On my workout schedule this week there was an option to race one of the weekly 5k races held by the Long Island Road Runners Club as part of their Summer Series in Eisenhower Park. I've never raced one of these events but heard they were great opportunities for race intensity workouts.
The race entry fees are low ($4 for members, $7 for non-members) and the only sign up is right before the race at the start. There is no tee shirt or swag given out. It is a simple show up, sign the waiver, fork over the bucks, toe the line and run when the gun goes off. No timing chips but times are posted by officials noting the finishing times. A typical field size is a little less than 200. There are kids races beforehand. The races are sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the club.
Typically these races have no names but last night was one of the "regular's" 60th birthday so they named the race in her honor. I ran in the race last night. I kept thinking this was old school racing.
I went out too fast but I set a PR. This experience showed me I don't need a fancy shirt, a sponsor's bag, or nutrition samples that I'll never try to have a good night.
I also came in last in my age group but I could still do that with all the frills included too. In fact, I have.
But it is becoming less common. Rock on.