My dream one day is to get to Disney & do the Princess Half Marathon... or ANY Disney race at this point. (Avenger Half Marathon is pretty high up on the list as well)... so I love having this info & will be bookmarking it for the day I make the big trip. I love that Arianna even included tips about having a fur-baby... she's speaking to my heart now!
5 Useful Tips for a Stress-Free Destination Race
Over the last year, I’ve challenged myself by entering a number of races, some of which required travel. It’s been a great motivator for my fitness, as well as an excuse to get out of town now and then. Through these experiences, I’ve learned that there are some unique factors to consider when preparing for a destination race – things you wouldn’t necessarily think about for other kinds of travel. With the proper planning, you can ensure that you’ll be ready and stress-free on race day!
Pick the Right Hotel
Finding the right sleeping accommodations is critical. Don’t just go for any hotel in town. Instead, endeavor to find one close to the race – ideally within easy walking distance. Races usually start pretty early, and you won’t want to waste much energy navigating traffic in your unfamiliar surroundings. Plus, race day is hectic and busy, so finding a parking spot can be difficult. A navigation app is extremely helpful but ultimately, the best scenario is waking up and walking right out to the starting line.
For an athletic event, it’s important to plan your food appropriately. Before the race, avoid restaurants as much as possible. Bringing your own food is ideal, since it’s risky to introduce new or exotic foods into your system. You never know how your body will react! Plus, if you bring your own food, you can ensure you’ll have the right amount of carbs to fuel you for the race. Eat a plain and familiar meal the night before, and carbo-load in the morning. Bagels and bananas travel well, so they’re a great staple for race day. This list of carb-heavy recipes is useful if you have the opportunity to cook.
Follow the Forecast
In the days leading up to your journey, make sure you pay attention to the weather forecast. This will be useful for traveling, as you will need to factor in more driving time for bad weather. But more importantly, you’ll need to pack the right running apparel for race day. Even if the forecast looks clear, it’s smart to bring running clothes for cooler weather and precipitation. If there’s anything I’ve learned from destination races, it’s that the weather can be unpredictable and thin layers are always a great idea. Make sure you’re prepared for the worst!
Plan for your Furry Friends
As with any trip, make sure you arrange care for your pets in advance. I’ve found that races can be overwhelming for dogs, but I prefer to travel with my dog. Last year, we brought along our Lab, Brodie, to Philadelphia for the Feel the Love 5k. Finding a pet sitter or kennel located in the race town is a great option. Crowds can sometimes be extremely overwhelming for a dog of any size. That way, you can enjoy the race weekend with your whole family, and focus on getting thru your first few miles without stressing about your dog tearing apart the hotel room.
See the Sights
One of the best parts of a destination race is the excuse to do some sightseeing. Depending on your travel schedule, consider taking time after the race to experience the local scenery. This mini-vacation is a wonderful reward for completing the race, and an added perk for any family members who accompany you. I’ve also taken to documenting my races in a scrapbook. It’s really satisfying to look back on my progress through photos, and the snapshots taken of each town add a nice personal element.
With the right preparation, destination races are fun, rewarding, and motivating. Just be sure to take all the factors into consideration as you plan for the big day. Your hard work will pay off and guarantee that the experience is one you remember fondly!
Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at http://ariannaknowsbest.blogspot.com/ !