Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TravelingMom

Arriving at the airport for the Ragnar Relay Race in Washington, D.C.
Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TravelingMom

Running is on the rise and its popularity is expected to keep growing in 2014. Races are not just for “serious” athletes. More and more moms are lacing up their running shoes and meeting at the starting line. 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, marathons and even triathlons are filled with women looking to get fit and have fun. Traveling can add to the thrill of a race and is often the perfect excuse for a family vacation, girls getaway, or some solo time just for you.

If you’re thinking about joining in on the fun, there are a few running and travel logistics you need to consider before register for a race. Here are three tips to help you pick destination races for the New Year.

1. Determine the Distance
You need to determine the distance of the race and the place. Decide how far you want to run and travel. Are you going to do a shorter race, a mud run or are you going for the big M – the mighty marathon? You also need to consider how far you want to travel to get to that race; and how you’re planning to get there. Keep in mind a long car ride immediately after a long run may not be the best option if you like your legs.

The Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K in Negril, Jamaica. Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TravelingMom

The Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K in Negril, Jamaica. Photo by: Lorraine Robertson / Marathon TravelingMom

2. Think About Timing
How long is it going to take you to train for the race? If you’ve been running regularly you might be able to pack up and go quickly, but pending on the race distance you may need three months for shorter runs and four to six months to prepare for longer distances. Also, when is the race? Take into account the time of year you’ll be running and traveling. The weather is an important consideration for both; and so is peak and off-peak times. If the race is close to a holiday, how will prices and availability affect your travel?

3. Running with the Pack
The size of the race is always something to consider. Do you want a smaller more intimate race or are you looking to run with big crowds? Races range from 50 to 50,000 participants and anywhere in between. You’ll also need to decide if you’re traveling solo, with friends or bringing your family along to cheer you on. The type of race, location, timing, and things available to experience during your trip can help decide who you invite along for the ride.

Until next time …