All Running is Local: 18th Annual Rabbit Ramble 4-Miler

I can’t stress enough how fond I am of small local races. They’re such a nice change from big spirited races with crowded streets and thousands of spectators cheering you on. Sometimes it’s nice to just run to have fun, no frills attached, with a beautiful backdrop and friendly neighbors. This was exactly what this past Saturday’s 18th Annual Rabbit Ramble 4-miler was all about. It’s one of three yearly races in my neighborhood and organized by the same race director. It’s pretty perfect if you ask me.

There are no timing chips. No clocks. No swag other than a traditional cotton tee. There are no “elites” unless you consider a few speedy high school runners the local elite. There are runners of all paces and strides just out there enjoying themselves, staying true to their New Year’s resolutions to get in shape or, just simply, to run. For me, I was there to JUST RUN.

I ran this race back in 2006 (finish time: 35:44) and haven’t been back since. I really don’t have a good reason as to why other than Easter plans always seemed to interfere. I was excited to sign up this year. I knew I wanted to run to the start at the local high school (about 5 miles) and then just enjoy myself for the following 4.  In the back of my mind I wanted to PR but it wasn’t necessary. If it happened, great, but if not, that was ok, too.

The day was perfect. The weather was beautiful with a small breeze. It was in the upper 40s/low 50s which is excellent running weather for this northern girl. Any warmer and it starts getting uncomfortable. A tech tee and lightweight running tights was all I needed. And this wasn’t such a bad backdrop either:

OK, so this isn't the actual course - but it's the same backdrop in my 'hood. This was taken on Sunday's 8-miler.

The course was flat. There were no spectators and I chose not to listen to music. It couldn’t have been more ideal. Sometimes you just have to get back to basics and remember that all running is local!

Total mileage: 8.72 miles/ Race finish time (unofficial): 35:55

Do you run in small local races? Do you like them or do you prefer the fanfare of a bigger event? Did you run this weekend? Tell me about it!


6 thoughts on “All Running is Local: 18th Annual Rabbit Ramble 4-Miler

  1. I like the smaller races, but I do like having a timing chip as well. There is something to be said though for just showing up with a couple hundred other people and just running…without having to deal with the coordination of tens of thousands of people. Such a pretty picture!

  2. Big events can be cool, but I prefer smaller races most of the time. Less logistics, easier, cheaper, just for fun. Although I have only done one as small as this. I’ve done quite a few in the 1000-2000 person range (small-ish compared to 10K plus.)

  3. Definitely love local races. I know I need to experience a huge race, but never have. My largest race is the local 15K Stockade-athon. Approximately 1,600 runners.

    Technically I have only done local races – except for 1 race I did in Eastham Cape Cod (but my in-laws own a summer house in Eastham – so it is still a local race to me). The great part of living in the Albany/Schenectady/Troy area of Upstate NY is you have SO many local races to choose from – and never more than 20 minutes away!

    Also many of them start in Central park, Schenectady which is a 1/3rd mile jog from my house to the start – doesn’t get more local than that.

    In 2 weeks I am doing a small local race (100 runners) that starts 1/4 mile away and the course actually passes my house. The kids cheer for me from our lawn/porch. Fun!

  4. Great job Kristin!

    Most of our races have been small races, with the exception of Around the Bay for me. Not all of them have been in our local area but they are still small!

    We have a few bigger races coming up but I do like smaller races better. Less congestion!

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