Travel Tips for Race Day

Races often mean travel, especially for those of us that participate in runDisney events.  I don’t know about you, but travel often = stress in my world.  Today, Arianna is here with some great travel tips to make your race day a bit more stress free.  Aahhhh…I feel more relaxed already 🙂


As a semi-new runner, one of my favorite things to do is to switch up my surroundings for every run. Whether it’s driving to the park or turning down a new street, sometimes that small change can alter your mood as well as your workout. I’ve traveled to different cities, such as Philadelphia and Boston, for runs and have found it to be a great way to get in mini getaways with my family. Here are a few tips to ensure you have an easy transition to experience a new course in a new location! 

1.  Get on the road early!

If you’re already traveling to an unfamiliar city, to a course you’ve never run, and in an area you’ve never visited, preparation and flexibility are key. But remember: so is allowing yourself plenty of time! Traffic will be heavy, especially if everyone’s making their way into a city for a weekend race. Major roads will be blocked off for the race, so the most direct route may not be available to your hotel or your planned parking spot.  Similarly, book your hotel rooms if you’re staying overnight and get your hands on parking information as early as possible.

Keep in mind that an extra night staying at your destination can be a great rest day – you get more time to stretch your legs after a long trip, a day to get over jet lag, and at least a few hours of sightseeing. I’m looking into the Maui Marathon just for kicks – so many tropical sights to see in Hawaii.


2. Don’t let your diet day-of spoil your hard work

You (or your loved one) have spent months preparing for this race. Don’t let a lack of  nutritious “fuel food”ruin race day! Water stops and snacks along the course and at the finish line are only for race participants, so pack along a case of goodies for your friends and family cheering you on. If you know you or your travel companions will need snacks, bring along fresh fruit, a cooler full of individual yogurt servings, and protein- and Omega-rich nuts like almonds. Finally, if you want to go out for a cheat meal at one of the area’s best restaurants, make your reservations well in advance!

3. Take Care of Fido

If your pup is your constant companion and a real member of your family, I can totally sympathize with wanting to bring them along. I was on the fence about bringing Brodie (our golden retriever mix) along, so she could be a part of the experience. But the sad fact is, crowded events are not good for dogs. Especially when I traveled to Philadelphia for the Feel the Love 5K, we were able to find a local dog sitter so Brodie could come along. Instead of being a distraction for others during the race, he was being given the full attention he deserved in a low-key setting.


4.  Weather the weather

I’m in New York State, so I know a thing or two about rain and snow. A jacket or sweater is always readily available in the trunk of my car for each member of the family. The conditions are vastly different in other areas of our country – breathable, lightweight clothing would be essential at the Maui Marathon, for example, where conditions are changeable. Layers are the best way to combat the swings from cool and shady to hot and uncomfortable, depending on the terrain.

5.  Help your family be good spectators

Of course they’ll want to bring along encouraging signs and cheer for you. Wear recognizable clothing so they can see identify you in the sea of runners. Encourage them to cheer for others, too – a catchphrase like “You can do it!” works just as well with other peoples’ names tagged on the end! It’s best to avoid yelling things like, “You’re almost there!” during a race, unless you’re standing within sight of the finish line on the final stretch. The runners are paying attention to all the mile markers available to them, and distance measurements aren’t always considered encouraging.


Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at !

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1 Comment

  • Great tips! Especially agree that staying a day after a race is beneficial for a rest day. Running a long-distance race then going to drive a car for a few hours or hop on a plane with minimal movement can definitely slow down recovery or even cause blood clots.

    One of my best friend’s ran the Maui Marathon in 2012… said he loved it and is a gorgeous course, but also very hilly! Have a great time in Hawaii! :0)

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