Tuesday, February 7, 2017

4 Reasons You Should Reward Yourself With a Destination Race

Unless you live in a warm, tropical climate, you've probably grown tired of winter. Although our winter this year hasn't been bad, the gray and browns are wearing on my senses. I continue to run outside, knowing that spring will come and I'll be rewarded with that pop of color that comes with the change of seasons.

I'm not a patient person and so I like to do some traveling in the spring. I like to tie in a race with my trips if I can. It's fun to run in a new place! I look at it as my reward for training through the toughest time of year to run.




When I post pictures of my winter runs, I try really hard to make them look appealing. In reality, it's not very pretty where I live and run. Most of the time when I'm running, I'm lost in my head. But sometimes when the run is tough, I look around and think--ugh! Why do I live here? Besides the gray, cold weather, my neighborhood is like an island surrounded by 4 heavily traveled roads. The trash along these roads is epic. While I spend a lot of time running along these roads, I rarely take pictures there unless I find something really interesting. I much prefer to focus on what beauty I can find along the way!



Obviously, the best reason to run a destination race is the chance to run in a beautiful place! It's also a good excuse for a vacation. When I ran Big Sur, my husband and I made a "not a second honeymoon"--his words, not mine-- out of it and traveled to Yosemite and San Francisco.

Still one of my favorite pictures from this trip. And yes, that is the actual race route behind me.
Destination races can be a fun way to meet other runners you've connected with through social media. I don't think I've been to a far away race without meeting up with at least one runner I've gotten to know through my blog.

The #holottafun girls from our Panama City Beach Half Marathon Weekend this past December
Training in an ugly place takes on a new meaning when you're preparing for a destination race. The race is the reward for putting in the time on the road. Even if the race doesn't go well, hey, you still got to run somewhere beautiful!

Or you can reward yourself with a stylish ride to and from the race!
This was at the Florida Beach Halfathon in 2014.
Not a great race for me but I'd do it again.
Your family might want to come with you. My family has long since tired of my races. But I bet if I ran in Hawaii or somewhere equally as beautiful, they'd want to come with!

Do you need an idea for a destination race? How about the Utah Valley Marathon or Half Marathon? This fast downhill marathon is a Boston Qualifier. The race course runs down into the Provo canyon along the Provo river, with views of Bridal Veil falls. This year is their 10th anniversary and runners get a commemorative race jacket! Taking the Long Way Home Book Club author Cory Reese raves about this marathon in his book, Nowhere Near First. 
photo courtesy of the Utah Valley Marathon
I was offered a free entry to the race, but my heart broke a little because I realized that I can't go! The race takes place June 10, the week before I run Grandmas Marathon in Duluth. So many races, so little time! I'm hoping to run this one next year.

Did I mention the course is a net downhill?
photo courtesy of the Utah Valley Marathon
Do you want to run the Utah Valley Marathon? The half? The 10k? Good luck and send pictures! I'll be having serious FOMO that day.

photo courtesy of the Utah Valley Marathon
If you want to run this race, use my code wr15 to save 15% off any race distance! Send pictures!

Disclaimer: I was given a discount code in exchange for this blog post. Its is an affiliate link.

What destination races have you run? Do you have any must run races on your list?

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run; Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel for Coaches' Corner, and Annemarie, Nicole, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday. Good Luck everyone!




a Rafflecopter giveaway



97 comments :

  1. I"d LOVE to do this one in Utah. We were planning to go to Utah for the 4th, and I was looking for a race there, then, but if I won this, maybe we'd just go earlier! In addition to Utah, I'd love to do one in Hawaii:)

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    1. I'm hoping to do this one next year!! Good luck!

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  2. I love Destination races! I wish i could do them more often

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  3. This might be a must-do in 2018 ;-) I've raced in California, Florida, extreme northern Minnesota (Grandmas 2015), and Tulsa. I'm ready for another adventure...

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    1. I'm already planning on it, so let's do it!

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  4. I have really been enjoying winter running this year .. I know it helps that there have only been a couple BITTER days...

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  5. Key West, Paris and too many others to mention.

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    1. Too many races, too little time! And $$.

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  6. I'm always up for an adventure! I don't think I can pick ONE must run destination. There are too many awesome places to choose from. And sometimes, it's the people you run with and not the destination itself that makes a great experience. Just sayin'.

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    1. It's the truth! It's all about the people you're with.

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  7. Big Sur, San Francisco, Colorado, Vancouver....basically anywhere with mountains. Can you tell I live in Florida?
    I have mountain envy!

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  8. Ooopsie, you just reminded me I didn't put a disclaimer on my own post -- I have to edit AGAIN. Ah well.

    I really don't have bucket list races. I have a few that swirl around in my head, but often an opportunity (like UVM) comes up & I go in a different direction. You will be missed!

    And often the conversation just starts: is there anywhere you want to go? Most of the time I don't get feedback, but if I do, then I start looking at races. :)

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    1. I'm disappointed I can't go to Utah but we've got a little tribe going to Duluth!

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  9. I hope you can make it to Utah next year but we'll still miss you this June. I'm used to nobody wanting to go with me on my running junkets. Turns out my entire family wants to head to Berlin in September. Like that's going to happen.

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  10. Utah is getting more and more tempting...I am definitely doing more destination races this year and it's really exciting! Running in California is still my dream destination!

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    1. Big Sur was mine...I do have some back up dreams, tho! This one would be fun!

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  11. Andrew and I ran Phoenix RnR last year in January and it was everything. I'd go to Arizona to get my pubes lit on fire if that's what it meant to go somewhere hot. Our winter is awful this year and there's no end in sight.

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    1. I'm so sorry! Are you going to go anywhere warm?

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    2. I'm sure we'll head down to AZ eventually, sometime between now and summertime!

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  12. So sorry you can't make it to the race. A net downhill makes it an appealing course!

    I have 2 race-cations planned for Spring already but one is actually in March so I don't know how much "color" there will be.

    Regardless of where you live and run, I think it's important to find beauty. I don't live in a big city and some people might stick their nose up at my town but we have beautiful rivers, lakes, parks, running paths, etc and I find beauty in it all.

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    1. Yeah, I try to seek out the little oases around here. There isn't a lot of beauty where I live so I have to make do.

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  13. i usually get one destination race a year and it's with my Ragnar Relay team and always includes my three best running friends. Last year was Hawaii and was so awesome! This year won't be as exotic..just to Colorado but good times and my sister gets to go too!

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    1. Hawaii would be on the top of my list!

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  14. I'm all for destination races - doing one this weekend, as a matter of fact! :)

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  15. I bet that is a beautiful course. Utah is such a pretty state. I don't race so I don't do destination races (obviously) but I do like "destination running". I am dreaming about what running will bring next week while we are in Mexico! So fun to explore a new area.

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  16. I'm entering every day for this free entry! If I can only get flights lined up that won't break the bank!

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    1. I hope you win but I'll be sad that I won't be there with you! It will be like a #holottafun reunion...

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  17. Destination races are my favorite. Wish I could enter this!

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  18. Every winter I wonder why we live here too...although it's not as bad as it could be, weather wise. It just makes it tough to be a runner! I'd love to do more travel destination races. It's not easy right now with two young girls but as they get older I hope to do more of them. Entering Utah just in case! :-)

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    1. I hope you win! But I'm going next year, so there's that...

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  19. We've done more cycling racecations, but I always get some running in, too. Santa Cruz was a favorite!

    I would love to run the Athens marathon - we were there last year and it's such a cool place, plus running the original marathon route would be pretty amazing!

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    1. I've always thought that Athens would be fun!

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  20. San Francisco is on my list and this one keeps calling my name!

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    1. I love SF but not for running! Too many hills!

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  21. Am I the only one to see those pictures of Utah Valley's downhill who thinks "Ouch"? That's what I don't get about all the downhill Utah marathons. Unless you're actually training on those steep grades and used to it, you're not going to do well. I've found that races mimicking my local training routes (rolling hills) are best for me to do well.

    As for destination races, I'm lucky enough to live in a place flush with destination races. When I go out of the area, I look for flat and fast because it's something we don't have around here. My favorite marathons so far: Rails to Trails (Norwalk, WI) which goes through a couple of railroad tunnels; and Green Bay which makes a lap around the inside of Lambeau Field before finishing. :)

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    1. No, I though ouch too! For me the hardest part of Big Sur was the downhills. I hope everyone prepares for the downhills of Utah!.

      I'm going to look into Rails to Trails. That sounds awesome!

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    2. It's dirt and crushed limestone so it's a lot easier on your body too. Here's my race report from that run in 2010: http://ariavie.blogspot.com/2010/11/rails-to-trails-marathon.html

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  22. I have never been to Utah and would love to get out of my comfort zone and travel more. If I could pick one destination race it would probably be RNR Dublin Ireland 🇮🇪. I've always wanted to visit the country where my ancestors came from and what a better way to get to know the country than to RUN it!

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    1. Marcia ran RnR Dublin last year and she couldn't say enough about it!

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  23. Oh wow, I haven't done a destination race in a while, but would change that for Utah!

    I've definitely done my fair share, most in Florida - there is a really fun Halloween Half Marathon in Miami, plus the Miami marathon - and for a beautiful run, try the Space Coast Marathon - gorgeous. I've learned that if it is in a warm place - then I need to abandon time goals and just enjoy as part of vacation. I just bought a plane ticket to Paris in May and also Orlando in March to catch spring training and 100% looked to see if there were any "convenient" races either of those weekends to fit it, haha! Typical runner, right?

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    1. I always look for races when I'm traveling!

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  24. This would be an amazing race to do! Rob and I travel alot for marathons, and then stick to shorter races that are local. This year his race is in Cleveland which is not very exciting but its where he grew up, so at least we can stay with his parents. Il need to keep Utah in mind for next year or whenever my next marathon is!

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    1. I'd like to do Utah next year--so maybe we can do it together!

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  25. Love a destination race! We should be hearing soon about whether we got into Ragnar Napa Valley-fingers crossed

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    1. Now that would be fun! Wine and running, how much better could it be?

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  26. I'll be in Chicago that weekend for my son's graduation!

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    1. Well, that's a good reason not to be able to run it! :)

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  27. This is going to be such a fun run- I wish you were joining us!

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  28. Destination races are the BEST. I wish I could afford to travel to them more often! Utah looks amazing. I've never been, but I'm running the Desert Rats stage race this summer, which starts in CO and ends in UT. Can't wait!

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    1. That sounds interesting! How far? And what's a stage race?

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  29. Oh wow! I've done a few destination races but it's been awhile! That race looks amazing... if our summer wasn't already crazy I'd totally try it! Wellll... maybe not the full but another one of the races.

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  30. I entered in the giveaway! Woo hoo!

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  31. I would love love love to run in Utah but time is not on my side this year. Definitely need to find a "destination race" that is close by though....all the ones on my schedule are currently local.

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  32. I would LOVE to run Utah. Should we make it a meet up in 2018? Or wait, is that the year of Sedona...? ;)

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    1. I think that could be a plan...or Sedona...

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  33. I'm hoping to run in all 50 states. I've still never been to Utah, so that would be fun! Also, Alaska is high up on my wish list, if only because it may be the most challenging to cross off my list!

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    1. The travel logistics of getting to Alaska make it a challenge!

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  34. You know I am in! I can't wait! Wish you were coming!

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  35. Oh how I could use a race-cation right about now! This race in Utah sounds amazing! I can dream right?!

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    1. You and me both! I want to go so badly!

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  36. I hear you on there being too many races and too little time. I wish that time, and money, and time off from work, were limitless!

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  37. Any event that takes place that the beach. We like to look for events that can take care of the family while the person participating is racing. We have had snow here for months now. I need a vacation just to get my training in more comfortably!

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    1. I've done quite a few races at the beach! It's also a great place to recover after an endurance event.

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  38. I'm SOOO tempted to enter, but with all the weddings I have this year, I know I won't be able to make the trip. You're killing me, Smalls!

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    1. That just made me laugh out loud for real!!!

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  39. I hope to one day do one of the Disney races. However, I'm moving to Utah next month, so I'd love to give this race a try!

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    1. Then this would be right in your backyard!

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  40. I started running at the beginning of last year and I have gained up the courage, and stupidity, to attempt a full marathon. I have been told this one is the best marathon race in the state! I hope to win this so I can do my first full marathon. Thanks Wendy!

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    1. This would be the gateway drug to more marathons! Once you go full, you can't go...hmmm...what rhymes with that?

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  41. The hubby and I have not run a race in Utah yet! We love racecations both in the US and abroad. It really is a fun family adventure and a great way to stay healthy together.

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    1. It's so fun to combine the vacation and the race, isn't it? Then everyone is happy.

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  42. I do I do I do want to run this!

    I do live in a warm and tropical climate, but we get tired of that, too. Utah would be an amazing one to add to my 50 States goal,and I have actually never been!

    I do a lot of racecations - the farthest I've been was Philadelphia, followed by Virginia Beach. But I regularly travel to other cities, too.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. And my dream race destination is probably the NYC Marathon ;)

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    2. I've never been there either! Actually, Big Sur was my first race west of the Mississippi!

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  43. That Utah race is going in my bucket list, can't do it this year though because in he two destination races planned!

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    1. For sure, me too! I'm sad I can't fit it in this year.

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  44. I'm running halfs in Santa Barbara in May and Napa to Sonoma in July (from the Destination Races series), and I'm hoping to get into the MCM in the fall. The Utah race looks beautiful! My husband also doesn't care to go to my races, but he is somehow willing to go the ones in wine country...

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    1. I'd love to run a race in the wine country! That's where we honeymooned 29 moons ago...

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  45. Looks like we're in the same boat Wendy. Maybe we need to meet up in Utah next year ;)

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    1. Right? There's a few of us, so we should make it a plan!

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  46. I think my dream race destination would be Iceland or New Zealand!

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  47. Dang! I saw your post after I had signed up for this race. I am excited and looking forward to it. :-)

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    1. You are going to have a fantastic time!

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