Friday, February 25, 2011

Loop courses

It occurred to me the other morning, while on a run, that I've never run a "loop" race.  That is, I've run 5Ks that also had 10Ks that were two loops of the 5K, and 10Ks that were one loop (plus a little) of a two-loop half marathon course.  Even the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 mile race, which is a 100 miler if you want to do it again.

Anyone have any thoughts on loop courses?  Do they help pacing? Is it annoying that you then have to go out for another lap?

Looking at some races coming up this year, I wonder if I should make a point of doing a loop race. The Sacramento Zoo Zoom is the next one I see coming up; an April 10th 5/10K with a bunch of kids races and free entry to the zoo after.  They had some pretty cool t-shirts last year too.

1 comment:

slowrunner77 said...

well, since you asked...
I was looking forward to the Pony Express (5 loops for a 10k, which would have been the shortest loop I'd ever run) on Saturday, til mother nature decided otherwise.
I ran Zoo Zoom last year, and hated the 2nd loop, but mainly because I'd gone out at 5k pace and was stuck in no-man's-land with a headwind the 2nd time around. I DO think it helps with pacing. The other two that come to mind, both of which I enjoyed, were the Cowtown (now Urban Cow) Marathon (2 loops of the half course, starts in the same park as Zoo Zoom/No Excuses) and the Jed Smith Ultra 30k, which was about 5 loops to run a 30k, with a fun mix of road and dirt/mud. Pacing on that one was pretty easy, and it was a kick to see all the other runners/distances out there on the course.
I'm all for em, but I could see how they could theoretically get boring. I've never done the 10k in Verdi for that reason - the course is too familiar and running it twice in training is a chore...and the hill scares me :)