So you want to run abroad?

Whether you are a seasoned runner, or just starting out, for many there is an appeal to run abroad. I personally love the adventure of exploring the world through running, and sharing these memories with my family. When deciding to run abroad there are so many things to consider to ensure you have an enjoyable experience.

Enter a caption

Whether you are a seasoned runner, or just starting out, for many there is an appeal to run abroad. I personally love the adventure of exploring the world through running, and sharing these memories with my family. When deciding to run abroad there are so many things to consider to ensure you have an enjoyable experience.

Some people love running abroad, whilst others are scared of the prospect. I’m no expert, but having run over 10 events abroad I have picked up a few tips along the way. So sit back and have a read of some things to consider before you go running abroad. Please feel free to add in comments anything else you think is helpful for those reading this. Also I would love to hear about your favourite events so I can make sure they are on my already huge to do list.

Can’t remem seeing so many amazing attractions in one city, Paris is certainly high on my must do list

Picking an event-

The most simplistic way to look at this is, where do you want to visit? Running is a great way to see a city. You will find that you can find a run almost anywhere. They will differ in size and organisation, so this is something else to consider. Some people won’t care, but if you want all the thrills then it is worth ensuring it is a larger event. Similarly you can get a special experience from taking in the local atmosphere from some smaller events. You get a very different experience from a large major event than with a small local event. Both can be fantastic in their own way, but if you are looking for something in particular then do your research first. Having run through Paris and Berlin I can highly recommend running as a great way to see the city.

Berlin is somewhere I will be back time and time again

How do you enter? Check out whether the event you want to run has a ballot, or when entry closes? Most you can enter until close to the event, but just like in the UK, the bigger events may have a ballot system to get through first.

What fits with your holidays? This can be a big factor. If you have flexible holidays then look at the event first. If you are restricted in your holiday window then you can search the internet for runs at a particular time and work out what you want from there. But even if it isn’t the best fit there is always an option to squeeze it in over the weekend. I’m going back to Berlin this year, and having been there 3 times before I will just be staying the one night. Also don’t rule out an event owing to cost. It is true it can be expensive running abroad, and I have spent far more than I wish to admit traveling the world. However it can be done cheaper, and a weekend away somewhere like Limassol for example, could cost less than a weekend away in the UK. No matter your budget there will be a great run for you.

Limassol is one of my favourite events to go and enjoy with the family

Getting there

Running abroad takes far more preparation than if you run in the UK. Often you can get a package deal and it’s worth considering these. Sometimes they are as cheap or cheaper and take a lot of the organisation stress out of things. I did a package for the Inaugural Disney half in Paris, and I’m so glad I did.

 If you are going to Disney I recommend a package and staying in a Disney Hotel, what a fantastic experience, oh and kids are welcome too haha

However these aren’t always the cheapest option, but always a good place to start so you can look at what’s covered and price up for yourself. Packages make it easier, especially if it includes transportation from airport and to event.

There are lots of things to consider, such as transportation to the airport in UK, transport to the hotel, distance from airport and event, also is there an expo and do you need to go? Give yourself plenty of time to make the most of your time and not miss anything. Is your passport in date? Do you have travel insurance?

Bunbury was a small local event, there were no thrills, it was tough, but great to be able to cross the finish line with my boy for the first time

Preparation is key

Go prepared– You can’t rely on things being the same as at home. So all the last minute checks you do before an event need to be done before you travel. Check you have all your kit, think about what you are taking, and check whether you will be able to purchase the same nutrition you usually use. Don’t leave things until you get there, as you may not be able to find what you usually use. I’ve had to pay 20 dollars for a pack of cliff blocks before having forgot my nutrition.

Also check what you need. Most larger events will require passport and other details, but some like Paris will require a medical certificate. So make sure you have got everything you need before you travel.

Enjoy the experience, as some will be unforgettable 

During the event What do they have on course? Is the water in cups or bottles, will you have everything you need, make sure you are prepared. I have turned up to events before and struggled with hydration and fuel, so now I always look to see what will be in course first.

What is the set up for the start, will you understand it when you are there? Of course you will work out the basics, when everyone starts running it’s usually a good sign that the event has started. But directions at the start, or moving through the start zone can be confusing if you don’t understand the language. Best to research before you get there.

Think about things like how you will you get back to hotel after the event or meet loved ones? Now you get free calls in Europe, but remember it might not be as easy as your local event, so plan ahead and have a plan B.

The experience

Running the world is an opportunity to see different cultures and take in amazing experiences. Many cities really embrace the event and welcome you to their streets, there really is no better way to experience a new place.

Great way to spend a holiday

I’ve had cow bells rang, told to go hop, jump, cheered and more… I’ve also been at a “trouble” desk once or twice. My experiences are only just beginning and I can’t wait to share some more with you.

Having trouble at Lucerne Marathon 

My International experiences so far:

Take a look at my reviews, linked in since I’ve been blogging.

Berlin Marathon 2014

Paris Marathon 2015

Asics Bridge 10k 2016 (Australia)

Bunbury Marathon 2016 (Australia)

Disney Paris Half Marathon 2016

Swiss City Marathon 2016

Limassol Marathon 2017

Kalmar Ironman 2017

Berlin Marathon 2017

Las Vegas 5k 2017

Las Vegas Marathon 2017

Limassol Marathon 2018

Future events booked:

Ironman Hamburg 2018

Berlin Marathon 2018

Chicago Marathon 2018

Porto Marathon 2018

2 thoughts on “So you want to run abroad?

  1. Sound advice, but I’d also add this – courses may change quite radically so whilst you might look at a previous year’s course and think “excellent”, there are myriad reasons why a city may change its course around. Anyone who’s ever raced in Warsaw, Poland, will probably know exactly what I mean as the PZU Warsaw half-marathon changes its course practically every year. This could throw travel plans a bit askew as where you may have been close to the start/finish line one year, you may be further away next time.

    PZU Warsaw 2017 is this video:

    PZU Warsaw 2018 is this one:

    The start and finish of the 2018 edition is a bit further north than that of the 2017 one (especially the start of 2018). Even the walk back to my hotel was a nice two miles.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s