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7 Ways to Find Running Routes When Traveling

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Updated December 27, 2012

One of the things I love about running is that I can do it anywhere -- including when I'm on vacation or traveling for work. But finding safe running routes when you're in a new location is not always easy. Here are tips to help you discover the best runs wherever you may be:

1. Talk to the concierge.

You're certainly not the first runner to stay at your chosen hotel, so the concierge should have route recommendations and maps for you. Some hotels, such the Westin chain, even loan running gear to guests who didn't have room in their luggage or forgot their running shoes or clothes. And since the concierge should know the city very well, ask him or her about popular attractions and sites you should look for along the way.

2. Use a route finder.

Check out sites such as Map My Run and Run the Planet to find popular running routes. Type your destination into Map My Run's search and you'll see routes mapped by runners in the area. You can also search for routes based on criteria like distance, trail surface, and key words. The Runner's World route finder shows local running routes and their rankings from other runners. The advanced search feature allows you to search by distance, elevation, surface, and type of run. If you're into trail running, check out the American Trail Runner Association's website.

Also see: Where Should I Run?

3. Visit a local running store.

Running specialty shops are a great resource for out-of-town runners. Stop in and ask about suggested running routes. Some running stores even offer free guided group runs that you join.

Also see: How to Find Running Stores

4. Sign up for a race.

If the timing of your visit works out, participating in an organized race is an easy way to run a safe, well-marked route in the company of lots of other runners. Search on sites such as Active.com to see if there's a race during the time you'll be staying at your destination. Running a race is a great way to check out the local area and registering for it in advance will motivate you to run at least once during your stay.

Also see: How to Find Local Races

5. Find a local running group.

Most running groups love showing off their local running routes off to visitors. Check out CoolRunning or Road Runner's Club of America to find running groups in your temporary location. You can search their site for route descriptions and view their club calendar to see if they have any open runs during your visit. If you can't find anything, email the club president and ask for suggestions for local running routes.

Also see: How to Find a Running Group

6. Check out the local schools.

Most high schools and colleges have tracks and many are open to visitors during certain hours. Check out the school's web site or call the school to find out if and when you can run on their track. You could also check out where the school's cross-country team competes locally -- it will most likely be a great running path or trail.

Also see: Rules for Running on a Track

7. Find a running tour group.

City running tours are a great way to hang out with other runners and see lots of tourist attractions when getting a workout. They're becoming more popular and are popping up in lots of cities. Check out sites like City Running Tours to see if they offer any tours in your destination.

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