There are about a million different reasons to run races. Some people need a goal in order to stay motivated to exercise. Others like the post-race activities. And then, of course, there are those who just love to run and use races as an excuse to challenge themselves to keep improving.
A good friend of mine, however, has a different reason for racing—travel. She finds races in cities where her friends live (or that she just wants to visit), and off she goes. It keeps her training year-round and gives her a great excuse to see friends and family all across the country.
She’s always inviting me to go, and one of these days, the right race in the right city will come along, and I’ll join her. But in the meantime, it got me thinking about races in really great destinations that I’d love to do. Here are a few of those destination races!
1. Reggae Marathon. In what we can only imagine has to be one of the most laid-back races on the planet, Negril, Jamaica hosts the Reggae Marathon, half-marathon and 10K on December 4. As expected, there’s a party following the races on Saturday, but we love that there’s also a “Village Bash” on Friday. Hey, not every race can be a PR, you know.
2. The Cayman Islands Marathon. When does 26.2 miles not feel like 26.2 miles? When you’re running on one of the loveliest islands in the Caribbean, of course! The Cayman Islands Marathon, taking place December 5, offers not only the full race, but also a half-marathon and a four-person relay, which really caught my eye. What better excuse to round up your partner and another couple (or just a group of fit girlfriends) and head down to the islands? And, you know, the calories in tasty, frozen beach drinks don’t count when you’re lying on the beach, recovering from a race. That’s a fact, right?
3. Bermuda Race Weekend. The 36th Annual International Bermuda Race Weekend takes place January 14-16 and features several events. Friday offers the Invitational Mile, and on Saturday, you can do either the 10K run or the 10K walk. On Sunday, you have the option of the marathon or half-marathon. And, if you a race all three days, you’ll be taking on the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, which not only earns you serious bragging rights but also an additional medal.
4. Marathon Bahamas. Not only is this race weekend set in one of the most beautiful locations imaginable, but it’s also a Boston qualifier and a Komen 5K—talk about mixing business with pleasure! Like the aforementioned races, Marathon Bahamas has a variety of options. There’s the 5K Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure on Saturday, January 15, with the marathon, half-marathon and six-person relay taking place on Sunday.
5. Walt Disney World Marathon. Don’t forget the marathon that FBG Tish and Jenn ran—the Disney World Marathon! While there are no beaches or tropical drinks to be sipped, you still get an excuse to act like a kid, run like fiend and wear Mickey Mouse ears!
Have you participated in a destination race? What was it? —Kristen