Three Dream Running Vacations
While most non-runners often view a vacation as an opportunity to take a break from everything, including physical activity, die hard runners see it as exactly the opposite. An opportunity to explore on the run. So if your idea of a dream holiday includes pre-dawn miles on the beach, discovering new places on foot, and post-run naps, massages and recovery smoothies, then this post is for you. Here are three dream running vacations that will literally make your mouth water.
Caribbean Running Cruise
Hold on to your horses, because this is one for the bucket list. John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield, through their company called Marathon Expeditions, have created what is referred to as “the ultimate running vacation”. And with good reason. Their Caribbean Running Cruise is the stuff that running dreams are made of. This all-inclusive cruise (the next one is scheduled for February 2017) includes a running/walking adventure on each of six Caribbean Islands, on-ship strength and stretch workouts lead by Hadfield, a humorous talk by Bingham, an awards ceremony, plus a gong of a cruise medal.
The six island adventures consist of the following:
- A 5K friendship run in San Juan, followed by a welcome party
- A 4 mile run in breathtaking St. Croix
- A 5K or 10K run on the beaches of St. Maarten
- A 5K or 10K hash run/walk in Barbados
- A 4 mile pirate amazing race in St. George, Grenada
- An active excursion on the island of Dominica
The cruise prides in catering for all levels of runners and walkers. It also promises to help you build new friendships and memories for life. It’s definitely one for the books!
And if running around a tropical paradise isn’t your idea of, well, paradise, then don’t fret. Marathon Expeditions also offer running cruises to Alaska, Hawaii and Italy, all of which are equally bucket list worthy.
Running the Rift
If you prefer something a little more off the beaten track, then Running the Rift in East Africa may be just for you. This Ugandan running experience made its hugely successful debut in 2016 and will take place again in November 2017. Its itinerary includes the following:
- Exploring the markets of Fort Portal on foot
- An acclimatisation jog around local African villages
- Your choice of a 10K, half-marathon or full-marathon race distance with spectacular views of the Rift Valley and Rwenzori Mountains
- An awards ceremony, medal giving and after-party
- Active participation in the Kyaninga Child Development Centre’s Sports Day in Fort Portal
- An optional safari in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, famed for its elephants, hippos, lions and buffaloes
Race participants have the option of staying in either the luxurious Kyaninga Lodge overlooking the Kyaninga Lake and Rwenzori Mountains, or Kalya Courts Hotel, which offers wifi and hot, running water.
Previous participants of Running the Rift describe it as a life-changing event – so why not go ahead and give it a shot?
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend’s Dopey Challenge
If squeezing as much running as possible into a long weekend sounds like your kind of thing, then the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend’s Dopey Challenge is just for you. The challenge kicks off with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend’s official 5K race on the Thursday morning. This is followed by the official 10K on the Friday, the half-marathon on the Saturday, and the full marathon on the Sunday. All of this is, of course, interspersed with visits to an impressive event expo. The expo boasts a host of running-related exhibitors, as well as a spectacular line-up of well-known event speakers. Any runner’s dream!
Registered challenge participants receive one of Run Disney‘s trademark impressive medals for each of the race distances successfully completed. Competitors then also receive an additional Dopey Challenge medal for completing all four races. And although all of this comes with quite a hefty price tag, devoted Run Disney fans keep coming back for more.
The next (sold out) Dopey Challenge is scheduled for January 2017. But be warned that the challenge sells out in the blink of an eye, so keep an eye on Run Disney’s blog if you plan on registering for a future Dopey Challenge.
So whether you’re one of the lucky ones who’s able to make one of these dream running vacations a reality, or just shopping around for bucket list ideas for now, these are sure to get you thinking. Add one of them to your short- or long-term to-do list now!