Treat Yourself to a Runcation

Treat Yourself to a Runcation

Who doesn’t need a vacation and a break from our day-to-day lives? Which is exactly why you Treat Yourself to a Runcation.  We all need a chance to step back and re-charge our batteries and come back with a fresh outlook. See new places, eat at new restaurants, meet new people, and gain fresh perspectives. I believe this is exactly why runners should consider planning a vacation around a running event sooner than later.

What is a Runcation?

A runcation is a vacation planned around a race or running event like a meetup or a running camp. You will also hear runcations referred to as a “Racecation” or “Destination Race” either way there’s a vacation involved. Sometimes you just need that little extra nudge to cut loose and relax and this could be that little nudge you need. The good news is with so many races and events to choose from, planning the runcation of your dreams has never been easier. 

Whether you want to run a half marathon on a tropical island in the winter, an Ultra in the mountains, or a marathon in your favorite city you have never visited, now’s the time to start planning. There are a bunch of great race calendars out there with extensive lists of races to choose from to help with your planning. So now it’s time to pick a place you want to visit, find a race and let your adventure begin!

Runners Celebrating with Emcee Michael Bernier at Islamorada Half Marathon in the Florida Keys

Tips for Your Runcation

Ultimately this is your vacation and adventure so you trust your instincts and do what makes you happy! I did put together a few pointers that I think could be helpful for you getting the most out of your adventure.

1. Arrive Early and Stay Late -

Remember you’re on vacation and you shouldn’t be rushed, this is about relaxing and recharging. Between packet pickup and race day, you have at least 2 days from your runcation that will have some or most of the time taken up by the race. My advice is to get there a couple of days early so you can relax and enjoy the vacation part of your runcation. I would even recommend staying a few days after the race to recover.

2. Bring Friends -

Runcations can be the perfect time for a Girls weekend getaway or just a good excuse to reunite with old friends. Nowadays with the various rental platforms, it’s easier than ever to find a house to rent. A lot of times it is significantly cheaper to rent a house with a group of friends than it is to book a hotel room and split it.

It’s always great to have someone there to cheer you on and celebrate your accomplishments. I suggest picking a race with multiple distances so even some of your non-running friends might still give it a shot. If you rent a house you can have stellar dinner parties, or at least some friends to experience that amazing restaurant you’ve been scoping out.

Girls Weekend Runcation at the Canaan Valley Half Marathon
Friends Celebrating at the Canaan Valley Half Marathon

3. Plan For Downtime -

Remember you are running a race or participating in some sort of running event during your trip, so make sure you don’t forget to rest. This could be a day by the pool, an afternoon nap, or a spa treatment. I think it’s important not to have something planned for every minute of every day on your trip. Take some time to do nothing and relax.

4. Take Advice From Locals -

Locals always know the best spots, where or where not to go and what to do. If you are sitting at a bar or coffee shop don’t be afraid to engage with locals and ask their opinions. Waiters, Waitresses, Front Desk Staff, Concierge, Uber, or Taxi Drivers can be a great resource to figure out those do not miss activities and locations. 

5. Don’t Sign Up for Too Difficult of a Race -

There is a time and place for everything and we all have different motivations. Just remember this is supposed to be a vacation. While it might not be for everyone I suggest not overdoing it and pushing yourself to the limits. Sign Up for a race that challenges you but doesn’t push you to the limits.

6. Don’t Over Plan -

Some of us like to have everything planned out to the T, so this might not be for you. I think you should leave open time and wiggle room in your itinerary. You are most likely visiting somewhere new and you never know what great adventures could unexpectedly pop up. Or you might just be exhausted and need to rest and that’s ok. So I suggest the best plan is not too much of a plan.

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Enjoy Your Runcation


Pick a race, pick a place, invite your friends, book your tickets, and most importantly have fun! The whole point is to recharge your batteries and run a little in the process. Ultimately running in most cases is simply an excuse to take the vacation you need and deserve. Of course, you will hopefully get some killer bling and maybe even a PR if you’re lucky! So what are you waiting for? It’s time for a Runcation. 

Picture of Robby McClung

Robby McClung

Robby is the race director of the Canaan Valley Half Marathon, 10k & 5k. He also produces the Islamorada Half Marathon in the Florida Keys. To learn more about Robby check out the about page on the website.

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