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Cardio Tourism

Or - what I did for my heart while traveling...

by Ruth Furman

I started running in 2009 after I joined Las Vegas Bootcamp. I didn't know it would transform my life.

cardio tourism by Ruthcardio tourism by RuthWhen I began, my motivation was my health and fitness. I ran my first 5K in Boulder City, Nevada, about 30 miles from my home in Las Vegas. That run was followed by many others, eventually building up to half marathons and marathons.

I'm lucky to have so many wonderful races close to home. In addition to running, I had opportunities to volunteer at races around town, where I met many runners traveling here from out of state and other countries. It was the first time I encountered cardio tourism, and I loved the idea. I packed my running shoes, excited to combine my love for travel with my desire to run more races.

My first half marathon was in August of 2009, in Rachel, Nevada. It was a great way to begin my exercise forays into "alien" territory-it was along a stretch of road known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. Although I didn't see any little green men, it was an adventure, and it drove me to seek out even more adventures. In the years since, I've run races in Arizona, California, Illinois and Indiana, including marathons. 

What's cardio tourism?

The cardio tourism concept, itself, is nothing new, but it's added an extra layer to leisure and business travel for me. And I'm certainly not the only one. Many active people travel to run races, complete triathlons or cycle through other states and countries. Some are even trying to run marathons in all 50 states, as you can see at 50 States Marathon Club.  

Cardio tourismCardio tourism 

For me, as a relatively new runner, the idea of combining a business trip, a vacation, or a chance to see family with a race is exciting and fun. My friend, Jenny, encouraged me to run a half marathon with her in Prescott, Arizona. I recruited my brother to run with me in our hometown of South Bend, Indiana. I've also run in Chicago and other places, near and far.

When my husband and I visited La Jolla, California last summer, we found a race there and both of us ran. When I make plans to travel to see a client, I plot it out, when possible, based on when there's a race or event. A lot of people associate the beach and boat drinks with leisure time. I love those too, but for me, a run in a different city is a great way to get to truly discover the new terrain.

4 Cardio Tourism Tips

1. Plan your trip so you have plenty of time to make it to the race expo. Part of the fun is meeting other runners and vendors.

2. "Like" the races Facebook page and sign up for the newsletter. You'll see great tips from other runners.

3. Pre-race is no time to change your routine or try an exotic new restaurant or bar, especially if you're running a longer distance. Eat simply and wait until after the race to indulge.

4. Pack smart, and carry on as much of your running gear as you can, rather than checking it. Here's a funny video I filmed last year in Arizona, featuring a friend and what she packed for her first marathon http://youtu.be/xoLISYyFOmE


All about Ruth!

Ruth Furman - cardio touristRuth Furman - cardio touristRuth Furman is a marketing consultant based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has a diverse background that combines news reporting with more than two decades of experience in the public relations industry. She runs her own virtual agency and works with a fantastic mix of clients, who range from construction, convention services, commercial real estate, home improvement and home furnishings. Ruth is also a boot-camp aficionado, travel lover, self-admitted caffeine-o-holic and devotee of all things purple. To learn more, catch up with Ruth on RuthFurman.com or on Twitter.


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It really is fantastic to combine something you love & are passionate about while you're traveling. Even if you're not a runner there is so many opportunities to get active while on holidays. I work with many clients that love to run, cycle, trek & also offer many packages around the world for marathons, triathlons & ironman that include your registration & all your travel & accommodations. Great to hear that more people are getting active while abroad.

Very cool. I am not yet at a marathon stamina and due to bad knees I may never be. However as a past cross country runner I absolutely love fun runs like 5 or 10 K's. The newest one that looks AMAZING is The Color Run. Due to me living in Costa Rica I won't be able to make it this year, Next year though! I also am starting an adventure blog.

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