To investigate health-related factors associated with self-rated race performance outcomes among recreational long-distance runners. Panel study. Data were collected from runners one month before and after a community-level race event including distances from 8 to 42.2 km. The primary outcome measure was self-rated race performance outcome. The explanatory variables represented health complaints suffered during the build-up year, the pre-race month, and the race and among full marathon runners predicted objective performance outcome (mean pace equal to training pace or faster). Multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with the self-rated performance outcome. Two-hundred forty-five runners (29%) provided complete data sets. Seventy-four percent of the runners reached their desired race performance outcome. Achievement of the performance outcome was more likely when having avoided illness during the build-up and pre-race periods (OR = 3.8; 95% CI:1.8-8.0, p < 0.001), having avoided per-race injury (OR=3.0; 95% CI:1.2-7.4, p = 0.02) and avoided per-race illness (OR = 4.1; 95% CI:1.3-15, p = 0.020). Having obtained the self-rated performance outcome was also associated with running a shorter distance (OR=3.6; 95% CI: 1.7-8.0, p = 0.001) and being younger than 50 years of age (OR = 2.4; 95% CI:1.1-5.3-8.3, p = 0.03). Having met the predicted objective performance outcome predisposed marathon runners to also obtain the self-rated performance outcome (OR = 4.7, 95% CI: 1.5-16, p < 0.01). Having avoided illness during build-up and pre-race was positively associated with self-rated race performance outcome among recreational runners. Adjusting the desired performance outcomes with regard to recent illness and age may help recreational runners to more often achieve their goals and thereby prevent them from leaving the sport. Copyright © 2019 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.