Planning for International Races

Bonjour!                   Hola!              Dia dhuit!

Guten Tag!               Dobrý den!

Language and body mannerisms are often how we communicate.  When traveling to a country outside of ones own, I find it respectful to learn some basic words in the language of that country.  When traveling to another country for a race, there are many more aspects to learn about!

Many months ago, I made the decision that if I wanted to truly try an Olympic level of triathlons, then I would need to be able to run a 10k in decent, average time.  Running is my weakest part of the triathlon due to it being the newest sport I have learned.  I went in search of a 10k race that would be in the fall.  Disney was top of my list but there was a conflict with another race I had already registered for.  Within the parameters I set (fall 2018), I searched through Google and found some great options!  In the end, I chose to register for Montreal and then went about conning some friends into joining me.  Hey, if one is traveling to a different country for a race, one should stay and explore, right?  Seven of us were game and four decided to race.

Some tips I have learned along the way:

  • Know the currency you are paying for the race in.  The currency is often set to the country of the race.  In some cases, the exchange rate will work in your favor…and at other times it will not.  In this case, it definitely worked in my favor!
  • Check the race website to see if there are hotel and travel rates and discounts.  We decided to stay at a race host hotel – this will be the closest I have ever been to a start line.
  • Check out a CD on languages from your local library or find a free app on your phone to learn some basic language terms for the country you are racing in.
  • See if there is a city pass – you will most likely save money on tourist attractions.
  • Sign up for the Facebook page for the organization and event, but be aware that much of what is posted will be in a language other than your own.  Use the translate button on Facebook.
  • Verify that all emails from the race are going to your in-box and not SPAM.  Depending on your security setting, you may need to adjust to allow for emails from other countries for awhile.
  • Check the weather and be aware if the weather is in Fahrenheit or Celsius.  Weather will change so pack to be prepared.
  • Don’t change anything for race day – bring nutrition/hydration you have been training with, and don’t change your watch to reflect Kilometers if you have been training in Miles and vice versa.
  • Get excited, have fun, you will only have a ‘first’ once!

I’m nervous, excited, and so have not trained enough.  But I’m so looking forward to the experience of hearing a National Anthem that is not my own, to hear the start of the race in a language that is not my own (I hope I know when to start running), and to run with athletes across the globe in the streets of Montreal while dancing to the various Canadian bands.  So, here I go, let’s do this!