I have some races that I like to run every year. After my summer of injury recovery, I have only one race – a half marathon – that I have actually run all three years I have been running. Part of the problem is it is so hard to plan for races.
Let’s look at my current October. Back in the spring, prior to finishing my two marathons in May, I was approached by the Amica Marathon to blog about my training and the race. I said yes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much training to blog about as I ran the least miles I think I have ever run in a summer since starting to run. June was my lowest month to date with only 31 miles. I could never have foreseen my injury so thought an October marathon was a good idea. Now, could I still run 26.2 miles next month? Probably. Would I re-injure myself? Possibly but I doubt it. Would it be a good race? Definitely not.
September is my longest training month since the injury and I may – notice I say may – hit 100 miles again … finally. So where am I going with this?
I am heading towards a slight complaint. Races fill so quickly. Registrations have to be done months, if not close to a year, in advance. How does a runner know he or she will be healthy enough to race that far in advance? One never anticipates injury but it does happen – even to the best of us fitness-wise.
Do all races offer deferment? Most do but some shorter – 15K or such – do not. Once you register, you run or hope you can sell your bib number. Some do not even offer a transferring of the bib.
What do I think? I know it sucks to be injured. If I were a race director, I would love to say that unlimited deferments are available but I also know that is not practical. What I think is that runners need to be flexible and so do races. If you want the runners at your race that will promote it for you prior to the race and in years to come, races need to treat runners well – even those who may be injured.