While reading my issue of Running Times during one of my flights from the past couple of weeks, I came across an article that asked a rather provocative question: are there too many road races these days?
There’s no question that there are more runners in America now than there has ever been before, and because we are often looking for our next race it makes sense that more races will be made available.
But the question that the article asks is, and it makes sense if you stop to think about it, are more races being added than the running community can actually handle?
What Would Too Many Road Races Look Like?
I think the answer depends on where you live.
In the article, the author sites cities such as Denver, CO, and Raleigh, NC, that have capped the number of races that can be held each year. That may sound a little extreme, until you find out that Denver already has 250 road races per year! That’s a lot of fricking races!
One might even argue that it’s too many.
I don’t know the specifics but I’d imagine that having a smaller number of races, but more runners at each race, wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Only the Strong Will Survive
My prediction, some of the races that have popped up in the past few years are going to be disappearing pretty soon.
As the cost of participating in races continues to go up, many runners have to pick and choose what races they can afford to run. And if events don’t get the number of runners they need to turn a profit/raise money for the cause, it won’t make sense for them to stay around year after year.
I don’t know exactly how it will play out, but based on the article and my own experience I’m not sure that more races is best for anyone.
I’ve long been a believer in the quality over quantity mantra, and if the number of races that are available continues to grow it will only be a matter of time before the quality of the races truly suffers.
Perhaps we are at a point there there really are too many road races available.
What Are Your Thoughts? Too Many? Still Room for More? Too Many Races of One Distance and Not Enough of Others?