted signing up for a race, but there were some that I kind of wanted to skip. When I was going through my stretch of four races in two weeks in early June, I kind of wanted to skip the middle two (13.1 Chicago and the Jim Gibbons 5K). I had set an awesome PR in the first race (the Sunburst Half), and knew the chances of PRing in those next two race were slim. That kind of takes the fun away, especially so soon after a PR, and after a winter/spring of constant PR’s.

Also, I am honestly a little worried about my upcoming fall race schedule (Chicago Half – 9/9, Fort2Base 11.5mi – 9/23, Chicago Marathon – 10/7, ZOOMA Half – 10/20, Perfect 10 miler – 11/10). That’s a lot of long distances in the span of two months. Not racing the marathon takes a load off though.

My plan for 2013 is to be more thoughtful about which races I do, and definitely space them out more. I have a hard time turning down free races, which seems to be the main culprit for overcrowding my race schedule. It wouldn’t be so bad if I also didn’t register for a bunch of races and then get the free race offers. (First world problem for sure.)

Have you ever regretted signing up for a race? 

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8 Comments on “Have you ever regretted registering for a race?”

  1. I think most of my race registration regrets have involved spending more money on a race than I thought it was worth, or actually running the race and then wishing that I hadn’t spent the money because the race kinda sucked. I’ve tried to be choosier about my races this year, using lessons I learned from signing up for races last year.

    I hope your running schedule works out well! 🙂

    1. Thanks!

      I agree, some races are pricey and just not worth it – I kind of feel that way about Hot Chocolate 15K. But, personally, I think the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half is worth the money if you can afford it – I think they’ve figured out the logistics pretty well so the race itself is well done, and you get a lot in the way of an awesome course, on-course entertainment, post-race food, and swag. Also, I think any 5K in Chicago is not worth it for me (a suburbanite) because I also have to factor in the time to get there, the cost of parking, and if it is a headache to get there. There are so many 5K races in the burbs, I need a really good reason to do one in Chicago.

    1. A couple of the free ones aren’t actually “free” because I was able to claim them through my Active Advantage membership, which has an annual fee. And the others were through being an ambassador which is free but requires some work. Sadly, I was already registered (with my own money) for the two events I was actually offered totally free registration for.

  2. New reader here! I think that rather than “regret” a race, it more just scared the crap out of me. I recently registered for the SLO Marathon after having completely only 2 half’s. That petrifies me! But I’m hoping that I will gain confidence through my training plan which starts in November. Eek!


    1. Thanks for reading! Good luck on the training and the marathon! I’m about 2/3 of the way through training for my first marathon. I’m feeling pretty good so far.

  3. I have definitely regretted signing up for races when my schedule gets hectic or when I am dealing with injury issues. I like to take advantage of the “early-bird” discount rates, but sometimes this causes issue because it’s so hard to plan your life say, a year in advance. (Case in point – last month I registered for Rock N Roll Pittsburgh, which takes place in August 2013!!!) I wish more races offered “insurance policies” like Chicago’s Perfect 10 does, or at least the ability to transfer or defer your registration, even for a processing fee. Then I would NEVER regret signing up for a race!

  4. That’s so far in advance to register for a race, but it seems like a kick ass race. I’ve also been craving some trail runs lately and need to find something off the asphault to satisfy that craving.

    I’ve regretted many of the races I’ve run for various reasons. The Miami marathon is the first that comes to mind. After training in 30 degrees, what could I possibly expect to achieve in a race that was 80+ degrees an 100% humidity? Oh and my hip flexor broke down 2 weeks prior so I couldn’t even walk without a limp. I’m being more cautious about what I register for going forward.

    I’m excited to read about your trail adventures. 🙂

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