I heard the term “racecation” mentioned yesterday, and it got me thinking about planning one of my own. I have never planned a vacation around a race, or even participated in a race, while on vacation for that matter. As the cold weather approaches, I have been rethinking the whole idea of a racecation. Hmmmm, Rock n’ Roll Latin American Miami Beach Half Marathon (Rock n’ Roll half featuring Pitbull as the post-race party headliner) anyone? Miami temperatures in December sound perfect to me. There are so many races popping up in climate-friendly destinations that choosing the right race can be a difficult task.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when deciding to take a racecation. How far do you want to travel? Some runners choose to travel across the country or to Europe or Asia, but if you are worried about jet lag, you may want to opt for something a little closer to home. If you are traveling to a different time zone, try giving yourself a day for each hour in time difference for your body to acclimate to the change. Also, if you are very rigid about your pre-race rituals, i.e. meals, etc. (which, let’s be honest, most of us are) you will want to plan ahead and bring food from home if necessary. Additionally, make sure you have researched how to get to the race from your hotel and leave PLENTY of time for getting lost or any other unexpected events that can happen before a race.
I have found a couple of races that fit the bill for fun, travel, and a little racing for good measure. You can hop on a plane (leave the kids behind) and travel to one of the Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathons or if you are looking for more of a family-friendly racecation, why not check out the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon–this race starts at night and ends with a post-race celebration and the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot! Or if you are feeling really adventurous, you could opt for the Everest Marathon, which starts at 17,000 feet or the Sultan Marathon des Sables in the Saharan desert of Morocco–one of the hottest marathons–where temperatures soar to 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. I think you might need the Camelbak for that one! There is even a group of marathoners who commit to running a marathon in each of the 50 states (aptly named 50 States Marathon Club= lots of frequent flier miles).