Following our recent runners survey, with over a thousand responses, we take a look at what matters the most to runners when choosing an event; is it fantastic support to help you through the pain barrier? Beautiful surroundings? A well-priced race? The opportunity to prove yourself with a new PB? No, surprisingly runners are lazy, Location is key.
To be fair to the 2.1m weekly runners in the UK, it won’t be really laziness, but surely practicality that makes location so important. With the majority of events taking place early in the morning and often on a Sunday it is understandable not to want a long commute pre-race! A long train journey, or worse drive, is unlikely to help the nerves or warm-up. Many races are clocking onto this and now offer some impressive race packages that include travel and accommodation options. A quick browse through the Best International Event shortlist shows that many of these are popular as they are doing this well!
A great example of this is the Best International Event 2016, The Uganda International Marathon, which not only offers a range of accommodation packages but also makes it a week-long event offering some fantastic extras and all in the name of charity. It is, admittedly, pricey for many of us to fly to Uganda but these extras, the charity focus and of course the stunning scenery seemed to outweigh this to last year’s voters. Perhaps it helps that beautiful surroundings are the most important element to an event to 23% of runners! 2016’s winner is by no means the only International Event doing this, have a browse through the top 12 here.
A quick scroll through last year’s winners shows quite how important atmosphere is to runners, with 29% viewing it as the most important aspect to a race. Races that focus on this such as The Virgin Money London Marathon will always be popular. As any runner knows, a well-placed sign or cheer of encouragement can really make the world of difference at a crucial stage of the race. Knowing there’s a cold beer waiting for you at the finish line doesn’t hurt either!
So, having looked at this feedback from our voters, yes location is certainly important, however it seems that the many extras that events are now putting together in fact helps more. The cold drink at the end, the small expo, extra accommodation options etc. This is where the focus now seems to lie with the top events, as the with so much competition out there now the majority of events now run seamlessly with efficient bag drops, ample facilities, great locations, support and prices. It is these extras that make the very best events stand out.
For the full listings of the top 12 running events across a range of categories click here. Help us find the best by then placing your free vote on your favourite in each…
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