Hello - I have decided I want to start entering some events - not as a runner or really even a competitve walker but just as a walker. I wonder how I know if walkers are allowed/welcome at events. Do they have to say "run/walk" for me to be welcome? I am pretty sure I can handle some of the longer events although my time would be later than the runners - is that generally accepted? Should I check with the event organizers for each event? If anyone could share their expereince, strength and hope with me about this, that would be great!
I don't have a lot of experience but I entered and completed the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, CA. I think it was a 9K walk/jog/run. I don't remember having to specify whether we were planning to walk or run. Many people walked, some ran or jogged. My sister entered the Big Sur Marathon in Carmel, CA where she walked the 5K. You can enter the 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon. If you wanted to enter one of the well know marathons, i.e. New York, Boston, I believe they have a more strict and formal entry process and will ask you about your training etc. but you may still be able to walk in them. I'm not sure about that. I think most of the 5K, 10K races that are open to the public are not insistent that you run; I think many people walk or jog. Some people who run in these regularly could probably tell you more about it. You can probably find out more about each on their website. I hope this helped.
RE: Learning the Ropes
I have walked the Portland Marathon 3 times and it is VERY walker friendly! I am not a super fast walker but have managed to finish.
I sure appreciate the folks who took time to respond. I have sort of concluded I let myself worry about something I don't need to worry about. Unless an event prohibits walkers I am just going to sign up and make sure to follow the walk rules. I just want to do it for fun and to give myself more incentive to do my daily routine because I will kind of be training for something! Thanks again and glad to know there are other "Just Walkers" out there!
Check the web sites for the event you want to enter. There will be a time limit. Most can be met if you can walk at a good speed. The Calsbad Marathon closes the course (the roads are open for traffic) so you move onto the sidewalk, but they keep the water stations open. I can't remember the time limit. The San Diego R&R marathon was 6 1/2 hour limit but changed to 7 hours last year I think to get more walkers and the half is something like 18 minute/mile limit.
I read somewhere that the average finish time for marathons is 5 1/2 hours and I've done better (once, walking of course). It's great fun walking past runners!
ASK! HI there,
Seriously, ask them. When you look at the entries watch for maximum time allowed. If in doubt ask. There is a great 1/2 in Paso Robles CA that I really wanted to do. I emailed and asked if they were walker friendly and what their maximum course time would be. They said they were walker friendly! Their maximum course time was 3 hours. OK, I'm pretty good but I can't even think about finishing a 1/2 Marathon trail course in 3 hours. That, in my ever less than humble opinion, is NOT walker friendly.
Another idea is to look at previous years course finish times. That is a good hint.
If in doubt, email the race people and ask.
Just keep those feetsies moving!
Susan in CA
Brazen Racing Bear Creek 10k Aug 09
Brazen Racing Rocky Ridge 10k Oct 09
Brazen's Turkey Trot 10k Nov 09
Walked the Golden Gate Bridge - too cool!
Monterey Big Sur Internationl Half Marathon.(10mile walk)
Brazen's New Years 10k Jan 10
Brazen's Bear Creek 10k MUD FEST Jan 10
Finally, back out on the trails!
Blossom Trail 10k March 2011
Miracle Miles for Kids - May 2011
Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock to the Pier 10k - July 2011 Happy Birthday to me!
So many miles...so little time...
I did it - I signed up for Big Sur - April 2012
Unless you faint, puke or die...keep walking - Jillian Michaels
I can't come in last because I am ahead of those who didn't start!