A great option: combining racing and family holiday

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Photo : Hugues Drolet

We sometimes pull our hair out trying to reconcile family life and training. The time of year when we potentially have the most time for us is also the perfect time to reunite with family. This is why we suggest when planning your annual races, for example, to choose a sporting event at your future vacation location or to choose the location of your next vacation based on a race that excites you. Here are five tips that could influence your choices

Tip # 1

Choose a race which allows you to visit and do family activities in the days before or after. That way family members who do not participate in the sporting event will also have the chance to enjoy the stay without frustration and will certainly be more patient when the time comes to support you on D-Day.

Tip # 2

If you have young children, choose a race that offers a daycare service (trail race organizers offer this option more and more often) or supervised sports activities while you are in action. That way you will have peace of mind and know that your kids are having fun too.

Tip # 3

Choose a race that allows you to camp or stay near the starting line. Thus, family members will have easy access to amenities from your facility and they will be able to continue going about their business before you return (especially if you are doing an ultramarathon on a trail lasting several hours). Some sports organizations allow, among other things, to take advantage of a parking-camping space very close to the “athletes’ village” for autonomous motorhomes, and this, often at low cost.

Tip # 4

If your kids are energetic teens who want to participate, choose a run that will allow them to volunteer while you’re out in the wild. Teens love to be part of the action by giving medals on arrival, helping out with the preparation of the participants’ lunches, by signaling the route, by offering food at the aid stations or by managing the supply bags (drop bags). In short, many supervised tasks can be assigned to them by the organizers, who will be happy to have additional help. You just need to communicate directly with them and see with them how your teens’ skills can meet the needs of the event.

They may also have the opportunity to practice a foreign language, if your race takes place outside of your country, and to make new friends.

Note that some organizations allow volunteers to often park closer to the departure site than is usually allowed for participants. If your child decides to volunteer, you will have the chance to be directly on site with your car or motorhome. A great way to give your time for a good cause and to be able to benefit from it as a runner.

Tip # 5

If your child is also running, choose an event that offers a distance suited to their abilities and that does not take place at the same time or on the same day as your own race. He will have his own moment of glory by crossing the finish line when he sees that mom and dad are cheering too.

Several sporting events offer a formula over two days of competition (the longest distances on the first day and the shortest, the second), which allows runners of longer distances to recover the day after, when the rest of of the family races.

In short, do not be afraid to communicate directly with the organizers of the races in which you plan to participate in the company of your small family, to ensure that the amenities offered meet your needs and can ensure that the family will like to follow you in your next sports adventures.

Translation: Caroline Beaton

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