Having recently got myself a passport, I’m currently filled with a sense of excitement and adventure. I’m eager to explore new countries and cultures. As a seasoned runner, I decided to combine my passion for running with my newfound fancy for travel and sign up for a couple of runs in different countries.
With my running shoes and passport in hand, there is no stopping me and I look forward to visiting a few new places while completing a few races.
If you’re planning to run a race abroad, here are my top tips to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.
Check entry requirements:
Check whether you need a visa for the country you’re travelling to, and make sure you apply for one in advance if necessary.
Ensure you have all the necessary medical documents, such as travel insurance, vaccinations, and a doctor’s note if you have any existing medical conditions that may affect your ability to run. Some races require medical certificates – so check this before you book!
Make sure you book your flights well in advance, so you can arrive in time for the race and adjust to any time differences.
Research airline baggage policies:
Most of my travelling is done on a tight budget, I will fly with hand luggage only to keep costs down. Check the baggage policy of your airline before you pack. Most budget airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item (Ryanair is one 40x20x25cm bag) which is ideal for a race away!
Make sure you are aware of the weight and size restrictions for both. Pack light – take only what you need and leave any unnecessary items at home.
Wear your running shoes on the flight as they are bulky they take up a lot of space in your bag. If you aren’t as tight as me and check in a bag; I would still recommend you pack your race outfit and any other race-specific items in your carry-on bag! If you use a running watch – wear it. This ensures that you have everything you need for the race just in case your luggage gets delayed or lost.
Pack travel-sized toiletries:
If you do take liquids in your hand luggage: containers must hold no more than 100ml. Pack travel-sized toiletries or transfer your favorite products into smaller containers. Don’t forget suncream, chafe cream, and Sudocrem.
Bring a refillable water bottle:
It is important to stay hydrated before any running event. Pack a refillable water bottle that you can fill up once you’ve been through security. I’d also recommend packing a small snack in case you get hungry during travel or after arriving at your destination.
Research the weather:
Make sure to research the weather in your destination and pack accordingly. Take into account the climate and culture of the country you are visiting. Don’t forget to pack a lightweight rain jacket or poncho for the start just in case as well as any equipment or clothing you’ll need for the race.
Pack a small first aid kit:
It’s always a good idea to be prepared. Pack a few plasters, pain relief tablets, blister pads, bite cream – and Imodium. Different countries = different food, that’s all I will say!
Leave some extra space in your luggage:
Don’t forget you’ll need room to bring that medal back (or you could just wear it on the plane). You may want to buy some souvenirs or other bits while you’re abroad. Just be aware of hand luggage restrictions and customs regulations. Certain items may not be allowed or may require additional documentation.
Keep important documents on hand:
Keep important documents like your passport, boarding pass, medical certificates, and race confirmation in your carry-on bag so they are easily accessible.
Be mindful of time zones:
If you’re traveling to a different time zone, make sure to adjust your sleep schedule and eating habits accordingly to ensure you’re well-rested and properly fuelled for the race.
Research transportation options:
Research transport from the airport to your hotel and from your hotel to the race start. Knowing the options beforehand can save you time and stress.
Hope these tips help and good luck racing abroad!