Categorized | Primary, Ultra Running Races

Racing Internationally

Posted on 24 February 2011

Have you considered adding an international endurance event to your current or future race calendar?

What locations have you traveled to – let me know your thoughts.

After a recent trip competing in a international marathon, I wanted to evaluate the overall expenses and use it for future experiences.   If you consider competing outside of your country, (which I think you should definitely experience) you might want to follow these guidelines:

Flights - check out leaving mid-week and look for the deals with the several various internet travel booking companies and the airlines directly.    There are plenty of deals!  For example, I just booked flights from the east coast of the U.S. to Europe at a lower cost than traveling across the U.S to the west coast, $500.    Look for events that are in the tourist off-season.

Baggage - Most airlines will allow for one free checked bag (expect $150 for a large bag or bike – each way) and try to consolidate overall bags – “travel light”.

Transportation - Taxi’s can be quite expensive in most cities.   Look for deals with public transportation or rental car companies (many offer weekend discounts or one day free).   If you need a GPS make sure you ask for the correct language.   I remember competing in Hungary and the GPS was in German!

Entry Fees -  The prices can be very different depending on location.  For example, check out a lower cost marathon, Ironman distance triathlon (local race) in Poland, Romania, Korea, Czech Republic, Russia, etc.

Hotels - Check out hotels that are not the “official” race hotel that are close by the start of the race.   I have found many times that the race hotels are more expensive than an alternative.  (of course you may need to incur transportation expenses)

Meals - Head to a local grocery store to save on one meal a day (breakfast), definitely don’t skip a dinner or local cuisine as it will enhance your overall experience.

Misc. – This is the area where expenses can get out of control, buying a few items at the race expo, local gifts, etc.   Keep tabs on the overall costs.

The one item that has no price is the experience, the athletes you will meet from different cultures and a lifetime of memories.   If you have not competed outside of your country give it a try but remember just be flexible and keep an open mind.  I can’t wait till my next international race – Rotterdam Marathon!

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