Lace up and start running the world

Lace up and start running the world

Life is a marathon, not a sprint

People running and all the words on a list that describe marathons
Running a race of any length is a choice for change in one’s life.
There’s no way around it, change just happens in sometimes unexpected ways.
Crossing the finish line is a moment to be proud of – you set a goal and completed it.
Wahoo!! Well done. Accept the applause.

Is one of your goals in life running and completing a 10k, half marathon, or full marathon? 

Why not use that goal as a solid reason to experience someplace you want to visit? It’s a wonderfully efficient way to get two goals accomplished at one time.

Running is a great way to see a city or place; there is a certain delight in turning a corner and finding a new vista to enjoy. Running is not just about pounding out the miles but is about being in that place and time, having it slowly roll before you. Travel is a similar endeavour and the two should be joined together for an especially unique experience.

Consider, for the sake of argument, you’ve always wanted to visit Paris but never can find that solid reason to go or to convince friends to come along for the trip. Why not enter the Paris Marathon, 1/2 marathon, or the shorter fun runs. You’ll get April in Paris, friends will be your cheer squad, and you’ll get to cross the goal of running a big race off the list. Two birds, one stone…

Here’s how it could look: Trip length: 10 days

  • Day 1: Arrive in Paris 

  • Day 2: Pick up race packet and validate your start location and time 

  • Day 2 and 3: Explore Paris with friends who have come along to support you (remind them to not let you enjoy too much delicious French wine. Running dehydtrated is not fun and that’s spoken from experience)

  • Day 4: Race day: Run. Stretch. Shower. Get out and CELEBRATE with your squad 

  • Days 5 – 9 – explore Paris and surrounds

  • Day 10: Return home as a champion and attainer of goals. You have accomplished something amazing amongst the backdrop of Paris.

Maybe it seems a crazy idea, running a race someplace in the world but why not? 

Races are all over the world and most don’t require qualifying times to enter. Running is as simple as registering, paying the fees, and providing medical clearance you are physically able to attempt the race. Many of these races have opportunities to partner with charity organizations to raise funding for research and programs.

So, where are are the places you’ve dreamed of going someday.

Is today “Someday”?

What are your options for running?

  • There’s the Rock-n-Roll series with over 25 different global runs ranging from Chile to Ireland, and all places in between. 

  • There’s the wonderfully zany Medoc marathon which has an annual dress theme and involves running through multiple Bordeaux wineries tasting wine as part of the event. 

  • How about getting your place in history and running the Athens Marathon (you can go sail the Greek Islands once you’re done your 13.1 or 26.2)

  • Don’t like pavement? There are also off-road trail runs, e.g. Motatapu Icebreaker for those who think pavement is ridiculously flat and hard, preferring dirt trails through nature. 

Take a look at the AIMS website for more options than you had an inkling existed. For May there are over 41 races listed. 

Your race is out there in the place you’ve been wanting to experience. 

Running to discover Paris –

Over the years I’ve run nine half marathons, an unknown number of 5k and 10k races, and a single full marathon. I like to run. All of these have been in the United States, local to where I lived at the time.

I wish I would have thought about running in other countries years ago. All the places I could have already seen!! What a great way to see the world. 

I finally figured it out and decided to run the Paris Marathon as an excuse to go wander through Paris, one of my favorite cities. Two friends decided to join me on my quest for an improved marathon time and off we went.

For a year I trained for my next marathon getting ready for running through Paris.

The Arch de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame all were on the course, familiar landmarks. But also included, are the Blois de Vincennes with it’s beautiful gardens and chateaux which was the home of the Kings of France for hundreds of years in the 13-14th century. Running the race is running through history. Picturing all of these beautiful places I would be running by on the course made the miles go by.

The time arrived to head to Paris and for a week we wandered the beautiful streets of Paris breathing in the fresh lilacs and enjoyed the spring flowers in the Tuileries Gardens. We got out and about; toured some Chateaux’s, enjoyed a French winery, took in Versailles, and saw all of the major attractions in Paris. An truly wonderful week with dear friends.

How’d the marathon go? It didn’t. I injured myself about 6 weeks before the race and couldn’t run but I was okay with it all. I got to have Paris and half my dream came true. I’ll recover and run it one day.

Sometimes the unexpected happens on trips. Mostly it is the kindness of strangers and loveliness of new places but sometimes it’s history. Because I’d decided to enter a race someplace else in the world, I ended up in an historic moment covered in the ash of a building where the parade of 1000 years of history had walked through. 

Notre Dame, a beautiful cathedral steeple burns in April 2019

Four days after we wandered through Notre Dame and gazed up into those vaults and the stainglass windows with the sun pouring through, we stood on the banks of the Seine 300 feet away as the fire started and then raged.

We watched history unfold as Notre Dame burned.

Let’s find you a race in this world to run.

Landing your foot on the other side of the finish line is an amazing moment whether completing a 5k, 10k, half, or a full marathon.

I think it’s time to plan your party for crossing the finish line.

Where in the world are you running?

Notes from a fellow traveller and runner:

Man running towards the mountains on a empty road.

Never underestimate the importance of a good playlist that lets you disassociate from your running cadence. Learn to run not on the beat so your pace doesn’t change when the song switches. it’s really hard to do at first but it’s worth it. If you only run with music and your music dies in the middle of a run it’ll be hard to maintain your pace and energy.

> There’s no perfect training regime. Find one that’s has good reviews and is tailored for a regular person who is running.

-> The first month is an absolutely hellish battle with yourself. Getting out of bed to run becomes a series of 1000 tripwires any one of which can derail you from the training program. Learning the discipline to go regardless of weather, hydration, sleep, etc. is for me the worst.

-> Month two will find you improving quickly and starting to enjoy the whole process.

So where is your next run?

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

Martha Day Headshot, owner of Opal and Finch Travel Company

Martha L. Day, CTA is the founder of Opal&Finch, a luxury boutique travel company. She is the senior designer and writes as a travel expert for the Katy Trail Weekly, CityLife, and Vibrant Connections. 

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