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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a debate going with someone who only runs very large races which are on closed courses. The details center on safety relative to open courses. Almost everything I try to talk about is poo poo'd because the other party has no frame of reference and I'm told it doesn't matter because "most" road races are on closed course.<br><br>
I say that probably over 90% of road races are on open roads with only a lane or not even a whole lane blocked off and often, no lane blocked off.<br><br>
What been your experience (a guess at the percentage of open road courses whether you've run them or not) and marathons don't count, they are only 4.7% of the road races anyway.<br><br>
Answer like All most all, Most, Many, half, few, very few would be fine<br><br>
Oh, Btw, could you state your area of the country if you reply. Thanks
 

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Most of the races I have run are on open roads. To include some large races including halfs and full marathons. There may be portions of the course that is closed due to the large number of runners. For example, when I ran the RNR HM in VA beach there was several thousand runners, the first 1/2 of the run was on closed roads and then the second half was on open road, at least half the lane was open to traffic.<br><br>
the Rocket City Marathon was on mostly open roads, it was kindof scary when cars would pass you at 40 - 45 MPH from your back. did care for that. Almost all 5Ks that I have run were on open roads, with the exception of large races of 500 or more runners. Too many runners on the road to close them.<br><br>
Hope this helps.
 

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Phoenix, AZ area, here.<br><br>
I would say almost all of the races I have been on have been closed courses. The major exception was the Mummy Mountain 10 Miler. We don't have a lot of hills in the Valley of the Sun. Closing the roads on Mummy Mountain would essentially mean closing the neighborhood.<br><br>
Closed roads usually means one lane closed, one side of the street closed, or the shoulder coned with police patrolling the route.<br><br>
I know you said marathons don't count. I still want to mention the Tucson Marathon. That course was mostly closed except strangely for part of the last 2 miles.
 

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Mid-Missouri here. All but one of the races I have run have been open road course, no lanes closed. I have run one half, two 10K's, a half dozen or so 5K's and one 8K race. The 8K race was on a paved trail so I guess you could call it a "closed course" but it was not closed to other pedestrian or bike traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick replies and I'm not at all surprized by the responses. I'm very happy with the details you included. It shows you've considered the subject.<br><br>
I've run at and volunteered for races as far as the 4 corners of the USA and in Cananda and I've never noticed much difference in the existance and non-existance of closed course.<br><br>
There may be a slight tendency to have more (certainly not a majority) of completely closed courses on the west cost but that is because there often lots of alternate roads for the non-running community to travel on.<br><br>
I'm dealing some folks who are deliberately claiming that the whole running scene is the same everywhere as within their own limit not-too-many-race horizon. Why would they do that? They have a selfish agenda they want to protect.<br><br>
Please keep all of your real-life observations coming. Thanks
 

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I'm in So Cal and have run many races..... I'd say the ones I've run are split pretty evenly 3 ways...... open courses, closed courses, and courses that aren't run on public roads or highways. So far as a safety issue, I think it's a non-issue..... I feel safer running a race on an open course than I do when I'm out on a training run on the streets.<br><br>
One of my favorite race series is put on my the LA Sheriff's Department where some of the races are very small and they basically give you a police escort through very open streets...... and some of them in not-so-nice areas of L.A.
 

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Dayton, Ohio area here.<br><br>
I'd say a high percentage of the races I run are open road courses, but in conjunction with that, I do a lot of small-town races where they don't have heavy traffic to begin with.
 

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Only Columbus Marathon and Columbus Half (April) roads were closed. All others roads were open. Two were run on bike pathes.<br><br>
Son did a 5miler and said he would never do it again, due to the traffic (road open and not coned).
 

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Eye opener for me. Not only do youse guys run in 50 below, but you race on open roads? I guess I should count my blessings!
 

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Atlanta area. Pretty evenly mixed. We usually get a lane blocked off. Roads are almost never completely closed, and slightly more often are they completely open.
 

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I'm in CT - every race that I've run - with the exception of the New Jersey and Philly Marathons - has been run on an open course.
 

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It's been ages since I've run anything less than a marathon, I'll have to comment on them.<br><br>
Here in the PNW there are lots of small marathons: more than 50 between WA and OR. Almost all are on open courses, the exceptions being Portland, Seattle, Royal Vic, and Yakima River Canyon. There are at least as many that are hybrids, either closed for the first few miles and then with managed traffic, or on pavement that is for non-vehicle use (like a bike path.)<br><br>
One of the hazards of open courses around here is that very often you must run on one shoulder of a crowned road. Going for hours on a surface that is slanted in one direction can cause injury, esp ITBS. On a closed course you could just run in the middle of the road.
 
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