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:
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!