Planning your next vacation? Why not make it a ‘runcation’?

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01:  Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York City Marathon, November  The New York City Marathon is held each year on the first Sunday in November. The course goes through all five boroughs and it is the largest marathon in the world. (Getty Images) (Getty Images/Mike Stobe)
Held each July in Atlanta, the Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K race in the world.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Peachtree 10K, July  Held each July in Atlanta, the Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K race in the world. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (AP/David Goldman)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 a tour group looks over the copper stills at the Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, Ky.  Kentuckians like to brag about their whiskey, and distillery tours along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail let them show off the craft of turning grains and a few other ingredients into fine whiskey in an age-old process. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
The Bourbon Chase, October  This 200-mile relay race runs along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  (AP Photo/Ed Reinke) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Ed Reinke)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 30:  Runner Anya Marmuscak crosses the start line at the St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Marathon/Half Marathon and 5k where more than 34,000 participants weathered the rain during the 17th running on April 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for St. Jude )
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, April  This annual race through Music City ends with a headliner concert at Bridgestone Arena. (Getty Images) (Getty Images for St. Jude/Jason Davis)
HONOLULU, HAWAII - DECEMBER 13:  2015 Honolulu Marathon runners head down Kalakaua Avenue adorned with tropical Coconut Trees. December 13, 2015.   Honolulu, Hawaii. December 13, 2015.  (Photo by Cory Lum/Getty Images for HONOLULU MARATHON)
Honolulu Marathon, December  If there’s any place that would make 26.2 miles go by quickly, it would be Hawaii. (Getty Images) (Cory Lum/Getty Images for HONOLU/Cory Lum)
ANCHORAGE, AK - JULY 14:  A surfer rides the Bore Tide at Turnagain Arm on July 14, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska's most famous Bore Tide, occurs in a spot on the outside of Anchorage in the lower arm of the Cook Inlet, Turnagain Arm, where wave heights can reach 6-10 feet tall, move at 10-15 mph and the water temperature stays around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This years Supermoon substantially increased the size of the normal wave and made it a destination for surfers.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon and Half Marathon, June  If you’ve always wanted to visit Alaska, signing up for this marathon just might get you there. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Streeter Lecka)
FILE - In this June 2, 2011 file photo, the Silverado Trail winds through the Stags Leap District in this view from Silverado Vineyards in Napa, Calif.The trail more or less runs parallel to Highway 29 but is quieter, winding through green vistas of vineyards and rolling hills. Wineries along this route include Mumm Napa Valley. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Napa Valley Marathon, March  Napa Valley is the perfect getaway spot for runners and wine-lovers, alike. (AP Photo) (AP/Eric Risberg)
HOPKINTON, MA - APRIL 18:  A general view as Wave One runners start the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Boston Marathon, April  The Boston Marathon is held each year on Patriots’ Day. (Getty Images)   (Getty Images/Tim Bradbury)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Runners race at the start of the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 11, 2015  in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Chicago Marathon, October Visit — and run through — The Windy City at the annual Chicago Marathon, one of the six World Marathon Majors. (Getty Images) (Getty Images/David Banks)
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2015, file photo, downtown Portland, Ore., is visible under the Interstate-5 Marquam Bridge on the Willamette River. There are numerous bridges in Portland spanning the river, varying in age and ability to withstand a major earthquake. For the past few years emergency officials in the Pacific Northwest have been drafting detailed contingency plans for the day a mega-quake and tsunami hit the region. What planners envision is a massive response that would eclipse the response to any natural disaster so far in U.S. history.  (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)
Portland’s Bridge to Brews, April  Combine your love of running with some of the Northwest’s best craft beer at this annual 10K and 8K race. (Getty Images) (AP/Don Ryan)
(1/10)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01:  Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Held each July in Atlanta, the Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K race in the world.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 a tour group looks over the copper stills at the Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, Ky.  Kentuckians like to brag about their whiskey, and distillery tours along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail let them show off the craft of turning grains and a few other ingredients into fine whiskey in an age-old process. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 30:  Runner Anya Marmuscak crosses the start line at the St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Marathon/Half Marathon and 5k where more than 34,000 participants weathered the rain during the 17th running on April 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for St. Jude )
HONOLULU, HAWAII - DECEMBER 13:  2015 Honolulu Marathon runners head down Kalakaua Avenue adorned with tropical Coconut Trees. December 13, 2015.   Honolulu, Hawaii. December 13, 2015.  (Photo by Cory Lum/Getty Images for HONOLULU MARATHON)
ANCHORAGE, AK - JULY 14:  A surfer rides the Bore Tide at Turnagain Arm on July 14, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska's most famous Bore Tide, occurs in a spot on the outside of Anchorage in the lower arm of the Cook Inlet, Turnagain Arm, where wave heights can reach 6-10 feet tall, move at 10-15 mph and the water temperature stays around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This years Supermoon substantially increased the size of the normal wave and made it a destination for surfers.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
FILE - In this June 2, 2011 file photo, the Silverado Trail winds through the Stags Leap District in this view from Silverado Vineyards in Napa, Calif.The trail more or less runs parallel to Highway 29 but is quieter, winding through green vistas of vineyards and rolling hills. Wineries along this route include Mumm Napa Valley. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
HOPKINTON, MA - APRIL 18:  A general view as Wave One runners start the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Runners race at the start of the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 11, 2015  in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2015, file photo, downtown Portland, Ore., is visible under the Interstate-5 Marquam Bridge on the Willamette River. There are numerous bridges in Portland spanning the river, varying in age and ability to withstand a major earthquake. For the past few years emergency officials in the Pacific Northwest have been drafting detailed contingency plans for the day a mega-quake and tsunami hit the region. What planners envision is a massive response that would eclipse the response to any natural disaster so far in U.S. history.  (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

WASHINGTON Some people pick their travel destinations based on food, others go for the history. But now more than ever, people are taking vacations to run.

It’s called a “runcation,” and as Chris Heuisler explains, it’s when one plans a vacation around a specific run or race.

“What we’re seeing are these runners picking cities that appeal to them and then they book a trip that coincides with a race,” said Heuisler, who is the run concierge for Westin Hotels and Resorts.

For exmaple, those who have always wanted to visit Hawaii might sign up for the Honolulu Marathon as an excuse-of-sorts to go. Philadelphia, New York City and Nashville make for great weekend destinations, and they also happen to host a number of large and small road races.

Heuisler says planning a trip around a run, or scheduling a run on your next trip, is a great way to stay motivated during your training.

“These runners are booking their trips as a way to stay accountable to their health on the road, while also being able to indulge in these cities after they compete in the race. They don’t feel guilty about trying the local food and drinking the local drink after they run 13 or 26 miles,” he said.  

The Starwood hotel chain picked up on the trend and hired Heuisler in 2013 to help guests with everything from finding the best local running routes to navigating race expos and start lines. Heuisler even lends out running shoes in case they are forgotten or lost with luggage.

Jordi Lippe-McGraw, a contributor at Condé Nast Traveler, says if you’re planning a runcation, race registration and details are important but once you have that set, think beyond the finish line.

“Pick three to five top things in that city that you want to see or do and make your itinerary before you leave and that way you have a perfect way to spend a great weekend after the race,” she said.

Packing for a runcation is different than packing for a typical vacation. For starters, you need to think about your gear.

“Do your homework and see what the weather’s going to be like. I personally like to pack a shirt that I don’t need anymore and I’ll wear it over top of my race top and I’ll ditch it when the race starts,” Heuisler said, adding that charity organizations usually come by after the end of a race and pick up leftover clothing for donations.

Throwing a foam roller into your carry-on will help keep your muscles loose on a long plane ride and a water bottle will keep you from becoming dehydrated.

“You cannot hydrate enough when you’re traveling,” Heuisler said.

Pack it empty to the airport and fill it up once you clear security.

Even if you’re not the one running, Lippe-McGraw says you’ll want to pack a pair of good shoes so you can comfortably cheer for your runner and then explore the city.  

“Really take advantage of these runcations. Pick a destination that you always wanted to go to and see if there’s a race there,” Lippe-McGraw said.

“It’s a great way to combine the love of being active with the love of vacation.”

 

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

© 2016 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up