Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Memorable Runs... Favorite Runs

Although I am only running a little bit these days, I am thinking about it a lot.  And recalling just a few of the places around the world where I have been fortunate to go out for run and what makes them memorable...

  • Halifax, NS - gorgeous harbour and steep Citadel Hill
  • Saint John, NB - historic inner city and lovely parks
  • Disney World, FL- so fun to run through the theme parks and on the roads that join them
  • Innsbruck, Austria - running along the river in the early Spring was exhiliarating 
  • Seattle,WA - hilly Magnolia district overlooks Elliott Bay and is gorgeous and Discovery Park is particularly beautiful
  • Port Ludlow Golf Course, WA - hilly and beautiful... especially the Mountain course
  • Waterloo, ON - getting lost late on a Sunday afternoon, alone, without money, and when all the stores were closed
  • Lompoc, CA - hot and dry and flat
  • Pismo Beach, CA - awesome flat beach for running
  • Daytona Beach, FL - miles of wide flat beach and white sand but you have to watch out for vehicles also driving there
  • Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallata, Mexico - great sunsets, and lots of waterfront to run on but a bit of air pollution to contend with
  • Manzanillo, Mexico - the beach is sloped quite a bit so and out and back run evens you up!
  • Santa Barbara, CA - beautiful and hilly except near the marina which made me homesick for our own boat
  • Vancouver, BC - the Seawall is lovely but way too crowded for my liking
And I do have a couple of favorite places to run, too.  There is a theme I believe. It would seem that my favorite runs and favorite locations and routes have a few things in common:

  • they are all near water, or at least most of the route is along water… oceanside, rivers, and lakes
  • they are all quite flat
  • they are not too busy… no fighting skater boarders, cyclists or other vehicles for elbow room

My most memorable recreational run happened on a rainy Saturday morning in  Monterrey, CA several years ago.  The Captain and I, along with our English Springer Spaniel – Scout – had just spent 8 weeks in California, mostly golfing, from mid December to mid February, and were driving back to Vancouver Island, along the Pacific Coast.  Monterrey is one of The Captain’s favorite places in the U.S.A. so we made sure to spend a few days there when we arrived… there are a shortage of rooms for people travelling with pets so we had pre-booked at a small motel we had been at once before.

That particular Saturday morning we set out on our run, from our motel, through downtown Monterrey along the waterfront to Pacific Grove and around the peninsula to the seaside pathways that mark the entrance to 17 mile drive. It started to rain… and actually became quite a downpour but it didn’t matter… it was warm, and the view is spectacular. When we got back we made sure to towel Scout off, feed her, and get her settled for a nap before we made our way into the hot tub to soak our tired legs…. it was awesome.

I used Map My Run to make a map of the area.

The red arrow indicates the pathway alongside the sand dunes and crashing waves.

Another of my favorite places to run is in my hometown of Calgary, AB.   The city is divided into 4 quadrants… North and South in the core are divided by the Bow River, which flows from Bow Glacier, high in the Canadian Rockies to the West.  There are miles and miles and miles of trails on both sides of the river.  And in several segments, the path is actually doubled… one path for pedestrians, the other for wheeled traffic… bikes, skates, strollers… it wide enough for everyone.  And there are several bridges that cross the river, too… some just for foot traffic.

The last time we ran there, we parked the car at Edworthy Park on the South side… ran East along the South trail and crossed the river at a new foot bridge… then ran back along the North side.  It was a fabulous morning run and because it was a Tuesday, there were very few other people around.   And it just happens to pass through a neighborhood that was one of my childhood haunts, so evokes lovely memories, too.

Again, Map My Run came in handy here.


And a bit closer view so you can see some of the parks, islands in the river, and greenery.

Calgary 3

Actually, Calgary has a few of my favorite routes… there are fabulous trails in the Glenmore Reservoir area, and also at Fish Creek Park.  The Elbow River also has nice trails alongside. 

And I have to admit, that the area I have been living in for the past 12  years, on Southern Vancouver Island, has some of the most beautiful and varied seaside and lakeshore pathways and trails, too.  The half marathon that we ran a couple of years ago, is mostly seaside…

May 19 walk 005

And I particularly love to run along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, that divides Canada and the U.S….

June 8 walk 012

Or around the bustling Inner Harbour… even in the morning fog.

Oct 20 leaving Vic 004

And we have several lakes in the area as well, so there are lots of opportunities for trail runs… some quite rugged, as well.

I would love to hear about your favorite places to run, too.

What makes a place great for running, to YOU?


  1. You have run in some beautiful spots it sounds like. I think all of my favorite spots to run are in the middle of nowhere or next to water.

  2. What fun!
    I have visited Halifax, St John, and Seattle but unfortunately did not take a run there ( I walked a lot though..lol)

    My favorite place to run is Disney World. Do you think you will do another race there?

  3. What a great array of running experiences you've had!
    I love Central Park in NYC, Fisherman's Wharf in San Fran, the Boardwalk in Oceanisde, CA, the Lakefront Path here in Chicago. Except for NYC, I'm seeing a waterfront theme here.

  4. I love discovering new things about my area when running, and running to discover a new city I'm visiting. Today I ran with my sister (she took up running this past year and it is my first time home since then.) It was so fun to have her take me on one of her routes, and to see up close what I normally just drive by :)

  5. wow! you ran in some really amazing places. my runs are not usually memorable after they pass,,,, I mostly only remember the ones where I tripped and fell on my face and got a fat lip. Now THAT'S memorable. LOL


    Napa :-)


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