Let’s face it – it’s pretty easy to find races if you’re a distance runner. In fact, there’s probably a 5K happening in your area right now.
But what about track meets or sprint races? Unless you reach an elite level after high school or college, the last race in your school uniform often ends up being your last race, period. If you know where to look, though, there are still plenty of opportunities to step back into the blocks!
Corporate Track Clubs: Most commonly found in larger cities, these teams work much like recreation leagues for other sports. Many track clubs offer training plans, coaches, gym / track access, and a full schedule of local events. If you really miss the team vibe and the thrill of competition, this is probably your best option. To find a club in your area, feel free to check out USA Track & Field’s search tool.
Open Meets / Invitationals: If you can’t find a track club in your area but you live near a college or university with a track and field team, you may still be able to find races. Many schools host events that are open to the public as a pre-season warm-up for the team. When in doubt, reach out to the school’s coach – most likely, he or she is a track and field diehard like you and will be more than happy to have you compete.
Host Your Own Event: If you really need to get your racing fix but there’s nothing for your age group in your area, start an event of your own. All you really need is a track, a timing system, and enough runners to make renting the space affordable. You could even connect with a local charity to use the event as a fundraiser and attract more competitors. It may require more of your time, but if you’re truly passionate about sprinting, it’ll be well worth it!