Travelling to Race or Racing to Travel

I am a traveller. I love everything about travelling. The airport. The airplane. I am constantly on the lookout for new places to explore and I am always excited to take in the people, cultures, foods, languages, customs, and natural beauty of the places I visit.

I am also an ultra-runner. Ultra-trail running is a footrace on trails that stretch even longer than a marathon.

About six years ago, I started running local 50-kilometre and 50-mile races. After my first attempt, I vowed I would never do another—but just three days later I was hooked.

After a couple of years, I needed bigger challenges, so I started to search for tougher and longer races all over the world.

After doing my first 100+-km European mountain ultra-trail race, it was clear to me that a very deep bond had formed between my love of travel and my love of running in the mountains.

These races satisfy all that I love about endurance running and travelling in one. They allow me to exert and push myself in tough yet beautiful landscapes while meeting new people from all over the world. I truly get a sense of the culture and people of the host country. An added benefit is their safety: as a solo female traveller, security is important to me, and these races allow me to experience remote areas with the confidence of knowing that the race organization is available if something goes wrong.

Not all my travel plans over the past four years have been initiated by a race, but they often end up involving one. For example, if there is a country I am intrigued by, I’ll look to see if there is an ultra race I’d like to try and then I plan my trip for that time of year. Similarly, if I am heading to a certain country to visit or hang with friends and family, my newfound love affair with ultra-running has me looking to see if there are any races that I can sign up for in the area before I commit myself wholeheartedly.

For better or for worse, more and more ultras are popping up around the world, making my race and travel lists longer and longer.

Travelling will always be part of my life and as long as my body stays fit enough to carry me over mountains and across finish lines, I will use ultras as my means of exploring and discovering the world.

 

Check out our blog for more inspiring travel stories.

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