A sport and recreational activity such as running, is a very interesting and overall great sport. As a recreational activity, it cannot be beaten, but as a competitive sport, it is also interesting and offers a plethora of variety to those who want to compete. The beauty of running is that there are so many distances that a runner could compete at, not to mention styles of running races.
To be frank, we will not be discussing track and field events such as sprints, 100m and 200m ones, as well as 800m races. These types of races are well-known so we will immediately skip to longer running races.
These types of races are relatively short, where K stands for kilometers. These races typically last not longer than half an hour, or a bit longer in the case of a 10K race. They are medium distance races and athletes in this range are very explosive.
Such races tend to be much more entertaining to watch, mostly because they don’t last longer than an hour. These types of races are often trail races, to make things more interesting and to make the athletes adapt by adding elevation and anything other than tarmac/asphalt.
21K – Half Marathon
The half marathon or a 21K race is one of the world’s favorite races. Everyone who likes running will at some point want to run a half marathon. The reason for that is that you can typically run a half marathon below 2 hours, which is a solid average across all types of runners and all ages, except the very old runners.
Since they don’t need too much preparation, half marathons are an overall frequent goal for newbie runners.
The marathon of 42K race is double the length of the half marathon, obviously, but also has historic significance, which is tied to the legend of Pheidippides, who was said to have run from the battle of Marathon to Athens to say that the Greeks have won, after seeing a Persian vessel turn. He is said to have thought that the Perisans would try and claim a false victory in Athens. After running into the assembly, he exclaimed that the Greeks won and collapsed and died on the spot.
Since then, the 42K race is known as a marathon. It is one of the coveted race types for runners, and many attempt and finish a marathon, just for the challenge of it.
This is where things get spicy. Anything above 50K is considered an ultramarathon. These types of races are very long and very difficult to run. They are typically 100K and even 200K races.
Ultramarathons are very difficult and beginners shouldn’t attempt them. They take a lot of experience and knowledge, to know when to decrease or increase tempo and even more importantly, to know when to quit.
Trail and mountain running has boomed in the 21st century and mountain running especially, became popular. What is even more interesting is that 5K, 10K and ultramarathons are frequent distances that you will find among trail and mountain races, mirroring those of regular running, but with added elevation gain, loss and non-uniformity of terrain.
These are very hard races and can be dangerous, so beginners should stay away.
There are a plethora more race types for running, but these ones should be enough for most runners.