One of the many benefits of running races is planning a trip around the race. It’s a great chance to visit a new places but with the “excuse” of a race. Whether it’s a quick overnight trip or a few days away, it’s a treat to mix in a race with a mini vacation! Within my running group, I’m pretty much the one who stirs the pot when it comes to planning racecations. I really enjoy doing the planning; it’s kind of my thing! I’ve planned racecations for anywhere to 12-15 of us down to just me and another friend. I always do a few things when I plan in order to make the trip be the absolute best!
FIND AN AWESOME RACE IN A FUN CITY
Depending on the size of your group, you may have runners who want to choose from different race distances. When we plan our trips, they are usually around at least a half distance, but with maybe a 5K or 10K also. This works well so everyone going on the trip has a race to run! When we plan our yearly trip to the Outer Banks for Flying Pirate, we love the choice of having the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. They even offer a challenge, run both races!
HOTEL VS RENTAL HOUSE
Depending on the length of the trip, you may decide to just stay at a hotel or take the next step and rent a house. For a lot of our quick overnight trips, we just rent a room, obviously. For some of our longer trips, we found renting a house, especially in the off season at the beaches, to be a great alternative! Some of the benefits of renting home are having a kitchen to cook meals, your own bedroom and bathroom, and places to relax together, especially if you have a large group going! We love planning big meals where we all cook and eat together so renting a house is our definite choice!
RESEARCH RESTAURANTS AND THINGS TO DO
Nothing is worse than having undecided hungry people! I usually will look for several restaurant options before going on a trip to throw out there for lunches and dinners. It helps if you can find a place with several different options (sandwiches, main entrees, salads, etc.) It will save time when people are hungry and we are looking for places to go. Also, search for nearby things to do in case you have some downtime and want to visit nearby attractions. Whenever we visit the Outer Banks, we take time to visit Jockey’s Ridge, a nearby lighthouse, or the beach. When we ran Kiawah Marathon, we spent the day after the race in Charleston. Cara and I took a side trip to South of the Border this past February. It’s always fun to feel like you got something else out of the trip besides just the race.
CREATE A “NEED TO KNOW” INFO SHEET
After planning a half dozen of trips now, I’ve perfected the “Need to Know” email that I send for each racecation trip! It includes information about where we are staying, which room each person is staying in (if we rent a house), what personal items each person needs to bring (sheets, towels, etc.) and which items everyone will bring for the betterment of the house (plastic cups, napkins, baggies, etc.). It helps everyone to have a checklist and it ensures that we aren’t running to the grocery store every 5 minutes because we’ve forgotten something. After each trip, we store ;leftover consumables in a tub and bring it the next one.
A HOUSE FUND
Another thing that has become part of most of our trips is a house fund. When I collect money for the house rental, I include extra money that goes into our house fund. I try to make it about $400-500 total. We use this money to purchase food for our pre-race dinner, day after the race Bloody Mary breakfast and our post race lunch. It’s great to not have to worry about money and to know that at least 3 meals are included with the money we pre-pay.
Check out other runcation tips over at Powered By BLING, Pretty Lil Mudder, Half Marathon Mama, Girl on the Move and The Runner Within for Let’s Talk Training Thursday! Visit Jill Conyers where I’ve linked up!
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