If you suffer from sensory overload when confronted by so many running events your brain freezes, don’t give up. Deciding which events to calendar and which ones to skip is easy if you use the process of elimination. The following “IQ” questions are designed help you match your personal circumstances and resources with your desire to sign up for just about every marathon that comes along!

What’s your WQ (Work Quotient)?

Asking questions like, “Can I afford to leave work to run a marathon?” is the best way to start your process of elimination if you are eager to travel abroad to compete. When we say “afford”, we refer to both money and relationships. After all, if you’re responsible for a staff or your job is so critical, leaving would impact productivity, finances or both, can you really afford to travel to a race destination and spend the time required to run a proper race?

What’s your CQ (Corporate Quotient)?

Does your employer make a commitment to social responsibility? You picked a good place to work. Ask management or human resources about the extent to which they would be willing to support your physical and/or charitable efforts to compete in marathons at home or abroad. Some runners have no idea that their employers encourage them to give of their time and effort, so ask about sponsorships and you could be surprised. If you happen to be the boss, the CEO or the President, set a good example for employees: give yourself time off to run a race that benefits your health and wellbeing and/or a charitable cause.

Photo Credit: 123RF

What’s your LQ (Length Quotient)?

Everyone in the Singapore running scene has a favourite event and if you eliminate those runs and marathons that are out of your league—either because they’re too hard or they’re too easy—you can cross off the ones that won’t work for you and shorten that master list of marathons substantially. For example, if you only run 5 km races, or if you prefer to focus on only trail events or ultras, by eliminating marathons that don’t offer your speciality run(s), you will winnow down your list of potential marathons even more.

What’s you FQ (Family Quotient)?

If your mum, your spouse and/or your children count on you to be on hand perpetually because your contributions to the household and family are urgently needed, keep that dream of travelling abroad to run marathons alive, but consider only close-to-home runs until circumstances change. Check if it’s possible for the whole family to participate in a marathon together to increase family bonding. Many a marriage has suffered because one spouse simply registered for a marathon held outside Singapore and told their partner that they were going after the fact, without making sure that the family can function properly while they’re gone.

Photo Credit: 123RF

What’s your BQ (Budget Quotient)?

We don’t have to tell you that paying entry fees for an excessive number of marathons and events could require you to take a second job, do we? If you’re organised and have a set annual budget for race fees, you’ll be required to be selective and book only the ones that fit within that budget. No fair feeding your cat really bad, cheap food just so you can sneak one more race into your schedule! By forcing yourself to stick to your budget, you build character as much as you build leg muscles when you run your race.

What’s your DQ (Danger Quotient)?

Are you willing to put yourself in harm’s way by travelling to an area that isn’t safe, or undertake an ultra that requires an usual amount of risk? Knowing up front what you can and will do to stay safe could help you curtail your master list of possible race sites even further. Extreme events are trendy now and lots of men and women are eager to reach beyond what they typically accomplish when running traditional marathons, but in their desire to try something new or more challenging, they may naively overlook clear and present dangers. Female runners travelling alone can be particularly vulnerable to danger if they aren’t cautious about their venue picks.

Photo Credit: 123RF

What’s Your SQ (Savvy Quotient)?

Once you calculate which events fit your budget, family, work and event type, turn your attention to the organisation sponsoring events you’re considering to make sure they are on the up and up. You don’t want to sign up for an event sponsored by some fly-by-night concern eager to take your money and run, do you? Ask experienced marathon runners for their opinions about sponsors to gain insights before you sign up. You can also conduct an Internet search if something doesn’t feel right (e.g., the company has never before organised a race or entry fees seem prohibitive). Feel free to contact us, too. As your running authority in Singapore, we could save you time, money and embarrassment and help you pick the right number and types of events for your personal lifestyle.

So, What Have You Decided?

At the end of the day, we’re running because we can, want to, and love to! Do you have a great system for picking out which races and marathons to run and which ones to skip? We’d love to hear how you go about deciding on your final list of running events each year and so would our readers!

Aidan H.

Aidan is the Editor-in-Chief of RunSociety. With more than a decade of editorial and marketing experience working with over thousands of writers. Aidan has also written for several popular websites reaching millions of readers. Recognised as an expert on the web, his focus is to oversee RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the community. Get in touch with him if you have something to say, or want to weigh in on an interesting topic at hello@runsociety.com.

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