Race Travel – What to Watch Out For

 

Anyone who has taken part in some sort of race, be it a relay, obstacle course or marathon knows they are a ton of fun and a great test of your physical prowess. Joining in with people who have come together to do something intense builds a great sense of camaraderie and this is no less true when you do it overseas. There is a fantastic sporting community out there and doing it outside of your home country seems the natural step if you’re a fan of travel as well.

20110723-ToughMudderWI-Gudkov-0180While many international races like Tough Mudder are open to people from all walks of life, you have to take a few things into account before you plan an entire trip around taking part in it. Just the same way travel presents a host of challenges and things to plan for, travelling to take part in a race requires some foresight otherwise you could be in for a rude awakening.

Registration

Sometimes for these events you are required to show up days in advance to officially register in person and this cannot be done online. You may have to sign a liability waiver and even undergo certain tests to make sure you are fit to participate. In a few extreme cases, you may even have to qualify in designated heats before you can join in the official competition. Oh, and you’ll also have to pay – and this can increase the closer you get to the race date and may have different rates for teams.

International Support

This seems like a no brainer, but make sure the race actually allows for international competitors as it could be closed to domestics only. In some cases you may be able to take part so long as you are aware you cannot claim a prize or be recognized officially, but these are the kinds of things to find out before you leave!

Language Issues

Many races these days are available in a variety of languages, but depending on your familiarity with that language, it could make the actual race a bit difficult. If an emergency comes up or a notice is advertised and you cannot understand it, it could be a huge headache!

Medical Issues

Without a doubt, this is the biggest issue to be aware of. There’s always been risks to travel but getting involved in physical activities is more risky. It’s true that you can get hurt doing almost anything, but physical activities increase that risk to the point that ordinary health insurance may not cover it. You would be advised to make sure you have taken the necessary precautions to save yourself potentially thousands of dollars of medical bills for something as simple as twisting your ankle in the first five minutes and being taken in an ambulance to a hospital – something you might not realize will cost you until the bill comes.

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