Wow! You're easy on the accurate distance thing...around here people start complaining if their GPS said the 5k was 5.001km.

    Trail runners are easy to please.


    My last 5k was 3.44mi in snow with the consistency of sand. My first race (about 10 yr ago) was a winter tri where the swim part was variously advertised as 500m or 0.5 mi (turned out to be 500yd = 10x50yd laps). I forget what the bike part was advertised as, but it was a bit longer - which is a real problem biking in +1F temperatures and you had your layering barely figured out for the advertised distance (no fingers or toes were lost). The run was about 5k (advertised) to where you turned off the road into the parking lot, then still had a bit to go before entering the pool. First lesson: distances may not be accurate. Train accordingly.


    There's an 8-mi race (fairly close) that has a "4-mi" race associated with it - starts or stops at the picnic area half way (4 variations of the 4 miler, 2 of the 8 miler, depending on direction). The first "half" is 3.5mi, relatively flat; 2nd "half" is 4.5 mi with about 1000ft of hills. That first 4-mi race I did had a faster pace than all my other races for years. I knew I'd been running scared (first race in big city), but didn't think I was that scared. I finally gps'd it = 3.5mi, which is the same distance the state park has it listed as. That race now falls in line with my others.


    We've got a very popular xc race series in the fall where the race course and approximate distance are announced at the start line. They're getting better about distance estimates  since they've got gps units now also. Wink  But one year I think they announced 6km and 8km for the recreational and competitive runners, respectively. Turned out closer to 8 and 10km. Everybody got their money's worth - all $5 - and had a great time.


    But, seriously, the hill configuration will have a substantial effect on the duration of the race, so distance alone isn't the determining factor about how you race. They do make the races longer in some of the places where hills are lacking. (my avatar is from a HM race, which takes longer than a flatter HM)


    But it's fairly simple: First person across the finish line wins. Smile


    I do admit to being disappointed when the course is short, which is the usual direction of error. I'm really bummed out if it was a repeat race for me and was trying to improve my time. Oh, well.

    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

      My perfect race?


      Cheap entry fee: $10-15 bucks.


      Accurate, safe course.


      Prize money.


      I don't need a shirt or a medal or a bottle of water and I don't want to pay 30$ for them either. Nor do I want to pay 30-35 bucks because of a charity affiliation.


      I just want to race fast with some good prize incentives. But apparently I'm in the minority, so I won't hold my breath for too long. ;D


        Oh, and for a 5k race, kilometers!


        I honestly can't get my head around the mile marker thing. We don't call them 3.1 mile races, we call them 5ks. Hold 4:00 min/km and you'll run 20 min. Hold 3:00 min /km and you'll hit 15.  Add or subtract 12 seconds for every minute.


        I couldn't begin to tell you the corresponding mile times. How do you calculate paces for 3.1 miles? I'm not that good at fractions and decimals on the fly...


        Just easier to do kilometers, plus you get an extra two split marks!

        You'll ruin your knees!

          Markers at Mile splits

          Accurate course

          Well-marked course

          Beer at each K


          Mr. spaniel, sir.  I have proposed a modification to your recommendation.

          ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)