5 Reasons to Get over Your Commitmentphobia and Register for that Race!

fri5Here’s the situation: you’re planning out your race schedule for the next year and there are an overwhelming number of options. There are races you’ve done before and loved, races you’ve always wanted to do, races that are close by and others that are in exciting and possibly tropical locations. There are hilly races and flat races that almost guarantee a PR, races highlighted in your favorite running magazine and local races that send you weekly emails informing you of your last chance to get this awesome shirt!

Once you’ve narrowed it down somewhat (a personal and big no thank you to my alma mater’s indoor marathon) how do you know when it’s time to actually COMMIT and sign up for that darn race?!

1. Someone you know, like your significant other, training partner or (NO!) boss, signed up for this race and you may or may not have verbally agreed to join in … or pace them. You might as well register now before the price goes up or you’re dumped or fired!

2. You have been coveting your neighbor’s commemorative pint glass/tech tee/race medal that doubles as a bottle opener ever since this race last year. It’s time to fulfill your heart’s desire.

When you cross that finish line with a blazing new PR you’ll be so glad you did! Flickr Commons image by Jayneandd

3. The personalized email you just received from the race company says in bold red letters that the price goes up at midnight tonight. REGISTER NOW.

4. This is a race you’ve always wanted to do, but it is far away, expensive, or inconvenient. JUST SIGN UP. Break open that piggy bank, start saving vacation days and turn it into a girls’ weekend or a family vacation or take the bus alone and start on that novel you always wanted to write. If you never sign up, you’ll never get to do it.

5. You’ve visited the race website approximately 64,368 times and have now memorized the elevation map, the previous 12 years’ results and the average race day temperatures. You might have even almost registered a few times, as in filled out all of the steps in the registration process until bailing at the credit card info stage, when you notice that there are only three spots remaining.* Before you use up all the site’s bandwidth again, give them a break and REGISTER ALREADY! 

*I may have experienced this last week, resulting in an unexpected and impulsive registration for a 50K in May, if you can call that scenario impulsive or unexpected!

What are some of the more or less rational reasons you’ve signed up for races? Is it easy for your to commit or do you have race commitmentphobia like I do?

I'm a proud resident of Portlandia, ex-running store employee, pulmonary emboli conquerer and connoisseur of high fives. I write about running community, trail running/training and anything else that grabs my immediate interest. I'm currently running for fun with my crazy friends - no races on the horizon YET.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hey, I didn’t know you are an Ole! I’m a former townie! I love signing up for a winter race somewhere warmer than here–last year it was the Key West half marathon. This year I’m going to Augusta, GA. Perfect excuse to stay fit in the winter and to take a little vacay.

      1. Any month, really; but especially in February when the winter doldrums are in full-force and spring still seems so far away….

  2. Sometimes it is even good to commit a couple of years in advance. Two years ago I realized that the 2015 Prague, Czech Republic Half Marathon would probably fall during my March Break holidays and so i made the commitment in my head that I would be going. For months last year I waited for the date to be announced, worried that they would change the weekend on which they normally hold it. Once that date was announced and registration was opened I officially registered. In 49 days I will be running the streets of Prague! It would have been easy to find excuses not to go (money of course being the main one) but when you spend 2 years planning a race in your head, it is hard to back down when it is time to sign up 🙂