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Four tips for destination races

As a frequent traveler and runner, I have had the pleasure of combining those two passions from time to time. Races have literally brought me from coast to coast — running races in California and North Carolina — and beyond, notably Hawaii.

While I don’t have any races scheduled that will require travel until April, many runners head to warmer climates at this time of the year to soak in the sun, relax and race.

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Key West (Fla.) Half Marathon and as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ambassador, and check out to find and write race reviews.

It’s not too late to register for the 21st annual race on Jan. 20.

The keys to success

Whether you are heading to Key West, another winter race or one later this year, here are some tips to keep in mind when traveling:

  1. If you are flying, pack your most-wanted race-day gear in your carry-on bag. While lost luggage is rare, you certainly don’t want the added stress of that situation as the hours tick down to the start of the race.

  2. Sketch out the logistics even before you get to the race. How will you get from the airport to the hotel to packet pickup to the race start? A little research ahead of time will save you some headaches later.

  3. Craft a plan for your nutrition, too. You will likely be able to bring some food or drink that you are accustomed to on race morning or the day before an event. But plan ahead to see if you will need to stop any buy anything. Or where you can get your traditional pre-race meal. Some hotels that partner with races also do a special, earlier breakfast for the runners. Ask about options when you check in.

  4. Remember to enjoy the adventure. You are vacationing and running. Take advantage of this time before you have to return to real life, responsibilities and — in a lot of cases — winter.

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