Race travel with nonrunners

Some people don’t get it. You know, you go on a big trip and you run. They think the expo cuts into their fun time. The race itself is just so inconvenient for them. Never mind the fact that you told them this is why you were going in the first place but whatever.

My sister is the person I normally travel to Disney World with and she has made it clear to me that my running has really cut into her park time and has been very inconvenient. My epic feats are an inconvenience. I am inconvenient. I prefer to call myself inspirational. I would compare us to Anna and Elsa but honestly, she saw Frozen and her response was, “I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?” so she’s really not deserving of being Anna OR Elsa.

So when you travel with nonrunners, they can get a little bitchy. I’m sorry I’m not walking fast enough through the Magic Kingdom for you, but I just ran a marathon and got up at 2:30am this morning. Traveling with a nonrunner can be great though because if you’re injured or not feeling great afterwards and they’re not a total bitch like some people, you have a built in nursemaid. I’m not saying you bring them for their able-bodied labor, but when choosing a travel companion it’s best to go with someone who will baby you after the race.

My mom can make anyone miserable, but after the Marine Corps Marathon it was great having her stay with me for the night because she totally treated me like a sick 5 year old and even went out and got me a special milkshake that I like because I’d “already gone far enough” that day. [FYI, just in case you think she was in awe of me, I ran 26.2 miles but my mother’s terrifying experience riding the very steep Rosslyn metro station escalator is what makes her the weekend hero.] I’ve adapted my mentality re-non-running travel partners.

First, don’t tell them to come and cheer for you and if you do, make sure you pick something that is convenient for them. My mom just crossed the street from my apartment to see the Marine Corps Marathon and was able to see me three times. The second year at the WDW marathon, and at Wine & Dine, my sister and dad just saw me run past the Boardwalk where we were staying. This is another benefit of staying at those hotels–it’s easy for people to come out, see you, and then go back to bed if they don’t want to shell out the money for the after party.

Second, if they’re not runners, don’t expect them to “get it.” Yes, I am spending my vacation getting up before dawn to go run. I’m not asking your permission, I’m just doing it and saying you’re welcome to join me.

Third, perfect a look that says “shut the fuck up” for when they start asking stupid questions and making asshole statements. “Couldn’t you just run it faster?” or “why did it take you so long?” You might be really exhausted from running your heart out, so go for something that doesn’t require words but conveys a lot of feeling.

Last, independence is a good thing. My sister, unlike me, was not as willing to just go hang out in the park or do something else by herself while I was running. It’s good to have a racecation buddy that doesn’t resent you because they’re spending their Saturday night in the hotel room alone while you’re out running but rather can find shit to do on their own and they’re okay with it.

I’m not saying it isn’t great to go and have someone there to support you, but not everyone is ideally suited to the role of sports bra/athletic supporter, so it’s good to discuss this kind of stuff ahead of time and make sure they know exactly what a racecation entails before they sign up for one. And always, always, add in the clause that you may not be able to walk the next day.

Anyone have any tips for racecations with nonrunners?


14 thoughts on “Race travel with nonrunners

  1. I honestly can’t imagine going on a runcation with any of my family members. ALL OF THEM WOULD YELL AT ME CONSTANTLY FOR EVERYTHING.

    Also I went with my family to D.C. a few years ago and my mother FREAKED OUT on all the Metro escalators. Hahahaha. What a fun memory.

  2. I think it is all about planning expectations and schedules in advance, letting them know what you will and won’t be capable of pre/post race. I think that, once you have that in line, anyone can come along for the ride.

  3. I just went to WDW with my sister (and my husband, but he usually comes) and while she definitely “doesn’t get” the running while on vacation, she was more than happy to help me slowly walk and drink my way around EPCOT afterwards. Now when my mom came to W&D, that was a whole other story!

    And btw, seriously “What’s the big deal” about Frozen?!?! I don’t understand…

  4. I try to only do racecations with other runners. It makes everything a lot easier and they completely understand. Although, when my fiance (who is a non-runner) comes, it’s nice to have someone else get the ice for the ice bath 🙂

  5. Your mom stealing the MCM Marathon glory reminds me of Jackson after I finished my first marathon…he complained that his legs hurt from walking and insisted I carry him…but he’s 4 years old, so he can get away with it.

  6. So far I have never done a runDisney event with a non runner, but you gave me some good info for the future. And it’s true, running, as with Disney, people either get it or think you’re crazy.

  7. Your blog rocks. Plain and simple. And your tips apply to vacations in general, too. Went on a cruise with two gf’s and on the plane going we made a pact that at any time we could tell each other to “shut the fuck up” and no one could take it personally. One gf talks non-freaking-stop (even when she came back to the cabin at 3am and we were sleeping – she started humming to herself!), so it was a well worn phrase! And my other gf and I had “the look” down pat. I can travel anywhere with her – the other… probably not. I haven’t done a racation yet (maybe Vegas RnR), but did the 3-Day in LA years ago with a bunch if gf’s. Our husbands flew (some of us are in Seattle) down and entertained themselves. We just told them to do their sightseeing without us and take pictures!

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