Travel Running: Top Seven International Spots
Running underwent a boom in the 1970’s leading to city parks being filled with jazzy pinstriped tracksuits and marathon entry lists filling in record time. Now in the 2020’s, running is arguably just as popular but the average runner’s ability to travel has increased much more than what the runner of fifty years past was capable of.
As runners we would definitely all agree that monotony is a killer. Running in a new place can be beautiful, educational and above all memorable. Below are our favorite running destinations.
Feel free to leave your comments on your most memorable running destinations.
#1- Robin Hood’s Bay, UK
This is a beautiful stretch of Yorkshire coastline, famous for a history of smuggling, whale hunting and exploration; being the birth county of legendary sea faring explorer Captain James Cook. Run round trip down the Cleveland Way National trail starting in the clifftop village of Ravenscar and turning round at the seaside town of Robin Hood’s Bay. Along the way you have the chance to scramble around derelict WW2 gun bunkers as well as an old 19th century aluminum works. What’s more if you need a break you can always stop off at Boggle hole for a bit of fossil hunting.
Distance: 8miles/13KM (round trip)
Scenery: Coastal and Moorland
#2 - Salalah, Oman
Most people have recently learned about this oil rich country due to the death of Sultan Qaboos Bin Al Said. Oman is a simply beautiful country enjoying a massive, empty, untouched coastline; the stunning empty quarter dune-filled desert and the Southern Omani natural phenomenon of the Khareef season; a concentrated monsoon which transforms the dusty desert strewn hills and mountains of Salalah into a green oasis. Al Mughsayl beach, a short drive south of Salalah provides an awesome spot from which to enjoy beautiful fresh air, observe local fishermen at their work as well as push your stride further as you take on this 10km stretch of beach. Start your run from Marneef cave and blow holes located at the southern side of the bay but make sure to keep track of your distance as the beach is huge.
Distance: 12miles/ 20KM (round trip)
Departure/Arrival: Al Mughsayl (Marneef cave and blow holes)
#3 - Lake Louise, Canada
We have all seen the famous image of the lake reflecting towering mountains at one point or another in our lives. Like something from a dream, it is also an amazing place to run! The gorgeous turquoise color of the lake comes from rock flour carried into the lake from the glaciers that overlook it. Watch your stride as you set off at the break of dawn for magnificent mirror views of the lake as well as peace and serenity in this beautiful spot of the Rocky Mountains. From the Lake Louise Hotel set off on the right side of the lake and follow the walkway that takes you up the side of the mountain until you hit a separate higher elevated lake named ‘mirror lake’.
Terrain: Medium Difficulty (uphill)
Distance: 5miles/ 8KM (round trip)
Scenery: Lake and forest
Departure/Arrival: Lake Louise Hotel
#4 - Kenting, Taiwan
A closer destination for those of us located in China. Kenting is located at Taiwan’s southernmost tip. Around 90 km from Kaohsiung and boasting coral sea cliffs and rolling hills, Kenting’s most famed beach became famous for being the beach that Pi and the Bengal tiger parted ways on in the movie ‘Life of Pi’. The roads here are generally quiet and safe to run on. Start your run by the Eluanbi lighthouse and follow the coastline down to south bay beach.
Distance: 8miles/ 13KM (one way)
Departure/Arrival: Eluanbi lighthouse to South bay
#5 - Melbourne, Australia
A beautiful city which is also runner friendly. If you find yourself on a business trip or vacation in Melbourne, definitely hit the streets for a run and there is no better route to follow (that won’t get you lost) than following the Yarra river trail. If staying in the city center set off from the crown casino and head up river, though do watch out for the numerous cyclists as this is a shared pedestrian and cyclist path. Along the river be sure to watch out for the numerous sites or even stop off at them along the way. Some of the local sights include Birrarung Marr, Melbourne park, Melbourne cricket ground, Melbourne botanic gardens and historic Como house.
Distance: 5miles/ 8KM (round trip)
Scenery: Riverside sightseeing
Departure/Arrival: Crown Casino
#6 - Tsagaan lake, Mongolia
The awesome thing about the great outdoors in Mongolia is that there are no boundaries or restrictions on where you can and can’t go. The grassland steppe is an ordnance surveyor’s paradise, but it also has some pretty cool places for running. One such place is Tsagaan lake, located in Mongolia’s Arkhangai province. The lake is neighbored by the Khorgo volcano and is a hub for migratory birds, and especially popular with local fisherman. Running around the lake itself is rewarding and challenging. The distance around the whole lake is approximately 15miles, however, in order to complete the whole circuit one needs to cross the Suman river which springs from the lake. Another challenge can be navigating the boggy conditions at the edge of the lake shore as well as being wary of local animals such as yak.
Terrain: Medium (potentially boggy, undulating)
Distance: 15miles/ 24KM
Scenery: Lake side
Departure/Arrival: Tsagaan Lake Ger camp
#7 - Hovsgol lake, Mongolia
One of Asia’s best kept secrets, Hovsgol lake is located in the north of Mongolia. It is one the worlds seventeen ancient lakes (a lake known to be over two million years old) and is surrounded by pristine taiga forest, abundant in wildflowers and wildlife. Hovsgol national park is a protected area that has seen little international tourism over the decades. For runners, the lake provides an amazing destination for a running holiday, whether following the lake or tackling the mountains there is no lack of inspiration to get up and running. For a rich running experience, a stay at Toilogt camp and running north along the lake shore is highly recommended. The camp hosts the annual Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset marathon, a meaningful and truly memorable running experience that contributes all profit derived to the maintenance of Hovsgol National Park.
Terrain: Medium (potential boggy, undulating)
Distance: Preference Based
Scenery: Lake side
Departure/Arrival: Toilogt guesthouse