I have been fortunate to experience many races. I grew up as a swimmer and runner, so most weekends involved some sort of competition. They bring an energy that can be fulfilling and addicting. Now that I am an adult, the events have shifted from an extracurricular activity to one that includes a variety of race types throughout the world. Just to give an idea of some of the races, there is the Disney World Marathon, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, Triathlons in San Diego and an open water swim in Hawaii. There are Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons and Half Marathons in cities across the globe. There are races even in locations you wouldn’t expect, like Disney’s Castaway Cay Island in the Bahamas.
Traveling for a Race
Participating in races can require travel, which can be both rewarding and cumbersome. Unlike a local 5k, there are many aspects to consider. Some things to think about are how to get there, where to stay and what equipment will be needed for the race.
Traveling with Equipment
While there are races that involve just a pair of running shoes and comfortable attire, others require much more. Triathlons are extremely popular, but require a bike. There is the option of renting a bike in the city of your race or taking your bike with you. Many airlines have specific rules, requirements and fees for bikes. One requirement that most airlines require is for your bike to be in a special box or case. Another factor to consider is that once you get to your destination you might find your hotel room so small that you are climbing over the bike for your entire stay.
Open water swims require participants to have spotters to keep an eye out for problems such as other boats. It can be tough enough to find someone that can spot for you, but now you need to make sure they can get there in order for you to participate.
Hotel Location is Important
Races tend to have early start times, and a road closure or other setback can make things more complicated. I have seen many people in a sprint while approaching the starting line. I can’t imagine being out of breath before the race has even started. Selecting a hotel close in proximity to the starting line can help decrease the stress of trying to get to your race.
Not all of the planning is tedious, but that doesn’t make it less time consuming. Traveling for a race allows for a person to experience and see new places. Since a portion of your trip will be occupied with the race and recovery, you will want to make sure you optimize the rest of your time in your destination. It can be time consuming to figure out the must see and do locations for your free time.
You could spend time away from training, doing research on the travel options, or you could reach out to your trusted Travel Planner. Do yourself a favor, and once you register for one of the unique races, let someone else work on the travel portion for you. You have enough to think about as you try to increase your speed or simply train.