The good news for endurance sports and massive expansion around the globe offers great alternatives to consider for experiencing a destination race. We can expect the expansion to continue as more athletes globally become involved in the sport – and further exposure in the media and through word of mouth attracts more athletes to join in the challenge.
Athletes who love to travel, especially to some places “off the beaten path,” you can leverage the events being held in so many wonderful countries to do some amazing sightseeing. I suggest you plan some vacation time in and around the race events held in the various countries to really experience the culture and scenery. Consider Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, in Eastern Europe as a nice change. Many race directors will also plan group excursions or provide advice on must-see attractions and landmarks in specific cities or countries.
Athletes, for whom international travel is not the norm, may feel trepidation and nervousness about leaving the country – especially if they plan to travel solo. First, if you are new to the sport with no international travel experience, make sure you get a passport. Now let me assuage any fears you may have. I know you might be worries about language barriers, cultural differences or even political
problems, but let me be the first to reassure you by experience, it will be fine. Embrace the traveling experience. Many times I mention to other athlete’s considering traveling to a destination race that, “ You just have to go with the flow.” Everything will work out but you need to be open-minded and flexible.
Many race directors take personal responsibility by working with their staff to ensure your safety and comfort. They will coordinate airport pick up and drop off at the proper venues, including car rental locations and hotels.
These international events build a community of interest and create long-lasting friendships. This family atmosphere is common at almost every event I’ve ever attended – and every athlete is a part of that greater family that includes directors and volunteers.
More information to come with the next post!
By Wayne Kurtz
Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report, he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’