Race with a View

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Vacation Races.  I can read your mind now….do those words belong together?  Maybe the thought alone of working out on vacation sounds like a terrible idea, but hear me out and read on.  I’ve completed races over the years in various cities around the US.  Even though the scenery may vary a bit, you are typically stuck running a route through a city or suburb.  Enter VACATION RACES.  I heard about this through the grapevine and started to do my research last year.  The website already had me hooked with the tagline ‘run where you play.’  The idea of running or exercising on vacation isn’t foreign to me, but I’m usually subjected to working out in a small hotel gym with old equipment or running in an area that I’m not familiar with.  As I continued my research, I found that www.vacationraces.com offers gorgeous, scenic runs of various distances in and around National Parks in the US.  These races are open to all fitness levels, even children!  There is something for everyone in the family to enjoy together. I love the mountains, cool air and being outdoors, so I was immediately drawn to a race in the Grand Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming.  I registered for the 5K and half marathon with my Mom and planned our family vacation around the race.  We just returned from the trip, so I wanted to share my experience with you!

  1. The Views: WOW.  If you’ve ever completed a race distance of any kind or if you plan to in your lifetime….the views during a race don’t get much better than having the majestic mountains as a backdrop.  The race course was incredible from start to finish.  The fact that I was able to enjoy the race with my Mom was an unforgettable experience that I am so thankful we were able to enjoy together.  
  2. The Crowd: I loved that the vacation races are much smaller than typical city races.  It feels more personal and intimate.  The race support, volunteers and communication from the staff was by far the best I’ve ever experienced.
  3. The Expo: The expo was held outside in an open field surrounded by the Grand Teton mountains.  I have to say, it beats the rush of the crowds cramming inside florescent lit auditoriums in a rush to get in and out as quickly as possible.  The fresh air was incredible, there was plenty of space and they even had a smores bonfire area set up that invited everyone to stay a while and enjoy the experience! 
  4. The Town: We loved staying in Jackson Hole.  We stayed for a week and visited Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, which was only about an hour away!  Jackson is a quaint, charming town with so many fun activities to offer families.  

We had a wonderful race experience and I’m already signing up for my next one!  It’s a great way to check out the National Parks, enjoy the scenery and spend time with family!  I can’t wait to share my next race adventure with you when I visit Antelope Canyon, Arizona early next year!  

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Courtney and her husband Matt were born and raised in St. Louis. Courtney stays home with their little boy, Noah and is a certified run coach and trainer. She found her passion in health and fitness through her own journey to better health, losing 50 pounds with good old fashioned diet and exercise. She has ten years of experience coaching run groups with Fleet Feet, Fit4Mom and she now coaches her own local Run Club here in St. Louis. A former 'couch potato’ to marathoner, she even ran a half marathon during each trimester of her pregnancy. Besides running, she loves early morning workouts at Burn Bootcamp, traveling, running around town in her workout clothes and baseball cap, spending time with her family and relaxing with a glass of wine! She’s all about having fun, laughing, spreading positivity, meeting new people and motivating others to live their happiest, healthiest life. She is thrilled to be a part of the STL Moms Blog team and can’t wait to share her health and fitness tips with you!