One of my favorite ways experience a new place is by going for a jog. I love not having a map or a plan, just tying on my shoes and meandering along. I’ve had memorable runs in Tuscany as well as Ireland and France. Suffering from annoying jet lag in Asia motivated me to get out at dawn in China, Vietnam and Thailand. Asia is buzzing at first light, and in Shenzhen as well as Hanoi people gathered in parks for exercise routines that ranged from flag dancing to tai chi to something that seriously resembled jazzercise. These runs always felt a little bit magical, like I was privy to sights other tourists didn’t get to see. I also never felt like the usual conspicuous tourist, but just seemed to melt into the landscape with all the other early-rising exercisers.
I love running as a way to get to know a place so much that I’ve been planning to write a post about it for a while now. And then today I came across the website for City Running Tours, which offers guided jogs in New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Personalized tours are led by a guide who takes you on a nice long run and points things out along the way. Runs start at $60 for the first 6 miles, and are $6 per person per mile after that. Besides the guided tour, you also get a t-shirt and a souvenir photo.
I’m not a huge fan of guided activities, but this is the type of tour I would totally take part in. I have to try really hard to get all my exercise in while on the road (especially in countries where transportation is cheap and the air quality bad, like India), and an early morning jog with other travelers seems like a great way to wake up, burn some calories, and do some sightseeing.