Racecations are gaining popularity and are the perfect way to get motivated in your fitness training and then stay active while on holiday, especially when there are so many bucket list marathons and triathlons these days happening all over the world.
We sat down with a serial ‘racecationer’ Ed Shattock who recently completed his final leg (pun intended) of the Six World Marathon Majors, a series of the world’s most renowned marathons in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.
According to Ed, running an international marathon is the perfect way to see a city. He says that routes are usually planned carefully to incorporate key landmarks, so a marathon often becomes a free, if slightly tiring, sightseeing tour.
“My wife and I ran the Chicago marathon recently as part of our honeymoon (no idea how I convinced her!). No need to be fast or experienced, they are open to all and the perfect way to see the world!”
Ed had some great insight on how to choose your next racecation destination and talked about how they’ve helped him never stop travelling:
Besides the obvious health benefits of travelling for fitness - why do you enjoy travelling for marathons?
Running an international marathon is the perfect way to see a city. Routes are usually planned carefully to incorporate key landmarks.
New York is a great example as the marathon passes through all 5 boroughs, crosses major bridges and ends in Central Park. I still remember running over the Verrazano Bridge out of Staten Island and looking left to see Manhattan in the distance way back in 2006. All I could hear was the sound of 1000s of other runners’ feet hitting the road as we descended into Brooklyn.
I also really enjoy the sense of achievement when completing 26.2 miles [42.2 kilometers], especially with friends or family. I’ve run marathons with my wife, sister and several close friends.
Do you pick the race first or the destination? Why?
Both! I’ve picked certain marathons because they’re renowned in the running community, for example, Boston which requires a qualifying time to enter, and others as an excuse to visit, e.g. Tokyo.
My wife and I ran Chicago marathon recently as part of our honeymoon (no idea how I convinced her!), which also marked my completion of the 6 World Marathon Majors after a 10-year journey from the London start line in 2006 (with a few other marathons in between).
There are so many great marathons these days, big and small, that there’s bound to be something that suits you. No need to be fast or experienced, they are open to all and the perfect way to see the world!
Do you find that by having a race to train for that you have to travel to, it gives you more motivation to train harder?
YES! I train harder for races in other countries because I want to do the experience justice. There’s nothing worse than signing up, not putting the training in and then struggling around the course on the day. As a friend always says, the marathon itself should be a celebration of your training.
As someone who has completed all 6 of the World Marathon Majors - which was your favourite and what were some of the highlights of these events?
Boston and Tokyo are my favourites. Boston for its history and atmosphere, Tokyo for the support and enthusiasm from runners and the crowds alike. Both are great cities too and have delicious food to offer a hungry runner afterwards.
That said, Chicago probably felt the most special given I ran it with my wife and London will always be my home marathon, so has a special place in my heart. In fact, all six are so good!
Marathons to choose from for your next racecation in 2018/19
New York City Marathon: November 4th 2018 (lottery opens January 2018)
Athens Authentic Marathon: November 11th 2018
Great Wall Marathon: May 19th 2018
Dublin Marathon: October 28th 2018
Rome Marathon: April 8th 2018
Great Ocean Road Marathon: May 19th 2018