A running traveller is usually a very, very bad sign. There’s probably a bus with an empty seat on it somewhere, a plane announcing the last boarding call, a train pulling out from the station.
But there’s a new breed of running travellers in town. They’re puffing and panting, sweating and sightseeing, running in groups through major cities around the world as a new and improved way to see the sights.
Anyone who’s ever come home from an overseas trip knows what it’s like to return with a food baby thanks to a lack of exercise and luxurious holiday foods, so this trend will no doubt be a welcome addition to healthy holidaymakers. Plus, what better way to fit a whole lot of sights into a short space of time?
Most cities have options for everything from family groups of varied fitness levels, right up to marathon runners who really want to go the distance.
So make like Forrest, jump on the latest travel trend, and run around some of these awesome cities on your next trip.
The City of Lights becomes the city of light feet with several options that transform its sweeping boulevards and terraces into the ultimate running track with GoRunningTours.
A 10km circuit on the left bank will take you through some of the most historically and culturally important icons in Paris. This includes the Luxembourg Palace gardens, the Pantheon, La Sorboone and the Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll see the Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts, the famous pyramid at the Louvre, the Tuilieres Gardens and the spectacular Palais Royal.
Alternatively, run the town on the 10km circuit of the right bank. This will take you through some of the biggest names in tourism, starting at the Petit and Grand Palais, the Alexander III Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, Palace de l’Etoile and Champs-Elysees. The tour continues to the National Assembly, the Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre Carousel and the Orangerie.
Or for experts, lace up your sneakers for a 20km run through Paris, covering tracks for many of the most famous sites and plenty of the lesser-known ones, too.
New York City
Frank Sinatra once sang that his “vagabond shoes” were “longing to stray” through New York City. We think it’s safe to assume he’s talking about taking a running tour.
A number of organising tours can take you through just about any of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods. The Brooklyn Brewery Run from CityRunningTours offers a unique chance for a 6.5-kilometre jog through Williamsburg, passing by the Knitting Factory, Peter Luger Steakhouse and the McCarren Pool, before finishing up with a tour and a pint at the Brooklyn Brewery.
Or sign up to the Times Square Run for a fast-paced trot through the 10 blocks around this iconic location, which includes Grand Central Station, the Rockerfeller Center and the Great White Way.
Then there’s the East Village, West Village, SOHO, Lower Central Park, Roosevelt Island, or even personalised tours if you want a mix of everything.
Say hello to the Big Ben, wave to the Queen and play I spy with the London Eye with CityJoggingTours.
The company offers three roaming runs for recreational joggers, all 6- or 7-km long. The Riverside Run introduces you to Tower Hill, the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament. The Royal Parks and Palaces Run will see you outstripping the palace guards, jogging through St James and Hyde Park, and visiting the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain before finishing up at Kensington gardens. The Iconic London Tour covers most of the attractions you’ll see on postcards of the city – Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.
Heading overseas for a tour that’s going to give your sneakers a workout? Consider grabbing travel insurance to cover your trip, and check out the options available with Virgin Travel Insurance.
Join the latest travel trend. Where in the world would you most like to do a running tour?