What type of travel souvenirs do you collect: magnets, shot glasses, Christmas ornaments? Did you know some people collect road race finisher medals, race t-shirts and bib numbers? Passionate runners have found a way to see the world by participating in races as short as a 5k up to marathons, 50-mile runs, duathlons, triathlons and the more challenging feats like the Ironman and everything in between. Runners (and cyclists and swimmers) purchase airfare, stay in hotels and explore the area before and after the race. This is a serious travel business!
This summer I finally crossed off something that has been on my to-do list for years, running an offical 5k. The race was hosted by a local charity organization that features various causes through year-round road races. I had heard that the best way to keep challenging yourself after meeting your first goal was to sign up for another race. And so I did.
This coming weekend the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half-Marathon and Women’s Running Magazine 5k is coming to Bloomington, Minnesota – just a few miles away from my home. I was also really lucky to be named an Ambassador of Good Health blogger. Over recent months I have been training for the 5k and am really excited to partake in this fun race around Mt. Normandale Lake and beat my PR (personal record). Online registrations ends today but walk-up registration is available at the two-day expo at the Bloomington Doubletree Hotel if you’d like to join me on the course.
What’s cool about this race race series? There are a number of things:
1. It’s a traveling race series. This year the race is in a number of U.S. cities: Nashville, TN (9/22), Scottsdale, AZ (11/4), St. Petersburg, FL (11/18) and San Diego 2/24/13. I heard today that almost every race has runners from almost all 50 states. That’s impressive.
2. The Finisher’s Medals are awesome. See the Nashville medal in this post? Each half-marathon race has a unique medal with a removable charm and 5k runners receive a really pretty medal as well.
3. Designer goodie bags. I have no idea what will be inside, but I love surprises!
4. Personalized bibs. Each runner’s bib not only has a number but also the runner’s first name on it. This a great idea since race spectators are known to cheer-on strangers.
5. Music and entertainment. There will be a lot of fun music and entertainment on the race courses. Even the water stops are supposed to be full of fun – each stop is competing to win “Best Water Stop”!
Will I see you this weekend or do you have plans to run an upcoming road race? And…are there any excellent races you recommend for those of us who love running and traveling? Please share.