Trip Planning – A Race Abroad?

Seeing as that this blog is primarily about running and I’m assuming mostly read by runners, there’s a good chance that many of you reading have planned a trip or vacation around running a race.

Well, I have to admit, when I began thinking about planning a trip to Italy in March over my break from school I was definitely thinking about sneaking the Rome Marathon into the plans.  It had been held the week of my school break the past couple of years, but of course this is the year they go and move the race to April!

Oh well, probably better since this trip was really more about visiting Italy, seeing the sites, exploring the culture and eating lots of food – who needs to run a race after long days on your feed exploring and a belly full of pasta, wine and gelato!

And the other day I discovered there’s a half marathon going on in Rome while we’re there…


Ugh, what to do!?

I have our entire itinerary planned out and the race DOES fall on a day we’re actually scheduled to be in Rome, but departing for Venice.  Essentially doing the race would mean losing about half a day in Venice and having to spend a few hours one of the days before (that would have otherwise been sightseeing) going to the expo (which is a bit outside the city) to get our race bibs.

Part of me feels like it’s just silly to try to cram a race into this type of trip…

…the other part of me thinks HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO DO AN INTERNATIONAL RACE!!

Have you ever done an international race?

Would you alter trip plans to fit in a race?

10 thoughts on “Trip Planning – A Race Abroad?

  1. Oh my gosh!! Tough decision!!! I was in Rome for my 14th birthday …lol and it was amazing! I would be equally torn! Venice was amazing. I’m guessing they don’t have options where you can get your bib early at the race and be able to skip the expo? I’m sure either decision you make, you will be happy… it’s a win/win!

    • No, unfortunately we need to get our bib at the expo which will take up a few hours one afternoon, I’m so torn! You’re right though, can’t really go wrong either way!

  2. Would you enjoy the race, knowing you’re heading to Venice the same day? If you can’t fit the race in, you could still run in Rome. I’m sure there are running trails to get you away from the crazy traffic.

    • Good point. I think if we decided to do the race we’d adjust our schedule enough that hopefully we wouldn’t feel too rushed. We definitely plan on going for a run in each city regardless!

  3. Hi, I’m normally a lurker but I thought I’d chime in since I have some experience with this. I ran a marathon in Macau, China and it was a great experience. It was really neat to see some of the differences in how they organize races over there compared to in the US. I think it helps broaden your outlook on running/racing.

    As for your decision, I’m not sure I can help you there. I guess it depends how much you really want to do some of the sightseeing that you’ve already planned. For my race, I planned the trip around the race so I didn’t have to alter any of my plans. Personally I’d probably do the race, but maybe see if you can find any reviews of the race before making the decision. If it’s been run multiple years, then you can probably count on pretty good organization, but if it’s the first year maybe skip it.

    Good luck, and looking forward to your trip report in a few months!

    • Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experience! So the good news is the race is in it’s 42nd year, so it must be pretty good! Unfortunately I can’t find any actual reviews though! I agree that I really like the idea of experiencing a race in another country, may be worth it just for the experience!

  4. Ha! I rearranged my travel plans earlier this year for 2 races – one in Sydney, Australia and one in Stockholm, Sweden! It was really neat to do both of those races and in the end I’m really glad I rearranged. I think you should do it!! But that could also be influenced by the fact that I absolutely adore Rome and Venice is just eh for me! 🙂

  5. Oh man! I am crazy and would totally go for the race, but that’s because my goals are always to #runalltheraces! If there’s something you’d rather do in Rome/Venice that day, skip the race. If you’re going to be jealous of the runners you see and wishing it was you, do the race! Both things are a once in a lifetime experience honestly so you can’t go wrong either way 🙂

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