I’m taking a Racecation this weekend. Well, actually it’s a Staycation with a Racecation added. I’m running my 8th (or so) Peachtree Road Race here in Atlanta. Meet me under the SeriousRunning.com banner for a tasty cold beverage to begin your Racecation off right. Word.
I came up with the word “Racecation” from a conversation in 140 characters or less I had on Twitter with @Josiegal44. This 4th of July she is traveling to Hawaii and will be running a 10K. We’ve all heard of destination races, but what makes a race a destination race, the race or the destination? How do you decide if a race deserves a Racecation? Here’s a couple of things you should consider:
Destination: This is the most important factor for a Racecation. You want to go to a place that has a lot to offer for the non-racing portion of your trip. The race can’t be your only focus on a Racecation; otherwise you should just call it a race. Try to use a race as an excuse to visit a place that you have never been before. There are many cities in the United States that I would love to check out but don’t know anyone who lives there; therefore I have no excuse to go, like Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Detroit. So exotic. Use a race as an excuse to check out somewhere exotic. I used college as an excuse to go live in Los Angeles from Atlanta. That seemed to work out pretty well for everybody. Got a little extra chedda? Go International. There are marathon races everywhere from Dubai to Costa Rica. And you thought bootleg DVDs was the only reason to leave the country.
Race Experience: You can go to a great destination but there is a chance you could run 26.2 miles on the outskirts of town. You want to make sure the “race” portion of your Racecation is a great experience. Some races have a more lively atmosphere than others at the finish, but I would focus more on the race route. Take a Racecation on a race course that travels through different parts of a city or by national monuments. Running is the best way to check out a city you’ve never been to before…other than maybe riding a double decker bus…on the top deck of course.
Race Distance: You can take a Racecation for any distance race but I would recommend it be a distance that is an accomplishment for you. It can be as low as a half-marathon or as high as an ultra-marathon, the point is, make your Racecation a race distance that is difficult for you. Once you finish the race, having accomplish your difficult goal, the rest of the Racecation will be that much more enjoyable!
Cost of Travel: Just like any vacation, you need to take into account the marginal benefits to the marginal cost of your Racecation. If you can drive to a great Racecation instead of flying across the country and get close to the same experience then that is probably your best bet. Don’t overextend yourself, that’s how the economy got in this mess.
Party: Make sure you find a destination that is party. I suggest wearing your finishers medal and singing Right Said Fred’s, ‘I’m Too Sexy” at a karaoke bar the evening after your race for extra legitness. The celebration of eating or drinking as much as you want the night after a long race is not something to take lightly. Make sure you are in a destination to take full advantage of this. Although, make sure the destination is not too party. A friend recently asked me if I wanted to run the Las Vegas Marathon and I said, “Only if I can find a flight that lands 2 hours before the race so I can go directly to the start line. It’s Vegas bro. I can’t go to bed early the night before a race in Veg.” Rule number one to being a serious runner: knowing your limits. Rule number two to being a serious runner: say cool words like “bro” and “Veg.” Abbreviations are so hip.
Friends and Family: Try to involve your friends and family in your Racecation. See if anyone wants to travel and/or run the race with you. Racecations are a great excuse to bring a group of friends together to take a trip. Think about where you have family or close friends that you want to visit. Not only will you have built in race supporters but also maybe a cheap place to stay. Just remember to bring your own alarm clock.
So take a Racecation this long weekend. You deserve it! If you’re Racecationing at the Peachtree Road Race, stop by the SeriousRunning.com banner and racecate with me.