I came across this picture of a the City to Surf race. I’ve never run a ‘big city race’ with tens of thousands of runners or even thousands and thousands. I think the biggest race I’ve run is the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon where it is 1-2 thousand.
I’m sure these big races are fun, but man that’s a lot of people. If you haven’t run a smaller race you’re missing out. At a smaller race you all cross the starting line within a minute of each other. It feels like a race – even though the only time I’m within 1 minute of the leader is at the starting line. The aid stations are personal since the volunteers aren’t trying to get water to 10,000 runners. Almost like you have your own crew at each aid station. And the courses for smaller races are more varied – not every road and trail can handle 10,000+ runners.
There are tons of smaller races out there.