Fit Five Friday – 5 Reasons to run a “foreign” race
WEEKEND! And boy, do I need it!
Welcome to the Fit Five Friday
Thanks for joining the link-up! We have FIVE amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, and Zenaida!
Today I want to chat with you about —
Five Reasons to run a “Foreign” Race
Ok, so basically I’ve put “foreign” in quotes because I live in a tiny country and have done plenty of races here, BUT it’s also really easy to travel just a couple of hours from here and be in another country. If you live in a big country, then you can just apply this to anything out of state, county or province.
It’s not just to have a goal, there is excitement added
For some of us it’s already quite exciting to run our local, cherished races. Some of us don’t NEED the added excitement or we can’t take too much time out for the event. However, if you do have time (days off) and the gumption to travel, it’s definitely exciting to run somewhere new and different.
Traveling to Run takes planning but is FUN!
Sure, wherever you may be going you probably have to make some special arrangements. Hotel, possibly, maybe even airfare. And you have to be sure to have your perfect race day kit with you! It’s the worst if you forget you game day shorts or your favorite pair of Goodrs! However, if you are going with someone or meeting up with your favorite bloggers (for example) there is much fun to be had at a “foreign” race!
New Sights, New Sounds
Imagine you book a race in a place you’ve always wanted to go to… Iceland, Italy, Greece… there are so many places in the world where you can participate in a race! Normal travel means doing all the tourist things that literally everyone else does but when you run a race you are seeing it in a completely different way! Obviously if you are traveling far then I’d personally suggest you take more time to actually do some tourist things, but AFTER the race. Active recovery, am I right??
Oh and did you know that cheering the runners on sounds different in different countries? It’s invigorating to hear “Forza!” in Italy or “Courage!” in French or even “Zet ‘m op!” in The Netherlands! The vibe is pretty much the same, the encouragements just sound different.
Races are on Sundays, you can parkrun on Saturday
Who doesn’t love a little shake out run before a big race? parkrun is THE perfect place on a Saturday to gather with other runners who are most likely participating in the race the next day. Start building up the excitement the day before with automatic friends!
(You must have known I’d throw parkrun in there – ha!)
Yep. I said it. You ran the Paris Marathon? Comrades in South Africa? The Midnight Sun Marathon in Norway? You’ve definitely earned the right to brag about that!
It’s not always easy, but there’s always a good or crazy story afterwards
When you travel to a foreign race, you are dealing with a lot of unknowns. What will the aid stations look like? Will there be anyone there who speaks my language? What if I’m injured during the race? Will I be able to find something to fuel properly beforehand?
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking the leap. And usually there is ALWAYS something good, wild or crazy to talk about afterwards!
What “foreign” races have you run? If none which ones would you like to do that might be a bit of a leap for you?
We will be running Stavanger Half Marathon in August this year as part of our training for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve never been to Norway before so I’m really excited about this!
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I LOVE race-cations.. However due to time and $ most of mine are in the US. But even so, everything you said is true. local races are fine… but race-cations take a lot of planning but worth it in the end. So much more exciting to run in a new place.
I’ve run RnR Montreal and Les 20km de Paris. I absolutely loved running in Paris. I hope to repeat that or in another part of France.
I know you love your race-cations!! Definitely let me know if you are anywhere near me again and I will join you! If you want a super challenging, hilly race in France I can recommend the Course du Viaduc de Millau !
I did do a Ragnar in Toronto/Niagara Falls that was a blast. And-I was supposed to do the London landmark race the year it was cancelled. Hope I get to run a race in Europe one of these days!
Ragnars are so much fun anyway right/?! Were you able to defer your London race or do you have to enter again? You should definitely let me know if you are running a race there or on the Continent; even if I can’t join you running I could come and cheer you on!
I’d love to do some international races. I especially want to do London, Berlin and Tokyo for the majors.
I’ve only done Berlin of those three but I really recommend it! Berlin is an AMAZING city and the course is nice and flat and fast. plus the crowds are just SO good – so much energy to get you around the course.
I’ve never run a race in a different country, but in the old days (before kids) I used to do races in different states. Yes, race-cations are fun! I’m envious of you being able to easily travel around Europe.
Traveling to different states to run is pretty much the same as what I have here! maybe it just sounds more exciting ha! For reference Berlin is a 6 hour drive as is Paris for us – so in a way it’s like driving from where you are halfway to Louisiana. It’s all relative.
Montreal is the only “foreign” race I’ve run. It actually was interesting that almost no one at the expo spoke English!
I’ve never traveled to a different country to race, although I have a friend who has quite a bit. I’m not sure I’d really want to tackle that after some of her tales! Not speaking the language can really be difficult.
We actually always put the vacation part first. Luckily it’s worked for me.
Would love to do Parkrun someday!
I think it’s also important personally to not put too much weight into “racing” an international race. The less weight you put on the race, the less complicated (and less emotions) it will be. But sure language is a challenge – luckily in many countries English is spoken and you can get by. And I wouldn’t do a race that I felt like I couldn’t communicate at all with the local race organisation. So you do have to be slightly picky based on your comfort level. We also generally won’t enter any race in a place we didn’t want to visit In the first place. And let’s say we don’t have a race, at least we will check for parkrun because at least you know the formula is the same all over the world!
I would love to run an international race – definitely a bucket list item for me!
you’ll have to let me know when you do so that I can join you!
My ultra was about 13 hours drive so we made sure to add a few days to really make a holiday of it. And it was amazing to just be in a new place. I love travelling to new places for races and hopefully with “normal” almost back, we will be able to return to that life again! You will LOVE Norway – I’m half Norwegian though so I may be a bit biased!