We are so happy to see in-person racing is starting back up around the U.S.  And, now we are starting to get the details on Europe opening back up to U.S. tourists.  Here’s what we know, and some tips for you to get ready to join in the fun.

In-Person Racing

Marathon in France - Running TourWe are already seeing in-person races being rolled out around the U.S.  Europe is a little behind the U.S. in this regard, but in-person events have started up there as well.

What changes can we expect in the post-Covid world?  Limited number of participants has been the most common change so far.  So, make sure you register for your race early — or, join a tour with us and get guaranteed entry!

Other common race features for Covid-19 safety:

  • Mask requirements at the start and finish
  • Limited pre- and post-race gatherings
  • Staggered start times
  • Pre-packaged food, or no food offered
  • Single-use water bottles, or “bring-your-own water” requirement

While the events may look a little different, we are excited to finally be gathering together and racing again!

Europe Opening

Run In Paris, FranceYipee!

The European Union “will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA [the European Medicines Agency],” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, told the New York Times. The three vaccines that have been approved for use in the United States—Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—have all been approved for use in Europe.

It’s great to hear that all of Europe will be opening soon, but von der Leyen didn’t give much information on when or exactly how that would be happening.

Luckily, France was more concrete with their plans.  French President Emmanuel Macron released a detailed road map for how the country plans to emerge from its current lockdown and begin relaxing restrictions. The plan includes allowing foreign tourists with a “health pass” to visit France again starting June 9.  Greece is already starting a phased opening, and Italy and Spain are not far behind.

What’s a Vaccine Passport?

Vaccine Passport EuropeThe truth is, we don’t yet know.  France’s plan seemed to indicate that either proof of a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test would suffice to gain entry.  But, there is talk about a more strict requirement of proof of vaccine only.

A digital “vaccine passport” has been speculated by many in the travel and tourism industry, but actual details are not yet known.  The E.U. is working on “Digital Green Certificates,” to prove vaccination status, recent negative tests, or recovery from the disease.  We U.S. travelers may need to submit a proof of vaccine document to the country we plan to visit.  That country would then issue us a digital certificate to meet the E.U. requirements.  But, at this point it’s too early to know exactly what the process will entail.

We do know that Europe is eager for tourists, so I wouldn’t expect the process to be a difficult one.

Make Your Reservations

Race in Europe - Running TourA travel boom is coming, so be ready to make your plans!

A Travel Technology Association survey found that over 80% of Americans plan to travel this year.  And, AirBnB CEO Brian Chesky said, “we think there’s going to be a travel rebound coming that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”  We at Finish Line Travel agree – everyone wants to get out and run a race and TRAVEL!

What can you do to be ready to travel once the borders open?

  1. Keep an eye on flights – there have been some good deals popping up, so be ready to snatch that flight when the price is right.
  2. Pay attention to cancelation policies – most airlines are offering free changes and free cancelations.  But, don’t expect those terms to last past the New Year.
  3. Book early to guarantee your spot.  Our Finish Line Travel tours are small – so, they will fill up!  Book early to guarantee your spot, but also know that your tour can be canceled or changed without hassle.
  4. Go run, travel & enjoy!

Are you a lone wolf or do you like to be part of a pack?  We’re digging into why you might want to do either and what it can do for your running.

Running Alone TrailBenefits of Running Alone

Your “Race,” Your Pace

You all have those days as part of your workouts or training when you need to up your tempo just as much as there are days when you should just run easy – let yourself recover and keep your risk of injuries at bay.  Those easy days are one of the best arguments for running alone.  When you run with a group, you will try to keep up (always competing are ya?) – and, if the pace isn’t just right, then you may risk injury, or at least you’re going to tire yourself out.  So, on those easier days, think about skipping the group run, and head out on your own, do your thing, listen to your body and take it easy.  Run and smell the flowers.

Meditation & Peace

Do you ever just need some “me time?”  (Right here!)  Running alone is a perfect time for that!  Skip the earbuds and just head out for a run with your thoughts.  Or zen out with your favorites tunes.  Either way, sometimes you need that alone time to work through a business issue, reflect on relationships, or maybe it’s time to think about nothing and clear your mind.  We are fans of getting out for a run on a trail or in a park and just listening to what’s around us or under us – our feet padding the ground.  Ahhhh.

Time to Focus

Are you in the middle of training for a big race?  Maybe it’s time to get serious and really focus on your workout.  Group runs can help to make workouts more bearable (we’ll talk about that below), but sometimes the chit-chat isn’t what you need – just run alone focus on your workout or your form & breathing.  You may get the most out of your run without any distractions.

Benefits of Running with a Group

Running Group WorkoutTalking Pace

Coaches always say that when running your easy pace, you should be able to carry on a conversation.  Long runs are such an important part of marathon and half marathon training — if you are lucky enough to have a running group with people of your same ability, a long run with friends is a great way to make sure you don’t run too fast.  Just keep running and talking!  The time and the miles will go by quickly and you know that you aren’t running too fast if you can still carry on the conversation.

Some of my fondest memories are going for runs with my college cross country teammates.  There was always lots of joking and telling stories while the miles passed below our feet.

Just be sure that you aren’t over-doing it. If you are trying to keep up with runners faster than you and running too fast, you will risk injury or you may just be too tired to follow your workout routine the rest of the week.  And in that case, what’s the point?


Do you run very early in the morning or at night?  Running with a group or a partner is a great way to feel safer.  It’s a sad reality that we runners (especially women runners) need to think about safety and harassment.  Be safe, plus get all the other benefits of running with a group!

Run Faster Together

On a dark morning, the bed is so comfy… If you have a group waiting for you, that accountability is sometimes just what you need to force you out of bed and into the running shoes.  And, once you are out there, it really does feel so good!  You won’t regret leaving your warm bed (most of the time).

There’s also something about running with others that lets us push just a little bit harder.  If I’m running alone, it’s too easy to just skip that last “rep” on the intervals.  So, running with others is great for those hard workouts.  There’s the encouragement from your cheering friends and a little friendly competition to get that extra push.

Reach Your Goals

There’s a time and place for group runs and for running alone.  Plan ahead, check in with yourself and see what suits you (mentally and training wise) and each type of run can help you reach your marathon or half marathon goals!

Brussels Belgium Marathon