Blogger Julie Creffield talks us through the intricacies of choosing the perfect hotel for before, during and after your race.
Now, I am by no means a professional athlete but as someone who has been running for over 10 years, who has an addiction to races and a passion for travel, it’s hardly surprising I have combined the two over recent years with Paris, Lisbon, Berlin and Geneva all ticked off my “where do I want to go and run next” list.
Running is universal and runners are a friendly species regardless of what language they speak, so the actual race logistics will be no different from racing at home. But, there are a few things outside of the running that could make your experience more pleasurable with accommodation being the first thing you should think about after securing your race place.
Here are my top 5 tips for choosing the right hotel for your overseas running adventures.
No 1. Length of stay
Are you just going to fly in and out, race, and then go home or can you extend your stay for a few days and take in some sights? A city race is doable in a weekend, but you might want a day to recover and actually experience the city’s culture. Try not to plan too much stuff the day before the race as you don’t want to start with tired legs.
Top tip: Be inspired by the cultural delights of Edinburgh with our 5 things to do in Edinburgh for a fiver.
No 2. Location, location, location
This is the most important aspect and can ultimately make or break your trip. You will need to look at the race instructions to find out where the start and finish areas are and how easy public transport is likely to be. My preference is to book somewhere closer to the finish line than the start as who knows what shape you will be in come the end.
No 3. Budget or luxury?
How long are you actually going to be spending in your hotel? Is having beautiful surroundings and a sense of opulence important, or will budget accommodation do you just as well? Remember you do pay for what you get, and getting a good comfy night sleep the day before a race is paramount
Top tip: Use our star and smiley filters to find a hotel that won’t disappoint!
No 4. Assess your food options
Eating in new country is always tricky, but with an important race to fuel up for you don’t want to get stuck eating fast food or worse still, a local delicacy that leaves you with tummy issues. Check with the hotel what time breakfast is served and explore the dinner menu before-hand, the hotel should also be able to recommend somewhere local to get your carb fix.
Top tip: Use our breakfast filter to be sure you’re booking a room that includes breakfast.
No 5. Request a late check-out
After your race you are going to want to shower and change, but chances are if you are flying out that evening you will already have checked out of your room. Ask the hotel staff before booking if you can get a complimentary late check out…or try and blag it on the actual day. If all else fails, make sure you have baby wipes and a clean outfit in your bag just in case.
Top tip: Use our pool filter to find a hotel with a pool or spa you can relax in post race before your flight.
Running abroad is a fabulous way of achieving a fitness goal and seeing foreign destinations in all their glory. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to be a good runner to race abroad either as I’m kind of rubbish at running and it doesn’t stop me.
Next non-European destination race for me will be…hmmm, Melbourne, New York or even Tokyo… the options are endless. So don’t delay, book your race place ASAP and get looking for the perfect hotel room, then you can focus on the real important stuff like actually training for the thing.
Looking for more racing inspiration? Check out our top pick hotels for a perfect finish.