Friday, February 21, 2014

I race so I can travel, I travel so I can race

This week I have seen many posts on the topic of planning travel around races. I'm not sure why there is a surge on this topic right now but since I saw so many questions posted, I figured I would weigh in.

So do I plan trips around races? Ummm hell yeah! I also plan races around trips. I chose my very first marathon based on the fact that I was going to be traveling to Bosnia and Croatia. I was lucky enough to find out by doing some research that there was a marathon in Plitvice National Park in Croatia in early June while I would be there. This past summer when Emir and I wanted to race again in Croatia, we planned our trip over there based on when Plitvice was being held. We opted to go early in the summer so we could run the race instead of later in the summer. 

Plitvice Marathon June 2011

Plitvice Marathon 2013
Also, last year we planned a trip to Roanoke after Emir won entry into the Blue Ridge Marathon. This year we will be making the journey down there again as I am an official race blogger and Emir won entry (again!). Even better is this year it looks as though it will be a family trip! My mom, my uncle, maybe my sister and the kids will be coming as well to support us while we try to conquer the double Blue Ridge. Yes, we will be starting at 2:30 AM so we can finish our first time through "America's Toughest Road Marathon" in time to start the official race at 7:30 with everyone else. Most likely we never would have gone to Roanoke ever let alone go on a trip with a bunch of family members if we hadn't been going there to run a race. 
Blue Ridge Marathon April 2013
Finishing together at Blue Ridge

As you may remember, last month we went to Key West. Yes of course we wanted to go back because that's where we were married 10 years ago however the main reason we planned that trip was so I could run the half marathon. If I hadn't won entry to that race, we definitely would not have gone on that trip. 

Key West Half Marathon January 2014

And of course, if you know me, you know that Emir and I labored long and hard to figure out a trip for our 10 year anniversary this spring. It was not even an option to plan a trip that didn't include a race. In the very beginning, we tried to base it on location (key west) but that wasn't working out. In the end, we just searched for a race that really peaked our interest. Once we found Born To Run, we knew running our first 100K and a trip to California was the way we wanted to celebrate 10 years. BTW did I mention that last May we spent a long weekend in Bear Mountain, New York to celebrate our 9 year anniversary? Yup you guessed it! We went there so we could run our first 50K.  

Bear Mountain 50K May 2013

Bear Mountain at the Finishline

We haven't been running incredibly long however already running has had a huge influence in our lives including where we travel. Definitely, we would not have taken any other trips beside our usual Bosnia/Croatia excursion to visit family the last couple years if it wasn't for running. And we would most likely never have gone to these places ever if it wasn't for running. Even our anniversary trip, most likely would have been way different if we weren't ultra runners. If we were planning this trip 4 or 5 years ago, it most likely would have been to some all-inclusive resort on an island somewhere. Instead we will run our 100K and then spend a week exploring national parks and the grand canyon. And you know what? I wouldn't want it any other way. I literally cannot wait!
I love running and I love traveling

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