2014 Race Rankings

What are the best local races to include on your calendar? According to the recent Runners Survey most people find races to run based on recommendations from other runners. Now you can get those recommendations without having to actually ask your running friends because I’ve saved you the time! You can use your long run to discuss politics, the best shows on The Food Network or the flaws of the college football playoff system. You’re welcome.

I got responses from just over 100 runners and they were asked several running related questions and the final section asked them to rate 17 local races. I didn’t include every single race in town. There are a bunch of races that are just fun-runs and don’t even claim to be a race. There are tons of “One Hit Wonders” that appear for a year and then never happen again. I tried to select 16 races that had at least two years of successful running and met a basic level of race organization. If you are a race director of an event not listed and want to know how your race scored or you want to be included in next year’s survey, let me know!

Now for some nerdy statistical stuff. I asked for runners to rate the race only if they had run it in the last two years so each race had about 20-30 actual scores to get their average. You’ll notice the scores are pretty darn close! I ranked by the percentage of runners who scored the race “Good (4 stars)” or “Excellent (5 stars).” I also listed the average number of stars for each race which would shuffle the ranking slightly. However, that isn’t really the point here. Is the #1 race MUCH better than the #7 race? Nope. I listed the best scoring events to recognize the TOP events in town. All of these are really well-done races and easily worth the cost of the entry fee. A difference of 0.5 on the average star score is not statistically significant. The spread between all of the races below is 0.66 so all of these races were highly rated by the runners who did the events and the scores are extremely close.

Me with Bobby from Lloyd Clarke Sports. Bobby has three races in the top 7, including #1- Newnan's Lake!
Me with Bobby from Lloyd Clarke Sports. Bobby has three races in the top 7, including #1- Newnan’s Lake!

Race                           %  that scored the race 4-5 Stars         # of runners                 Average stars

Newnan’s Lake 15K 90.26 261 4.49
5 Points of Life Half Marathon 90.25 681 4.44
LGAA 5K at Ironwood 86.2 385 4.21
Season of Hope 5K 81.81 339 4.18
Turkey Trot 10K 81.8 565 4.32
Flatwoods 5K 78.58 167 4.43
Trail of Payne 10K 75.68 244 4.16
5 Points of Life 5K 72.73 354 4.14
WOBtoberfest 5K 70.37 172 3.93
Season of Hope 15K 68.42 102 3.84
Payne’s Prarie 5K 66.67 166 3.83
Haven Hospice 10K 66.67 146 3.83
Haven Hospice 5K 65 514 4.00
Race the Tortoise 5K 64.71 247 4.06
CHEERS! to all the top ranked races! We appreciate the hard work it takes to put on a race!
CHEERS! to all the top ranked races! We appreciate the hard work it takes to put on a race!

For reference, here’s the link to the 2013 survey: https://coachdanclark.com/2013/09/11/the-top-8-races-in-gainesville/

A note for statistical comparison from last year to this year- the survey site I used changed how the 5-stars system and blended averages are calculated. Last year’s ranking was based on the average stars metric expressed as a %. Confused? I was too for a while. The bottom line is this: If you want a baseline score from last survey to compare directly to this year, I can do that for you. I’m not sure there is a huge benefit to that unless you’re a nerd but if you want it, I can do it!

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