A. To say my views are my own (and that they may be different than yours) does not really explain the difference of why I hold particular opinions or memories of a race; so many factors may be behind my impressions that may not be the same under someone else’s.
For one, all of us come from different places and life experiences. A world capital city for one person who travels widely and may be a bit wow-wearied, will not represent the same experience that it will for someone who is taking a trip of a lifetime to that same destination. One’s hometown(s)may mean more, or in some case, mean less to that someone running the race for that weekend.
Similarly, cultural background and the willingness and time to engage with the host city, to learn about its history, to in some cases, engage in a greater level in its food and customs and language, can all affect one’s impressions of a place and of a race event. Weather and timing can play a big factor, as well: was it overcast or raining during one’s visit and in the race event? Was it unseasonably hot or cold, too windy, too dry, too humid, too early in the morning or too late in the day? Was it any of these things that–because they were different from one’s home environment at the time of the race (for example, was it a race in a tropical setting in January for which, despite its beauty, a Northern person could only be so acclimatized for in his winter training environment at home?)–that made the race physically, and subsequently, mentally tougher than usual?
Finally, there is health on the day of the race and any injuries that one might bring with himself into the experience of the race that day. Anyone suffering from a mild cold, allergies, dehydration, a lingering calf injury or plantar fasciitis, worries about work, or even mild jet lag, is going to find their experience of any given race filtering through those conditions, as well.
So, I say this so that you know that I know that anything I say can and should be taken with a grain of salt. My top “thumbs up” experiences may have just been less to do with a particular race and more to do with a happy coincidence of just “having a really good day”. On the other hand, my worst “thumbs down” ratings, may say less about a particular cities attributes and more about my own less than appreciative viewpoint on that particular day and year of that event.