Traveling For Shorter Races

I have traveled to many different races over the years. My premise for doing so is that it gives a wonderful opportunity to experience new cities and destinations as well as enjoy the pleasures of racing! It is a fantastic way to make races go by quickly as you run new ground.

I do have a personal rule when it comes to deciding races, however. My rule is that I will not run a race that takes me longer to travel to than it takes to run the race. 🙂 That is the reason I have not run that many 5Ks over the years – it was always hard for me to justify driving 50 minutes one-way for a race that I will complete in less than half that time. I do break the rule for marathons, however. I know, this might be a strange sounding rule but it is one that helped restrict my impulsive racing habits!

Traveling for Shorter Races

While marathons get a lot of the attention for travel races, there are still many other people (including readers here) that are interested in traveling for shorter races. It is not typical to find people that are willing to travel for some small local 5K, but there are races shorter than the marathon distance that are very compelling for runners.


Most of the wonderful marathons around the country also have half-marathons. These half-marathons are a great way to still enjoy the racing environment – in fact even more than a marathon as the half-marathons have far more participants. Another great thing about half-marathons that take place alongside marathons is that the swag for runner is normally very similar. So, you get to run half the distance and get the same medal and t-shirt as if you ran the full!

10 Milers

There are few 10 milers around the country that are completely worth traveling to run. I will be writing about a couple of them in the coming days to give you some ideas but they are fantastic events. Participant numbers are up in the tens of thousands of runners. The expos are some of these can rival expos at all but the largest of marathons.

10Ks and 5Ks

These races have to be very significant to draw people to travel a far distance to attend. And some of these races do just that. The great part about traveling for a 5K or a 10K is that it can totally be just a small part of a nice family getaway. Many times, destination marathons can chew into a getaway as the runner tries to conserve energy before the marathon. Running a 10K or a 5K can just be a nice way to start a weekend morning – and be back with the family long before lunch!

Odd Distances

In addition to the normal race distances, there are a handful of other distances that see many people from around the country and the world as race registrants. These distances can be a fun way to push yourself through to an uncommon distance.


In the coming weeks, I will start highlighting some of these shorter races for traveling purposes so that you might be able to find other race gems besides the marathon distance. Trust me – it will give you a great way to experience shorter distances!

This is a repost of a previous article as I wanted to introduce some of these previous posts to my new BoardingArea readers!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Welcome to BoardingArea! I just started reading your blog as I’m a marathon runner as well who enjoys travelling. I’ve gone to 6 weddings this year (of which 4 were out of town) and I’ll admit I’d look for running races that same weekend. By doing so, I’ve been able to participate in out of town 5K or 10K races that I normally would not have gone to had it not been for the wedding I was attending that weekend.

    • Thanks for the welcome, Joey! I really hope I can be a help to you and others as time goes on. I have done that same thing and you are right – perfect way to fit in some races! Keep up the good work!