Why the Half Marathon is the Best Race Distance

The Salem area is continually growing it’s running community and new events are popping up. However, we still generally pale in comparison to Portland and Eugene. I came to the realization at the 2012 Eugene for the Race for the Cure 5k that driving 90 minutes, running for 21+, then getting in my car and driving 90 minutes home is probably not the best use of my time. I could hardly justify travelling in my car for longer than it took me to run my race. 13.1 miles is right mix of time and energy, and thus clearly the best distance.

As a dad of two kids under 5, I need to make the most of my personal running time. I like to be at home with my kids, yet I still want to feel like I got some quality “alone time” out there on the race courses, as race days are me-time (except when I’m running with my kiddos).

At my current fitness level, the half distance allows me to feel like I put in a solid workout without being tired, sore, or out of commission afterwards. I mean, I have cheerleading competitions to attend and softball practices to coach, as well provide the primary parenting figure most nights when my wife works. This is all in addition to holding down a full-time job AND doing a bunch of work here on Run Oregon. Basically I’m a busy guy (which I love!), but the half allows me to go out and put in a decent time and push myself without having to spend too much time training. 

When I was in pre-marathon mode back in 2013, I felt a little out of sorts with my schedule and my family time as I grooved into my training regimen. When it was over I was ecstatic to have finished…and was immediately ready to go back to halves.

While I have competed in all distances from 1-milers to a full marathon, and will continue to race in new and exciting races of all distances, the half marathon is right in my wheelhouse and I love them. 


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (609) and wineries (148) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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