Destination races have long been a way to couple vacations with a bit of competition. Traveling to beautiful locales to compete in a running (or biking, or swimming … or whatever stokes your fire) race is a great way to experience a new place and meet new people. However, The logistics of traveling to a destination race can sometimes be tricky. Flights, rental cars, hotels, food, and more can get expensive and overwhelming pretty quickly.
Want to turn the tricky logistics into something a bit more simplified? Start with combining your lodging and your car rental! And what if you didn’t have to worry about finding a restaurant with edible food near a remote race start or finish line? Look no further! An Escape campervan has a fridge and a stove to cooke on! It is your ultimate race-travel-mobile.
1. Simplify Your Travel to Destination Races with a Campervan
Escape Camper Vans are small enough to park in any parking spot. They can also maneuver most any roadways with ease. With van sizes to fit 2-5 people comfortably, you and your crew can travel together. Add the rooftop sleeper to expand your sleeping space for more people. That way, you can keep the inside of the van clear for eating, race prepping, map reviewing, or whatever else you may need.
With camper van rental sites all over the country, you’re sure to find a van in close proximity to your next race. Luckily, they’re all conveniently located near some of the most scenic places around the US and Canada. Forget about searching for hotel rooms! Most races will have campgrounds or nearby dispersed camping to take advantage of. Many races start in camping areas or have areas near the start/finish that allow camping by racers. Boom. With that, your rental car and your lodging are set, in one convenient (and more affordable) package!
2. Prepare for Your Destination Races with Hot Meals
One of the more stressful aspects of destination racing is the food situation. For example, most athletes have very particular things they like to eat the night before and the morning of a race. The early morning start for many events is also an obstacle. Often, it means you may not be able to find an open establishment for food and coffee in the morning. Do yourself a favor and eliminate the possibility of sub-par dining (and GI distress!) by cooking your own meals in the well-equipped campervan kitchen. Trust me – this alone makes the entire campervan experience worth it. Pre-race pasta? Done. Morning coffee and oatmeal in the comfort of a warm van? Yes indeed! Post-race beers around the campfire? You better believe it!
3. Improve Your Support Crew ‘s Comfort
Many people bring friends and family to their races for support. After all, it’s also a nice way to extend the trip into a vacation! For people traveling to longer distance events such as ultramarathons (for the non-runners in the crowd – these are race distances longer than 26.2 miles), having a crew can be an essential (and even required) part of the race experience. Thankfully, the campervan can be easily driven to any trailhead or meeting point that a regular car can navigate. Not to mention it also gives your crew a comfortable place to eat, relax, and anxiously await your arrival. Happen to be running a race that goes through the night? Or do you have a pacer for the late miles in a race? You’re in luck! Your crew can easily take a nap without having to crunch themselves into the backseat of a rental car.
In bad weather, the van can be an absolute godsend. My husband met me at a checkpoint during a 50-mile trail running race in cold, rainy conditions. I was able to hop in the back of the warmed up van with all of my gear laid out for me on the benches. I got changed into dry clothes, shoes, and socks and even ate some soup before heading back out on the course. It. Was. GLORIOUS.
Excited now? Looking for a race to hit the road for?? FANTASTIC!! There are limitless options out there. If you know where you want to go, a quick google search for races in that area should give you a good start. Like the idea of racing somewhere new but not sure where to go? Check out sites like Ultrasignup for trail and ultra races. Vacation Races has a series of road and trail running races centered around many National Parks. Bikereg.com has… you guessed it… mountain, road, cyclocross, and gravel bike races and events. Type “best destination races” into google and settle in for some pretty amazing slideshows. Once you’ve settled on a race, be sure to book your campervan.