Vacation encompasses a different definition to each traveler -- for some it might be lazing in the sun on powdery beaches, while others fill their hours jetting from site to site, checking each attraction off in the guidebook. For 20 Travelzoo team members this June 2, vacation takes on another definition completely as they embark on a 13.1-mile journey through the streets of San Diego during the annual Rock & Roll Half Marathon.
Together with Team in Training, these Travelzoo runners are working hard this winter and spring to tackle the endurance race while also raising funds for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Blood cancers are the No. 3 cancer killer in North America, and with the funds from LLS supporting research, advancements towards a cancer-free world are made each day.
The race schedule across the country is always full, with biggies like the Boston Marathon this April to the New York Marathon in November. For shorter distances, the 8K Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago kicks off race season in a swarm of green as winter thaws, while Washington, D.C., greets spring with the 10 Mile Cherry Blossom along the Tidal Basin underneath the blushing trees. Avid runners are looking to tackle these distances, while making a short trip centered on these races in cities across the nation. Races in the fall are still open in these cities:
- Maui (Marathon / Half Marathon): Sept. 22
- Portland (Marathon / Half-Marathon): Oct. 6
- Denver Rock 'n' Roll (Marathon / Half-Marathon): Oct. 20
- Atlanta (Marathon / Half-Marathon): Oct. 27
Traveling for a race? Several Travelzoo Deal Experts are seasoned marathon veterans and have shared these tips:
- Whether a race participant or a spectator, make travel plans early to lessen stress, especially while training.
- Plan on arriving at least two days before the race to account for any travel delays, and time to settle in and decompress before race day.
- Hotel rooms will book up quickly in anticipation of the event, and it's wise to stay near the starting line for convenient access and a smooth, calm morning of the race.
- If you are checking a bag, make sure your running shoes are in your carry-on (or wear them). You don't want to break in new shoes on race day if your bags are lost.
- Familiarize yourself with the race course as well as any road closures to give your cheerleaders the heads up, and where you can expect to see their colorful signs, and banging on those cowbells.
And, the most important part: the celebration. After crossing the finish line, relish in your new accomplishment with congratulatory drinks, dinner or a much deserved massage. Vacation for a cause will feel so good.
-- Antoinette Fadera is based in New York. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.