Running Tours: A Great New Way to Explore on the Run
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a group tour of some historic attraction, stifling a yawn and thinking that you’d rather be running? But for the sake of the history buff in your family, you soldiered on and endured three hours’ worth of trivia on days gone by? Man, have we got some good news for you. You can now kick off that long-awaited overseas holiday by indulging in a two-hour exploration run and keep your family historian happy all in one go. Enter running tours: A great new way to explore on the run.
Running tour operators have been popping up in major cities across the globe and offer runners of all ages and abilities just about the best thing since sliced bread: The opportunity to explore on the run. In contrast to traditional sightseeing tours, which generally cater for larger groups, running tours are tailor-made for smaller groups and even individuals. Which means that individual needs and preferences are catered for and, best of all, it’s done on the run.
But what if you’re not super fit or only feel comfortable running shorter distances? Don’t worry. Most standard tours cover specific, pre-advertised distances, allowing you to choose a distance that you feel up to. And as for pace, most operators tailor-make the tour’s pace to the needs of participants.
Still not convinced? Maybe this will help:
- Running tours are led by (suitably qualified) local runners. Which means you get insider tips on the best local eateries, attractions and running routes.
- They allow you to safely explore unknown areas in the company of a local.
- They give you an opportunity to combine different passions in a single outing.
- The provide the perfect way to incorporate training runs into your vacation.
- Small personal items (like car keys and phones) and water/refreshments are carried by the tour guide, leaving you free to focus on exploring.
- Tour guides snap action pictures of clients on the run, leaving you with the perfect souvenirs of your running adventure.
Sounds good, right? But how do you make sure that you get the most bang for your buck? How do you select the best running tour operator in a specific area? Here are a few things to look out for:
- Good online reviews. Search travel sites, like TripAdvisor, for independent, honest reviews of the running tours offered in your geographical area of interest.
- Street cred. Word of mouth is often the most honest form of marketing. Ask around on social media forums or at your holiday accommodation and hear what others recommend.
- Qualifications and affiliations. Is your potential tour guide suitably trained and qualified? Is he/she affiliated to the relevant national body or association of tour guides (if required)? A well-trained, experienced guide is more likely to provide a quality service than a fly-by-night operating from his or her own backyard.
Sold yet? Here are a few highlights from running tours around the world to wet your appetite.
Run Cape Town, South Africa
Showcasing the beauty of the southern tip of Africa, the team from Run Cape Town offers a variety of running tours in and around the Mother City. Some of the tours on offer include a Blouberg Beach run, a historical city center run, a Table Mountain trail run, a Newlands pub run and a run around the streets of Gugulethu. And if none of this tickles your fancy, a tailor-made tour can be put together just for you.
A minimal level of fitness is required in order to cover the respective tour distances on offer, but the distance, pace and frequency of stops of each tour is entirely up to the tour participants.
Urban Running Tours, Argentina
Offering standard running tours through Palermo, San Telmo, Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo Soho and Belgrano, previous customers describe Urban Running Tours as “the best way to see Buenos Eires”. Been there, seen that? Then contact the team for a unique running tour tailored to your own, specific needs.
Your Spanish or English tour guide will conveniently meet you in the lobby of your holiday accommodation and, in addition to photos of your Argentinian running adventure, you’ll also receive an Urban Running Tours memento after your run.
Krakow Running Tours, Poland
Krakow Running Tours in Poland offers tours showcasing Krakow’s parks, trails, mountains, Podgozre and the Jewish ghetto and, their bestseller, “the best of Krakow”. And with a collection of excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, you can be sure that a running tour with these guys is one of the best ways to experience the picture-perfect streets of Krakow.
And, in addition hereto, Krakow Running Tours also offers customized, private tours that can range anything from one to four hours or five to 30 kilometers. The elevation gain and difficulty grading of each customized tour is also entirely up to you. Why not get the whole family to chip in and plan the ultimate foreign running adventure? You can even organize beautiful, albeit non-running outings, to hidden gems like Zakrzowek Lake.
So if you’re heading out of town anytime soon, be sure to include at least one running tour in your itinerary. It will allow you to discover your destination on foot, clock some holiday training miles and return home with the coolest holiday action pics snapped by your very own running tour guide. Your only regret is sure to be the fact that you haven’t discovered this neat new way of exploring a lot sooner!