Main menu


Travel the world for marathons and half marathons

featured image


Just after crossing the finish line of the 2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon, Laurel Butterfield stuffed herself with oysters and a Bloody Mary. It was Butterfield’s first out-of-town race, and his first time in a Big Easy. Her strategy was simple. I’m going to see interesting places in the city, and when I’m done, I’m going to have a good time eating things in the city. “

The Communications Officer, who moved to Belgium from Chicago during the pandemic, met up with friends in Valencia, Spain, ran the marathon last year, and plans to run the Marathon du Médoc in September. While in Japan, Butterfield flew to Seoul, ran a marathon, and spent a long weekend in South Korea.

Runners who love to travel, and travelers who love to run, get their passports stamped and go through their to-do list one race at a time. For many people, destination races are the driving force behind traveling to new places and continuing their training plans.

My first time in Vermont was ostensibly to run the 2012 Mud Half, and somehow I ended up 3rd in my age group (because there weren’t many people there). 13.1 miles, the same as when I visited Green Mountain State.

His first marathon taught him more than how to run a race

I haven’t raced internationally yet, but I’ve been running marathons in Duluth, Minnesota since halfway through Vermont. Pittsburgh; Los Angeles; and Corning, New York, and about 50 half marathons are held nationwide. For me, post-race indulgence — which almost always has local beer on the menu — and bragging rights (running a marathon outside your hometown is kind of cool, after all) was part of the appeal. BQ (Boston Qualifier) ​​) I was escaping and chasing me over and over again.

Alisa Cohen, founder of boutique travel agency Lux Traveler Club, said most of her marathon travel customers are novice runners who like the athletic element of a vacation. Planning a trip around the destination races “adds to the overall excitement of marathon training” and is a great way to see the city and travel around it, Cohen said, adding that Paris We pointed out that this makes it a popular destination.

Spencer Farrar’s first international race in Scotland in 2006 made him fall in love with racing travel. (“At the time, I was a little bit interested in bagpipes.”) Increasingly, he said most of his travels were related to running.

Farrar’s favorite race destination is South Africa, where he has run the Comrades Marathon (ultra) nine times and will be running his tenth at the end of the summer. Although the itinerary changes with each visit, Farrar said he plans to stay again in Cape Town, one of his favorite cities.

New York attorney Ruth Gersky’s two most memorable race trip experiences took place in Sydney and Amsterdam respectively. As a participant in Gay His Games, sporting and cultural events with a mission to promote equality, Gursky has made these events part of a larger plan to discover different cities. “It’s fun to meet players from other countries and visit new countries. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone to Sydney. It’s a long way,” said Gursky.

David Killian, director of site selection for the Federation of Gay Games, said a lot goes into choosing a game location. In addition to having sufficient city support and the ability to host games, Killian said, “Having the right destinations is an important part.” While the organization isn’t too concerned about whether the location meets the vacation standards of its participants, Killian says, “It’s pretty hard to get people all over the world excited about going to a small city. was.”

Doug Thurston, Race Director of the Big Sur International Marathon, which features runners from more than 20 countries and all 50 states, said. Citing the growth of marathons in Southeast Asia, Thurston said, “Now he can make a bucket list of international travel destinations with just cities and marathons in all these cities.” I’m here.

Best workouts for every travel scenario, according to experts

Most marathons held in big cities such as New York, Boston, Houston, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo, and London take participants on a 26.2-mile tour through the city streets. Local restaurants often gather behind the runners and serve special meals before or after the race. The community came out to cheer, saying, “Laugh, you paid for this” and “This is a lot of work for free bananas.”

But it’s not just the world’s biggest cities that are flocking to runners. Some of the Big He Sir participants and their families consider the race, which takes place on Highway 1 each April, to be a state vacation in California and “pour millions of dollars into tourism.” said Thurston. Houston First CEO Michael His Heckman said of Chevron His Houston His Marathon: – Share drivers. “

One of Alaska’s signature events, the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon, inspired Sally Pont to sign up and start training again. His first 26.2 miles for the DC-based college counselor was the Philadelphia Marathon in his early 20s. Pong, who attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University about three hours away, said the race “wasn’t an excursion in itself, but the experience of going through an entire city and ending at a museum gave me an idea of ​​what a marathon would be like.” It made me realize that it is more than just running.”

“If I was going to run another marathon, I was going to do something cool,” Pont said of the 2003 marathon in Anchorage. She worked a few extra days to enjoy her festival of blues and seaplane rides in Denali National Park. to the glacier.

Seaglass artist Madeleine Fontillas Ronk, who lives with her family in the Los Angeles area, also jumped at the chance to travel to Cuba to participate in the 2017 Havana Triathlon. “We just thought we should do it now. Who knows?” While Fontillas Ronk and her daughter focused on pre-race activities and the race itself, Fontillas Ronk’s husband joined other runners’ families on tours to museums and art galleries. did.

Cuba is not the only destination that can help you take the stress out of planning miles in a foreign land by tapping into the expertise of our trip planners. has partnered with to assist runners with land-based logistics, including race registration.

“Of course, we’re really transforming into this amazing group of motivated individuals who are passionate not only about running, but also about traveling and visiting different destinations around the world,” he said, having been on staff for over seven years. said Karen Hoch.

Butterfield calls race the appetizer of the trip. “Of course you can’t explore every nook and cranny of the city, but the race gives you a map of the city,” she said. The course itself gives an idea of ​​what seasoned runners might want to explore in the days after the race. Butterfield said the race was “appetizing”.

Lastoe is a Brooklyn-based writer.her website is staceylastoe.comFind her on Twitter: @stacespeaks.

Potential travelers should consider local and national public health directives regarding the pandemic before planning travel. Travel health advisory information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map, which provides travel recommendations by destination, and on the CDC’s Travel Health Advice web page.