Why you should consider a timed race!
Timed races. What are they and why is everyone doing them?!
What’s it all about?
Timed races are becoming a popular choice, as they throw out all the usual rules in favour of a more fluid event that can be adapted around how you feel on the day. Rather than aiming to achieve the fastest possible time for a fixed distance, you run as you feel, and simply cover what mileage you’re able to (or want to!) in the time available.
Timed races are often run on shorter loop or ‘out-and-back’ routes. Timeframes range from two hours right up to six days (really!), with the most iconic being a 24 hour race in which the event record currently stands at a jaw-dropping 303.506 km (that’s 188.590 miles), set by the legendary Yiannis Kouros in 1997.
Historically, timed races were geared towards long-distance athletes, offering the perfect environment to really test their endurance. These days there’s a much more relaxed approach, which is appealing to a wider audience, including short and middle-distance runners.
It’s simple, no fixed distance means there’s no fixed expectation around what you need to achieve. The easy approach of the timed event is uplifting, motivating and empowering!
So often we set ourselves fixed goals and targets, which come hand-in-hand with rigid training regimes and pressure.
With their flexible and casual ethos, timed races are lifting the stress and bringing back the fun. Runners regularly exceed their own distance predictions at these events, purely because they were enjoying the process, rather than focusing on the end result. You might even call it mindful running! You also take a break and refuel as you want, which can make all the difference if you find yourself hitting rough patch and in need of calories and encouragement.
There’s a community spirit. Everyone is welcome.
Timed events are super social places to be.
They are inclusive, encouraging and open their doors to every runner. Ego isn’t something that tends to feature, as a key appeal is the sense of commutiny and commoraderie. The vibe of positivity is tangible among both the runners and supporters.
That’s not to say timed events are not competitive; watch a race unfold in those final hours and you’ll witness some powerful moments of athleticism, grit determination and a whole lot of heart!
I may be a little biased but, for me, timed races are really special. As an organiser they allow you to build an event that caters for all and celebrates the joy of running at every level. You really get to know the runners and their ‘crew’ and it’s so rewarding to play a part in their running experience.
Why don’t you give it a go?
Join us at High Lodge next July and take on a 6,12 and 24 hour race around the beautiful pine forest.
There’s no pressure, our only hope is that you enjoy the experience and feel part of our special running community.