Friday Five – Five Races I’m dreaming About

Friday again!  and it’s a free-for-all week, that means I’m going to share something non-themed and random with you today for the Friday Five.


I’m linking  up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Check out their blogs for other Friday Five Goodness.


Many runners talk about “racecations”  (a word, I’ll honestly say I’m not sure I really like, but whatevs!).  it’s pretty exciting to take a little break, head out to a cool destination and then run a half or a full marathon while you are there (or a 10K or whatever distance floats your boat!).  It’s a completely different way to experience a city.  There are pros and cons to running a race in another city or country.  And of course it generally costs you more than if you would just jump on a train or in the car and travel an hour to where you need to be.  But if you love to travel and running is your thing, I highly recommend it!

I used to travel a lot to go to concerts, making long weekends out of it to actually see where I was visiting.  After I started running races this changed.  I still have travelled a couple of times for a gig, and have added a run or race to that weekend, but now I mostly travel to run.   I have been to so many amazing places and run amazing races.    I can’t think of a single place or race that I thought “ugh, I’ll never do that one again”  (ok, wait.  Brussels Half or Full I have no interest in anymore because COBBLESTONE STREETS).     Last year I started a list of races I want to run, in some cases places I haven’t been.  I expect this list will only grow in the near future.

With that introduction, I give you Five Races I’m Dreaming About:

(in order of Month of race)

    1. Tokyo Marathon – going to Japan is something I have been dreaming about since I was about 20 years old. I was living in Chicago and had a job downtown at a Japanese Bank.  This was my first real introduction to Japanese people and culture and I learned so much from my time there.  The bank where I worked was for corporate banking only and I was inspired to actually learn more about international business, finance and import/ export.  So when I moved from Chicago to Portland I was lucky enough to get a job at a Japanese finance and trading company and I finally knew what I wanted to study in college.  The dream to go to Japan and other asian countries has since then remained.  I not only want to run the Tokyo Marathon (which I think would be badass in and amongst itself), I want to spend at least 2 or 3 weeks traveling around Japan.  Tokyo Marathon is not easy to get into, but I’m going to keep trying and at some point I may just go with a travel organisation to fulfill this dream.  I expect this to happen before or by the time I am 55.  If we go with the latter option, I suppose Ron will run this too, since he’s also somewhat attempting the World Majors.                                          
    2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid  – this race has eluded me every year since I started running Rock’n’Roll races!  The problem is the timing! Paris Marathon is in April and so is Rotterdam, London and Boston.  As you know, this year we are going to Boston since Speedy McDutch has made his way into the race.  Another year I won’t be able to participate in RnR Madrid!    And, the thing is, I still want to run Paris again, I would love to finally do Rotterdam and, on the off chance I ever get into London on the lottery this will always remain a bit of a challenge.   I’ve never actually done any race at all in spain so I would really like to rectify this (I have been to Madrid however, and I love the city!) 
    3. Midnight Sun Marathon – Tromsø, Norway  Alright, who doesn’t want to run in the city of Northern Lights?   Who does not want to participate in the world’s northernmost race?  Where the sun doesn’t set?  Seriously.   I have never been to Norway (Only Sweden) so I’d love to not only do this but really have a couple of weeks vacation there to tour around and take in the amazing nature they have.  Of course Norway is super expensive so not too sure how to make this one come true but The Midnight Sun Marathon stays on my Top 5 until then.
    4. Chicago Marathon  – there is no question that Chicago would be THE single most wanted US marathon that I would like to run.  Being that I lived in the area and in the city for a little over half my US life I have Chicago pretty much in my heart and soul.  This marathon I will also attempt entry via the lottery.  Fingers crossed this will be in 2019.  I am already happy that I’ve participated in the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon of Chicago and that I could support the hubs and many friends of mine last year but… the itch is there an needs to be scratched!!
    5. Valencia Half or Full Marathon  – Another Spanish race I’d like to do.  This one is in December, which seems to me like a GREAT time to head off to Spain for a week, run a race and soak up some sunshine.  Because let’s face it,  the Netherlands in the Winter is not awful but you won’t find any of us sitting on a terrace drinking a glass of viño.  After the race, of course!


I have so many more races on my list, I just keep writing them down in order of month and at some point in my life I hope to cross them all off.    What is better than traveling and running the world??


Do you have a dream race?  Where in the world would you love to run if money and time were no issue?


  1. I am from Botswana, but my mum is originally Norwegian. She moved to Botswana years and years ago. Anyway this year she turns 70 so the whole family is going to Norway to celebrate and I have booked a race! It won’t be in the north, but I figured how awesome will it be to run in my mum’s home town?! You have beautiful race dreams, hope you get round to doing them all one day.

    1. Renée says:

      OMG I think you will have an incredible trip! Running in your mum’s home town is so special! I think running anywhere in Norway would be amazing in and of itself. Enjoy your trip and take it all in!

  2. Darlene says:

    Wow! Those are some dreams!!!

    I want to race in DC, Chicago, Alska, Hawaii, Paris …actually anywhere in Europe.

    1. Renée says:

      Alaska would be amazing! I can recommend Paris, it’s still my love and my favorite!

      1. Darlene says:

        Hopefully in Oct. Fingers crossed!

  3. OMG the midnight sun marathon in Norway sounds so incredible! Go to that one :P

    1. Renée says:

      I will DEFINITELY do that one, probably not this year though. It’s in June and my parents will be in Spain then so we are going to go to Malaga. I can’t afford Spain and Norway in one month unfortunately!

  4. kookyrunner says:

    Eventhough I had a bad race experience in Chicago, i would totally recommend it it. The course is so flat and the organization of the race was awesome!

    I’d love to do the London Marathon one day.

  5. Lots of great BIG races!!!! My “racecations” are within driving distances (4-6 hours tops).

    1. Renée says:

      hey still a racecation!! we have driven as well – 6 hours to Paris and 8 to Berlin. When we ran Millau we actually split it into two days driving since is so far south in France.

  6. These all look awesome, but I’m drawn to Norway. I have Norwegian descent, so that country has special significance (and the sweet treats would be delicious!).

    1. Renée says:

      wouldn’t it be awesome to go to the country of your forefathers and RUN???

  7. I would love to run any International Marathon. I think that would be quite an experience.

    1. Renée says:

      beware of easy addiction! I LOVE running internationally!

  8. Rachel says:

    I really, really want to do the Norway one with you. Like SO BAD. Is Norway really expensive?

    1. Renée says:

      that would be AWESOME Rachel! but it can be very expensive! I think most important in Norway is to stay cheap and be able to buy your own groceries. Eating out and Drinking (especially alcohol) is really pricey. The reason for this is that Norwegians are paid for what they are worth, they have a socialised system and are heavily taxed for this reason. They get a lot of benefits though so I don’t think they would “complain” as much as someone outside of Norway. So yeah. If I were to go (and I WILL at some point) I’d probably do a lot of research for Airbnb or regular B&B / Pensions so that I can prepare my own food most of the time.

      Sweden is also expensive, but we managed ok for a weekend, but the hotel was really pricey (they had THE.BEST.SMORGASBORD breakfast ever though, so there is that…)

  9. thefauxrunner says:

    LOVE the list of races you have! I’m in :)

    1. Renée says:

      yes!! now I have TWO running partners to help me tick off the list ;)

  10. Such a cool line up of races! My list of travel races is long – I think any international race would be a blast!

    1. Renée says:

      My actual list is also long and getting longer ! If you are going to dream, dream big!

  11. agsignor says:

    These races look AMAZING. I think I’d have to vote Norway if you could only do one. What an awesome experience that would be!

    1. Renée says:

      it would be amazing wouldn’t it???

  12. Wendy says:

    I thought you ran Chicago, but I guess I was thinking of RnR. I love all your other races, btw…maybe I’ll have to come out of “retirement”.

    1. Renée says:

      ah no, Ron did of course but I’ve “only” done the RnR half :) still great to run it ! I think I will always try to do at least one marathon a year (if my body is willing) to tick off the “must do’s” on my list. So if you really found something you want to do, you could come out of retirement :) all up to you!

  13. I agree, nothing better than traveling and running!

    1. Renée says:

      such a different way to see a new place!

  14. Coco says:

    Wow, you are dreaming big! I’m not a marathoner but these might entice me ….

    1. Renée says:

      Hey I’d travel for a Half so…

  15. runswithpugs says:

    I am a huge racecationer! I love travel and I love running, so it just makes sense. There are so many great races out there in the big, wide world. I hope you get to cross them all off your list!

  16. I ran Chicago last year, which was my first marathon. I’m so glad that I chose Chicago as my first full. I cannot day enough great things about my experience, and I had such a great time that I’ll be running Chicago again this year.

  17. Wow the Norway Marathon looks awesome. I say make these races a priority, no matter the expense! Start a plan to get yourself to the ones you really want to do, even if doing it is more of a long term goal. We’ll never regret the money we spend on amazing experiences!

  18. Ana says:

    This all sound amazing!! My sister wants her first marathon to be the RnR Madrid, and invited me… but I am a little scared of it.

  19. Wow, you have some awesome races! Chicago is great so I hope you get in for next year. RnR Chicago is OK since it is always so hot. I would love to run The Boston Marathon.

  20. Love this! Those all look like gorgeous destination races! I lived in the Chicago burbs for 10 years and miss running there! (Well not in the winter, haha).
    My dream races are in Maui, Ireland and Italy.

    1. Renée says:

      I lived in the burbs and the city for a little over half my US life! but I never ran and I can’t imagine running there in the winter! You also have great destinations for dream races!

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