Marathon Travel: What Runners & Their Crew Need Most - SportsHotels - The sports accommodation experts

Marathon Travel: What Runners & Their Crew Need Most

Half marathons, full marathons, and ultra marathons are in a league of their own when it comes to training and support… and then there’s the travel and accommodation. A professional sports team may comprise a few dozen people including crew, but marathons have thousands of participants, many of whom will have their own support crew too. The London Marathon is one of the biggest, with around 45,000 participants each year, and 750,000 spectators. Demand for hotel rooms soars at marathon time, and it takes a lot of planning to get the accommodation you want.

RunRepeat reports that between 2008 and 2018, women’s marathon participation increased by 56.83%, and men’s participation increased by 46.91%. Those numbers are still growing, and around 30% of marathon participants are now women.  Many runners travel around their home countries and around the world to participate in top international marathons.

Half marathons are a little easier to train for and complete, but they’re still a noteworthy challenge and they’re growing in popularity. The Great North Run, from Newcastle to South Shields, is the world’s biggest half marathon with 60,000 participants each year and millions of pounds raised for charity.

Marathons are big business for hotels, and some are very good at catering to runners. It’s important to choose the best hotel and facilities to look after you before and after the run.

Where To Stay

Comfort. Rest. Extra gear? A good sports massage and spa? What are your personal race requirements?

A hotel close to the start and finish of your marathon is always useful to avoid traffic and other delays in getting to the start, and it can mean a critical extra 15 minutes of sleep! Speaking of sleep, a late check-out time can change your life too.

Having the right food available in the days leading up to your run is vital, and if you can find a hotel catering to your needs that would be first prize. Alternately, a decent bar fridge in the room is useful for storing the food you bring with you. We know of hotels that offer marathon packages, including an early breakfast on the day, a runner’s snack pack, towels, socks, and various other extras.

If your running club is travelling together, a larger hotel that can accommodate everyone at the same location is ideal, and if they can help with transport to the start of the marathon that’s even better. Getting back will depend on everyone’s finishing times, so taxis will probably be easier for that journey.

When a marathon is taking place, many hotels will come up with deals for a set of rooms to host a runner and their team – would you be happy to share a twin or triple with your crew, or would you prefer to have your own space to relax?

Crew Support

Your marathon crew are there to provide support, but there’s a lot that can be done to support them too.

Good WiFi and a desk in the room are useful for planning the run. Bags for carrying gear, water and snacks are always handy – no matter how many carrier bags we bring, we always need more! An extra bag is also useful for keeping crew gear and runner gear separate.

If the hotel is providing snacks and meals, can they also provide nutritional information so your crew can calculate exactly what you’ll be consuming?  

It’s the details that make all the difference before, during, and after a marathon. Hotels that pay attention to the details can help you prepare physically and mentally in those crucial days and hours before the start, and they can be a soothing haven to ease tired bodies and celebrate with your crew when you’re done. is a team of experts with a proud track record of finding the best accommodation for sports participants, teams, and supporters. Get in touch if you’re planning to travel for a marathon and we’ll help put you ahead of the pack in the race for the best hotels!

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