As much as I love “my” routes, one of my favorite parts of traveling is exploring new-to-me (and even old-to-me) places by running. I began running after I moved to Harrisburg, thus I’ve only been running for about four years, so even running in my hometown is still fresh. Over the past four years, my running shoes are always a staple in my suitcase when I leave town. (And don’t even ask about the hodgepodge of running clothes that get thrown in there. What if it’s hot? What if it’s cold? What if I want to wear a t-shirt but not a tank top? What color shorts should I pack?)
Here are some of my favorite places to run:
Central Park, New York City, New York -- So cliché, I know, but it’s beautiful here. I first ran in Central Park in the Manhattan Half Marathon in January 2011, and despite the frigid temperatures, the race remains a favorite memory. Most recently, I visited New York City over Labor Day weekend, and you can be assured I ran there both days I was there. I just love how you have your choice of so many different routes, and the park was totally packed with very friendly runners. I am very envious of those who run here daily.
Seattle, Washington — I’ve only been to Seattle once, about three years ago for a wedding, but I was totally awestruck by its beauty. The scenery of it helped to defer from all the hills I was running up and then flying down. And I was lucky enough to avoid Seattle’s notoriously rainy climate.
Ocean City, New Jersey – Really, this applies to any town with a beach and a boardwalk. Running on the boardwalk feels so much better on my joints. And there is something so calming about running next to the beach. I was staying in a house with many family members, and getting up before everyone to run was “my” time to clear my head and have an hour or so to myself.
Orlando, Florida — So running in the humidity was extremely difficult here, but there is something, dare I say it, magical about running in the happiest place on Earth. My college roommate lives in Celebration, and it was so scenic running there. I’d love to do one of the Disney races, if only they weren’t so expensive.
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania – Ah, yes, my hometown. While I am sure Wilkes-Barre isn’t on most people’s destination list, running in my hometown is something I genuinely look forward to each time I hop on 81. There’s a path right next to the Susquehanna River (just like in Harrisburg), and one of my favorite routes involves a loop around Kirby Park. As an added bonus, my mom usually has freshly made blueberry pancakes waiting for me after! Maybe that’s why I like running there so much?
Where are some of your favorite non-local places to run?