Friday, March 4, 2011

My Trail Race Wish List (Had I But World Enough and Time)

If I could travel to Western NC or Georgia for a trail race every other weekend, I'd definitely do it. However, as a family man with limited funds, I have to be especially selective about the races on my calendar.

I generally need to find races close to home, an hour or two away unless we're visiting my brother in Asheville. And, my penchant for trail races limits my selection a bit. Of course, even with a limited selection, I certainly can't throw money into registering for every trail race that strikes my fancy. So, essentially, I have to be choosy. And, to be choosy about one's races, one needs a long list of races from which to choose.

But, finding a comprehensive list of scheduled trail races in the North Carolina region can be challenging. Sure, Trail Runner Magazine's race calendar is always a great resource. And, the Running Journal's event calendar provides you with lots of race listings. (However, it's not always obvious which of the listings there are trail races)

Yet, every time I think I've seen all there is to see on the NC trail race calendar, I read about some other trail race that would have been more than convenient for me if I'd only read about it three weeks ago. Some races are just not that well publicized.

I'm not complaining that there's a lack of sufficient trail race calendars. I just want to point out that each calendar lists only a portion of the trail races in a given region. And, I mean, how can we expect those poor race directors to publish their race info on every major race calendar across the Internet?

So, I created a little spreadsheet in order to keep track of the races that interest me. It's a wish list, really, a handy way to plan which races I can run each season. And, I don't have to check five different sites, at least not every week, each time I decide that I can register for a race the following month.

bold text = Strong interest | gray text = sold out | green background = I'm registered

Obviously, this spreadsheet isn't a comprehensive list of every trail race in the NC region either. It's a list of races that meet my criteria, which is largely based on geographic convenience and race appeal (i.e. trail vs. road).

Nevertheless, maybe my list will reveal something that you hadn't yet seen in your own race-calendar searches. And, more importantly, perhaps you'd like to suggest a race that you think I've overlooked, something close to Raleigh perhaps.

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