I will rant first. Obviously. But, at the end of the day, I want you to get better.
For better race recaps, do this:
Ditch the chronological format.
Every single race starts with you getting there, you parking your car, and you picking up your race packet. For the love of everything that is holy, do not start there.
Try starting at the finish line. Or, tell me why you are limping around your office on a Wednesday. Or, start at the most interesting point of your race day. Did you find yourself squatting in the bushes, three miles away from the finish, praying that no one notices your firm buttocks, peeking through the blades of grass? Did you perform open heart surgery between the dunk wall and the Hercules hoist?
Awesome. I want to know how you got there.
Identify the angle.
No one cares to read your race review for the sake of reading your race review. No, not even your mom.
What’s the point? What is the purpose of this race review? [If the answer here is “I got this race entry for free, as long as I write a race recap”, you are off the hook. I guess?]
Do you want other people to read it? If not, then please ignore this article. If yes, then ask yourself a question as to why they should care. Your prospective reader is bombarded by gear reviews, race reviews, how-to posts shared on Facebook, top 10 lists, and funny cat videos.
Will you talk about the strength and resilience you can to muster to finish this race, after bonking at mile two? Will you talk about the relative passing of time, and how five minutes can either fly by, or drag on forever, depending on what you are doing?
Do you want your reader to walk away inspired, disgusted, outraged? (Not bored. Never bored.)
What is the takeaway of your race review? Have you learned a lesson? Changed as a person? Achieved something you never thought you could? Made a new friend? WHAT?
Take the reader outside of the race experience. Quote your favourite writer (you do have a favourite writer, right?). Include a poem. Describe your encounter with God.
This is like… something else. Compare your registration experience to Black Friday shopping, and the actual race to sex. Make a parallel between the race course and life as a single mother.
Punctuation and paragraphs will help your cause.
“So, then we finally got to our hotel and unpacked the bags. Omg, I was so tired! But there was still so much to do. lol We changed quickly, and went to the pre-registration tent to pick up our bibs, and packets. I totally forgot to look up my bib number, so it took longer. Grrrr Oh, well next time right? Anyway, we had our stuff, so it was time for dinner!!! Sushi! There is this pretty sweet place that we went to, and had like three sushi boats. HAHAA #hungryhungryhippos #eatallthefood #athletesneedtofuel #nomnom So sleepy after all that food! It was time for bed. Next morning was pretty awesome. We met my buddy Mike and headed over to the start line. It was cold, but it got warm once the sun came out. Yay! I was in the 9am wave, and after chatting with my buddy Mike and my other buddy Dave (Dave is awesome! I met him last year, and you should too!) we finally starting running. I had a gel at mile four. And another gel at mile eight, I think. Or maybe, it was mile nine I’m not sure. It felt pretty good.”
Ok. I have to go lie down now. I hope you did get the point, because writing this really hurt my brain.
For every additional exclamation point you use, a kitten dies.
Using multiple exclamation marks makes you look like an adolescent. Do not use unless you are 1) an adolescent, or 2) trying to sound like an adolescent (in which case, that’s just weird. Please stop.).
Do not write like you talk.
Because most conversations are boring as fuck. Don’t believe it? Park yourself on a bench in a public place somewhere next time (or food court! that’s like the Jerry Springer of boring conversations), and listen in. Don’t be, like… creepy about it.
Chances are you will pick up a golden nugget or two, which is what you want! But overall, people hem and haw, insert umm’s and whatever’s, fragment their sentences and interrupt each other. Feel free to skip all that.
The truth is… your experience matters. Tell me how.
Go. Make me proud. 😉