The Top 8 Races in Gainesville

LGAA start

Everyone loves a countdown or top rating list. So to provide that for you as we head into a new racing season here is a list of the best races in town! A few weeks ago, I did a survey of 115 local runners and asked a number of questions about local races. What surface do you like to run on? What type of awards do you like? Do you want a tech fabric shirt or cotton? Or a no-shirt option for $5 less? We also asked runners to rate 19 local races on a scale of 1-5 stars. The runners were asked to rate the race only if they had run it in the last two years. So here’s the top 8 ranked by a blended %. That just means 5 stars =100%, 4 stars = 80% and so on. Therefore, if everyone who ran the race, gave it 5 stars, the score would be 100%.

Race Score
Tom Walker Memorial Half Marathon (Hawthorne Trail) 91.2%
Flatwoods 5K (Austin Carey Memorial Forest) 88.6%
Five Points of Life Half Marathon 88.0%
Newnan’s Lake 15K (Earl Powers Park) 87.6%
Trail of Payne 10K (Payne’s Prairie trail run) 87.6%
Race the Tortoise 5K (O’Leno State Park) 86.8%
LGAA 5K (Ironwood Golf Course) 85.6%
Turkey Trot 10K (Tacachale) 85.1%

So what makes a highly rated race better? Looking at other survey factors, it is easy to see why the Tom Walker Half Marathon scores so well.

Most popular distance? Half Marathon.

Most popular surface to race on? Paved bike path.

Price? It is in line with what people expect to pay for a Half Marathon.

Is it a scenic course? Yes. (According to the survey, a scenic course is one of the top 5 most important factors when chosing a race!)

So on many of the most important factors that runners value, the Tom Walker Half Marathon hits the mark. No wonder it is #1!

Also worth noting, there are many races in town that scored really well (over 70%) that I would certainly recommend. This list is just the ones that scored over 85%. So find a race, train hard and run fast! See you at the races.

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