The Best Kept Running Travel Secrets from Coddiwomple Travel CEO

For 23 years, Scott Guillemette was the man with the plan at Marathon Tours, a boutique travel company specifically catering to runners seeking to run some of the world’s most popular marathons including the New York City Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, and even some further away like the Antarctica Marathon.

Last year, Scott started Coddiwomple Travel, a travel agency dedicated to the hidden gem half marathons missed by conventional travel agencies like the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland and the Sherpa Half Marathon in Nepal.

You can view all the trips they’ll be hosting in 2025 on their website, but we wanted to ask Scott our burning question about traveling for races.

Easter Island at sunset.
Photo: Scott Guillemette

An Interview with Scott Guillemette, Founder of Coddiwomple Travel

Tell us about yourself.

Scott: I have been in the travel industry for more than 30 years. I started as a front line travel agent for a small travel agency in southern Maine. I learned a lot from those first few years. I spent 23 years at a boutique style tour operator, more than a decade as the General Manager, that focused on assisting runners to travel to international marathon events around the globe. In 2022 it was time to challenge myself and start my own travel agency. Coddiwomple Travel, while a full-service travel agency, does offer a niche to a select number of smaller half marathon events. 

What inspired the launch of Coddiwomple Travel?

Scott: While I gained an enormous amount of knowledge and experience, I felt limited as to where I could go. I wanted and needed to be able to offer small group trip experiences to some exotic and fun locations.  To Coddiwomple is to embark on a journey with a sense of adventure, embracing the unknown and allowing oneself to be guided by serendipity.

What’s the most underrated marathon or half marathon?

I’m not sure that Reykjavik gets enough attention. It is held in the Iceland capital city of Reykjavik. It is a short flight from the US. The weather is ideal for running at between 45-60F. The people are friendly and the landscape and course are beautiful. 

What’s the most overrated?

No race can be overrated. Even if you run the same course/event every year, there are always factors that affect race day (weather, field size, how you slept, how you trained).

What are the travel hacks every runner should know about?

Always reconfirm your flight prior to departure. Last minute changes happen all the time. Use a travel professional. They can be of tremendous assistance before, during, and after travel. Second, if your flight is delayed or canceled, call your airline immediately. They can help to secure your rescheduled flight quicker than the local gate agent. Make a copy of your passport to leave with a family member, or snap a picture on your phone. 

Any best practices for running and traveling?

Always pack your running gear in your carry on. Consider leaving your gently used running shoes/gear behind. The gear that you leave may be better than what a local runner currently has. 

What has changed over the last 20 years of planning running tours?

Women in running! Several years back the number of runners had started to plateau. A reinvigoration and increase can be directly attributed to the increase of female runners in the marathon and half marathon distances.

Photo: Scott Guillemette

What’s the best kept secret half marathon or marathon?

The half marathon in Uganda is amazing, and challenging. The lodge that serves as HQ is beautiful and sits just above the crater lake. The sunsets are breathtaking. The race benefits a local school for disabled children. You can add on a chimpanzee trek as well as an optional safari tour. Uganda, and the half marathon, stole my heart.

What’s your best running memory?

For years I had watched and cheered on runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. I saw the sense of accomplishment, elation and pride (and anguish) they had as they crossed that finish line. I wanted that. I needed that. Manchester was my first marathon. I became a marathon finisher that day. Knowing that nothing and no one could take that away makes that my best running memory.   

Why did you choose the half marathons you did to start Coddiwomple with?

Reykjavik has always been a favorite destination of mine. I have now been to Iceland more than a dozen times. Reykjavik Half Marathon was my first official half marathon back in 2008. 

Who is the right person to go on these trips?

Any traveler with a sense of adventure and a passion for running a half marathon.

What should I know before I go?

Know that our staff is experienced. We have traveled to the race destination previously and have a terrific relationship with not only the vendors, but with the race organization as well. We have researched the hotels and sightseeing to ensure the best possible traveling experience. 

How do you select the destinations?

In addition to selecting a destination based upon personal desire to visit and experience a destination, we also survey clients as to where they would like to visit and run. 

What destinations can your clients expect in the future?

Coddiwomple Travel is currently developing a new half marathon in Nepal. It is scheduled for March 8, 2025. Our staff will be traveling to Cairo later this year to meet the race organizer and run the half marathon. In the future, we would like to see trips to all seven continents.

For the running trips, there seems to be a focus of the half marathon. What about the other distances?

Some of the destination events that we have selected offer races in the marathon, 10k and 5k distances, such as Reykjavik and Queenstown. We welcome runners of all distances when multiple distances are offered by the race. Certain trips are limited to the half marathon distance, such as Uganda and Nepal. Don’t forget, we also encourage non-runners to join us.  

You don’t have to run to enjoy the fun. 

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