A crucial aspect of road race management is deciding when to hold your race. With the exception of holiday races, hosting your race on a weekend is practically a given considering the Monday-Friday work week. But the weekend gives you two options: Saturday and Sunday. Which is better?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Pros: Hosting a Saturday race gives your athletes a way to kick off the weekend and get the race out of the way. This allows them to relax and enjoy the rest of their weekend; if you have athletes traveling from afar to get to your race, this is an extra bonus as they’ll have more time to explore the city before returning to work.
Cons: Given the drudgery of the 40-hour week, waking up at 5 a.m. to run on your first day off might not sound very appealing. In addition, most events (races and otherwise) are held on Saturdays, which means more competition for your race.
Pros: In contrast to Saturdays, fewer events happen on Sundays, particularly in the early mornings. This means less competition and less traffic for you and your athletes. Your athletes will also have an extra day to train and mentally prepare for the race.
Cons: Churchgoers will have to choose between your race and church and, though athletes have more time to prepare, they also have less time to recover before diving back into work. A Sunday race also means less freedom on Saturday night: both you and your athletes will want a good night’s rest before the race.
So which is better for your race? The key here is that it’s your race. What’s best for one race might not be best for the other! If your race is located in the Bible Belt of the U.S., Saturday is probably the best day. But it’s not guaranteed!
Which day is best for your race is going to depend on your athletes, the other events happening that weekend, and your area’s regulations; sometimes permits are more expensive for one day versus the other. Bring an open mind to road race management and consider the type of race in your planning: hardcore marathoners may be fine dedicating their weekend to a Sunday race while fun run athletes who are in it for the beer may prefer a Saturday morning. Consider surveying your athletes after your race to find out which day they’d prefer in the future.
What do you think? Do you find Saturday or Sunday easier for road race management? Which do your athletes prefer? Let us know in the comments below!
For more race management tips, contact ChronoTrack!