For most of us, a relaxing vacation involves taking time away from our usual routines and rituals. That may include shutting ourselves off from our online-presence, and many choose not to exercise in order to take some rest and relaxation time. For people who love running, that actually sounds like a punishment rather than a treat. So much so that there are people who take “runcations,” and center running around their entire trips.
Runner Camille Kerr embarked on her first “runcation” in 2013, as she travelled to the Lululemon Seawheeze half-marathon. Ever since, she and a group of her friends have taken yearly trips that focus on running. Most recently she headed to Bermuda for the Bermuda Triangle Challenge.
“I’d been wanting to visit Bermuda for years, and I knew this event would give us a chance to explore the island Between races we shopped, hung out, and met runners from all over the world, ” Kerr shared. The January 2020 edition of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge hosted over 700 international runners.
Acting director of Barbados Tourism’s U.S. office Eusi Skeete weighed in on the popularity of these sorts of travels: “People are more health-conscious than ever, and they’re seeking destinations that can cater to their needs.”
This has become such a popular thing that company Marathon Tours & Travel has noticed in uptick in these sorts of trips. The company’s CEO and founder Thom Gilligan said: “Running is just the catalyst to get you to a destination. After the race, you can really explore.” His company helps travelers with the entire planning of the trip as well as keeping an eye on public health advisories. They even help with snagging a spot in massively popular events like the New York City and London marathons.
There are many destinations, and some less competitive runs are more focused on the actual destination rather than the competition itself. These include The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, with a marathon, half-marathon, and 10K that has runners traversing across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Not too bad!
Other contests include the Reggae Marathon in Jamica, which includes live music all along the running course and a finishers’ party right on Negril Beach.
If you’re into wine, Le Marathon des Châteaux du Médoc takes runners along vineyards in Bordeaux, France, and offers wine and oyster stops along their run. Now that’s a vacation.