Destination Race Vacations 2018: Hit Your Stride Early This Year!

Kick start your training in 2018 by incorporating some scenic inspiration into your next race! Running and destination race vacations are more popular than ever before, as sprinters are beginning the New Year with renewed vigor for competing. Plan a running centered getaway where you can work on your pace and develop your form while appreciating spectacular views.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete or looking for a beginner friendly race, these trips offer exciting adventures and breathtaking panoramas in some of the world’s most magnificent locations.

  1. Starting in early February, The Donna Marathon Weekend takes place in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. This action-packed weekend features a 5K, 10K, relay, half marathon, marathon, and event challenges. It draws over 10,000 runners from around the world and serves as the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer, so expect to see (and wear) plenty of pink! Learn more here: https://breastcancermarathon.com.
  2. The Vacation Races National Park Half Marathon Series doubles as the perfect family vacation, as Vacation Races is an official partner of the National Parks Service. Vacation Races hosts 11 half marathons in or centered around many of the country’s iconic national parks. Register to race in one of America’s majestic playgrounds, like Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or the Great Smokey Mountains, and cross one off your bucket list! For more information, visit: https://vacationraces.com.
  3. The Sunshine State offers another amazing race in July in beautiful Key West. Hit the pavement at sunset for the Hemingway 5K and Paddleboard Race. Run through Old Towne Key West and pass by some notable landmarks, like the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. This race event celebrates the life and work of the famed author, who lived in Key West during the 1930’s and was an avid sportsman. Learn more here: https://www.keywesthalfmarathon.com/hemingway-event-details/.
  4. Plan your next run on an awe-inspiring Alaskan cruise. The Great Alaskan Running Cruise is everything you could imagine it to be, and more. Not just for track stars – runners of all levels are welcome, and walkers are too! This all-inclusive running and walking cruise provides a week of adventure in late July, and includes on foot exploration of picturesque trails in Anchorage, a 5K and Glacier Half Marathon in Juneau, a 5K and 10K in Ketchikan, as well as an amazing race in Skagway. It would be remiss not to mention that all meals are included, and the fun begins with a celebration party, welcome dinner, and cocktail reception. Book it here: https://www.jennyhadfield.com/alaskan-running-cruise/.
  5. Looking for a more tropical getaway, but really digging the cruise idea? Set your sights on the 2018 Hawaiian Running Cruise, happening in September. This all inclusive, extraordinary running and walking cruise is jam packed with fun and adventure. Activities abound and are centered around authentic sites of five Hawaiian islands, including a run/walk half marathon in Maui, exploration of the lush trails in Kauai, hiking in the Volcanoes National Park, an awards party celebration, and more. A five-island run/walk event is designed for all levels. Enjoy a fully escorted cruise, accommodations, and meals among like-minded travelers. Learn more here: https://www.runningcruise.com/package/hawaiian-running-cruise/.
  6. If you are serious about running, but your travel companions aren’t yet up to speed, you can still book this Boston-qualifier and everyone in your party will be welcome to participate. Also known as the most walker-friendly race in America, the Portland Marathon is celebrating its 46th anniversary this year. Known as one of the best marathons in the country, it has a reputation for being the best-organized marathon in North America and is favored by first time marathoners. Perfect running temperatures accommodate this race in early October, and Portland offers amazing sights to behold. Learn more here: http://portlandmarathon.org.
  7. If you are eager to become a worldlier runner and traveller, try the Athens Marathon, which takes place in November. Like no other race on earth, participants in this race run in the footsteps of ancient gods and heroes that were responsible for creating western civilization. With the finish line in Athens’ magnificent Olympic Stadium, the birthplace of Olympic games, this momentous, once in a lifetime event will provide a memory you will treasure forever. Over 30,000 competitors from around the world participated in races here in 2013. These races include a 5K and a 10K road race, and a race walking contest. Visit: https://worldsmarathons.com/marathon/athens-classic-marathon.
  8. Just a hop, skip and a jump over the ocean, you can speed through what is known as the flattest, fastest, and friendliest half marathon in the UK. The Manchester Half Marathon takes place in October, and it offers a super fast course, great entertainment, and a cheering crowd to get you motivated! Great for beginners and for those who want to absorb some incredible British history and culture along the way. Check it out: https://worldsmarathons.com/marathon/manchester-half-marathon.

Step up your running game this year. With several races around the world to choose from, find the one that you know everyone on your team will enjoy. Take a vacation that allows you to do what you love while meeting like-minded people who are also passionate about fitness and running. Make new memories and experience a unique vacation with a destination race in 2018.

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