Race + Vacation = Racecation!
"...I have different priorities when choosing a racecation. I now have two kids and I have to consider their schedules and if the destination will be fun for my family."
When you travel to a racecation its imperative to look at your calendar and plan the times of year you want to travel. Many times a race organizer will plan a race week around a low tourism time for the destination. For example, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the 2nd week of January. Disney World noticed a low attendance rate to their park in the month of January and added the marathon to increase interest in the theme parks. The Dopey Challenge is 4 theme parks in 4 days totaling 48.6 miles. This is one of my favorite racecation races as I can run almost 50 miles and visit a Disney theme park each day.
Tips to consider when planning what race to attend:
- Weather: will it be hot or cold?
- Is it peak season?
- Ability to take time off of work
- Kids school schedule
- Ability to get cheaper hotel and/or flights
When I first started racing Ironman Triathlon races I was 23 years old. Now being older I have different priorities when choosing a racecation. I now have two kids and I have to consider their schedules and if the destination will be fun for my family. The most recent Ironman races I contemplated between Ironman Boulder and Ironman Wisconsin. Both are excellent races, but I knew that having a spectator-friendly venue would be important and easier for my family. I just recently finished Ironman Wisconsin 2019 and chose this based on the hotel's location to the main venue. We visited the expo, bike drop off, transition and welcome dinner and all were within a short walk from our hotel. My family greatly appreciates a hotel and venue that is easy for them to spot me on the course too. When we were in Madison we visited the Henry Vila Zoo and my kids absolutely loved all the animals and the activities.
Here are my top tips for families when choosing a triathlon racecation destination:
- Location to your home town
- Hotel proximity to race main venue
- Before and after activities for family
- Time of the year
- Spectator friendly
Now that you have made all the major considerations for your next racecation there are a few tips that may be helpful for your next event:
- Remember to not try anything new when you are traveling. No new food or altering your routine. This will help you have a smooth transition to your destination and race day.
- Bring your favorite race morning breakfast. This will ensure your stomach is ready for that race ahead of you. Too many athletes choose to roam around race morning for food and can't find what they need.
- Make a list days ahead of your departure this will eliminate the "I forgot to pack" scenario.
- Print out or screenshot your hotel reservation, car rental agreement, athlete briefing guide, and race registration confirmation. It's so helpful to have this paper in hand or easily accessible when traveling.
- ENJOY!! Racecations are the best activity that anyone can experience. We get to go to a new destination, experience new things, meet new athletes, and race in a new city! Training can be hard at 4AM or that long ride ahead of you, but remember that we get to go somewhere new and race is a treat in itself!
Good luck, stay safe!
Written By: Beth Hinton, Tri Sirena Siren Luminary
Follow Beth on Instagram @hintonfox
Where is your favorite place to racecation? Let us know in the comments below!