Travel for Races

Ever since I got over my fear of flying in 2010, I have looked for opportunities to travel. I still don't enjoy flying, but I don't let it stop me from going places anymore. While I love supporting local races, it's fun to see other parts of the country as well.

One of the great parts about my blog is that I've met people from all over the world--and lots of them are runners. So, I have a place to stay pretty much wherever I'd like to go--which makes travel for running races fairly cheap! I usually use Delta SkyMiles for my plane ticket, so it only costs me $11.20 to fly in the United States. And then if I stay with friend, I don't have to pay for a hotel. It only costs me some money for food and any other things I want to do while I'm there.

Since I haven't been racing much in the last couple of years, I don't just travel for running; I love to go visit friends and see what they like to do for fun (here is a page with links to my travels for fun; and here is a page with links to my travel for blogging purposes). But, I've written posts about several places I did travel for a race, which I've linked to on this page.

To read the posts about each race, just click on the dates to the left. Happy travels! :)


Indianapolis, IN : Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathan Weekend
(May 2008) - Road trip with Mom, Jeanie, Stacie, Wendy, Sue, and Vicky
(May 2009) - Road trip with Mom, Jeanie, Brian, Mandie, Audrey, and Karen
(May 2010) - Road trip with Mom, Jeanie, Brian, Renee, and Jen
(May 2011) - Road trip with Jerry, Jeanie, Brian, Renee, Jessica, Jen, and Cathy
(May 2015) - Road trip with Jerry to meet my Sole Mates for the weekend!
(May 2017) - Road trip with Jerry to meet up with Runs for Cookies readers!

The Indy Mini (a half-marathon) is a fantastic race! The course is interesting, there are a lot of bands along the course for entertainment, it's very well supported, and the course is great for walkers or beginner runners. 

Joliet, IL : Warrior Dash
(June 2010) - Road trip with Jerry, Sarah, Renee, and Dave

I hated everything about the race! But with the exception of the race itself, the trip was a blast. And the area of Joliet was nice. 

Winona, MN : Ragnar Relay Great River
(August 2010) - Air trip with Stacie; race from Winona to St. Paul along the Mississippi River.

This course is my favorite of the Ragnar courses I've done. It was beautiful! Especially at sunset. I think Minnesota is one of the prettiest places I've visited. 

Cleveland, OH : Cleveland Marathon
(May 2012) - Road trip with Jerry and the kids; met Jessica, Renee, and Andrea there

My first full marathon! I wish I'd picked a different one for my first, for several reasons (weather, weather, and weather). Jessica and I trained hard for this race! I had been to Cleveland a couple of times before, and I enjoyed it then; but the marathon course was not a good representation of the city. 

St. Paul, MN : Women Rock Half
(September 2012) - Air trip with Renee to St. Paul

Again, Minnesota is beautiful! This was a point-to-point course, which was fun. I enjoyed the scenery, although the hills and heat made for a tough race! 

Miami, FL; Key West, FL : Ragnar Relay Florida Keys
(January 2013) - Air trip with Jerry; met my From Fat to Finish Line team--the start of it all!

I'd been to Florida several times before, but it was my first time in Miami. I was impressed! I always pictured it to be--well, not very nice--but I thought it was great. The Keys definitely stole the show, though! Duvall Street is a blast in the evenings. The odd part of the Keys is that there isn't a public beach. Our hotel had a very tiny beach, but that was it. I was really surprised by that! Oh, and did I mention less than 286 times that our Ragnar Relay is now a documentary? ;) You can find it on Amazon: From Fat to Finish Line documentary

Rockford, IL : Rockford Half-Marathon
(May 2013) - Solo air/train trip to surprise Jeanie by running with her for her first half!

Jeanie lives in Rockford, and I've always enjoyed going there to visit. My favorite thing to do there is go to Shogun, a Japanese Steak House. It's a chain restaurant, apparently, but the first time I went was when I was visiting Jeanie and Shawn. I feel nostalgic for it when I think of Rockford! On this trip, her husband, Shawn, and I planned the whole thing secretly. Jeanie was going to be running her first half-marathon and I certainly didn't want her to do it alone. So I surprised her by showing up the day before the race. 

Chicago, IL : Chicago Marathon
(October 2013) - Road trip with Noah and Eli to Jeanie's; Solo train into Chicago.

I drove with the kids to Jeanie's house, and they stayed with her while I took a train into Chicago. I was totally overwhelmed when I got there, and had a panic attack in the train station. If it weren't for Caitlin (who I hadn't even met until I was in Chicago), I would have turned around and left. But it ended up being a fantastic trip! And now Caitlin is one of my very best friends.

San Diego, CA : Ragnar Relay SoCal
(April 2014) - Solo air trip to meet my SoleMates team and run from Huntington Beach to San Diego.

While I absolutely loved the trip and spending time with my SoleMates, the SoCal course was definitely not my favorite. It was along the coast, but you didn't get to see any of that while running. Regardless, Caitlin, Colleen, Thomas, and I stayed at a nice hotel in San Diego--and for the life of me, I can't remember what it was called--but we had good times! The zoo, the beach, the sunshine--great trip. 

Lake Cadillac, MI : Lake Cadillac 10K
(June 2014) - Spur of the moment (manic?) road trip with Jerry

This was a last-minute road trip up north, and holy smokes--Lake Cadillac was gorgeous! Of all the places I've seen in my lifetime, Lake Cadillac makes the Top 5. It's a hidden gem in Michigan. 

Portland, OR : Shamrock 15K
(March 2015) - Solo air trip to meet up with Thomas for what was supposed to be a 15K race--but I ended up getting injured, and I wasn't able to race. So, it turned into a tour of Portland, which turned out to be much better than any race ;)

From the moment I could see the Portland area from the airplane, I was in love. I never expected Portland to be so pretty! The city and the surrounding areas are so green. I adore the trees--they are probably my favorite part of the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest! I knew that I was going to have to make Portland an annual trip, at the very least. 

Portland, OR : Blooms to Brews 10K
(April 2016) - Solo air trip for Thomas to pace me to a PR of 49:22 or better.

Another trip that did not disappoint! Portland has become my home away from home. And best of all, I actually hit my 10K goal on this trip! I was aiming for sub-49:23, and I finished in 49:03. I worked my ASS off to run that race. I'm super proud of myself for accomplishing a goal that seemed impossible when I made it. 

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