How to Write a Race Report… and tell other lies

Last updated: 26-Oct-18

By Seth Grotzke

Race reports are traps. Once you read one you begin to hear a little voice in the back of your mind that says, “You could run that race.”

With every additional race report the voice gets louder and soon you have convinced yourself that it is the most sane thing in the world to sign up for a race that is too long, with too much elevation, with too much risk, and with way too few and small cash prizes for those who finish right before the cut off time.

Those tricky little race reports…

Most of us know the after effects of race reports on our physical, mental, and emotional lives (cue blisters, nervous breakdowns, and uncontrolled weeping while looking at your running shoes), but very few know that there are some little tricks in how to write a race review.

Once you get the formula down you will be writing reports for every race you have ever run… and possibly some you haven’t.

So, without further ado, pull out a pencil, circle the appropriate answers, and begin the process of convincing someone else to follow your steps in doing something completely foolish.

“This past week, month, year, decade I ran the (fill in race name). It was a challenging, rewarding, nerve-racking, absurd race and I definitely, might, will never plan on running it again.

Going into race day I was nervous, excited, dreading the high probability of death because I was coming off a running injury, brain surgery, 6 months of no training and Netflix binging.

The day started off sunny/raining and with so much excitement I took off much quicker, (no other option) than I normally would have. Around mile 1.5, 13.50 I realised I needed to step it back, call a paramedic, formulate a will.

Thankfully my crew was crushing it, missing in action, trying to convince me to lie down and die and it was just what I needed.

Around mile 1.5, 13.50 I found myself in my pain cave, dark place, rage space, vehicle. It was there that I found my inner strength, mojo, reason to persevere, leftover burrito and it brought me back from the brink.

From there I gutted it out, took off, got lost and pushed in for a finish that I am proud of, embarrassed of.

I want to thank my family, my crew, my therapist for all their support during this race. The aid stations were staffed by incredible people, kind souls, liars and lunatics who said I was looking good and getting close.

As for the race director, I just wanted to say thank you, what were you thinking?!. I can’t wait to see you all signed up for next year’s edition.”

 

About the writer: You can read more of Seth’s musings over at sethgrotzke.com. His goal is to keep some “real” in the ultra scene and help provide a stabilising influence for the world through sarcasm.

"cue blisters, nervous breakdowns, and uncontrolled weeping while looking at your running shoes"

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related news

Latest news

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.