Running as part of a vacation has seen strong growth in recent years. Individuals wanting to complete marathons in different cities, states, or countries can do so with the numerous marathons offered all over the world. Companies such as Marathon Tours and Travel operates tours that take traveling marathoners around the globe.
Marathons are not the only option for running on a vacation - both endurance races and shorter distance runs are also possible. Run the World operates interesting culture/running tours to international destinations, and allows a traveller to run, but still soak in a large part of culture, which is often missed on a marathon trip.
The Hash House Harriers are a running club that originated among expats in South-East Asia but has since spread widely, with well over a thousand groups in many countries. They do a weekly hare-and-hounds run, followed by a gathering at a local eatery. There are frequent regional gatherings called "interhashes".
Guided running tours are a new category of adventure travel. Experienced runners take clients on great routes and allow them to maintain a running routine while traveling on business or pleasure. In San Francisco, check out American Running Guides. They bring runners all over the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge for some trail running in Marin County. In Spain, 360 Running Barcelona organizes sightseeing and running tours.
Here are some of the best places in the world for travellers to run - that is, routes that lend themselves to both sightseeing and a good jog:
- Vancouver - a gentle 8km loop around Stanley Park will take you around downtown Vancouver's coastal rain forest, totem poles and the best views of the Coastal Mountains rising out of the sea. For some extra distance, continue down the sea wall around False Creek and into Granville Island. For those who like a companion or a guide around Vancouver, executiveRUN provides a guided running tour around Downtown Vancouver.
- Singapore - the pedestrian friendly pathways will take you past most of Singapore's most famous landmarks including the Merlion, Clarke Quay and the Singapore River.
- United States - the Boston, New York and Chicago marathons are three of the largest in the country. Not surprisingly, Honolulu is a top marathon destination of choice as well, due to Hawaii's travel appeal.
- Ottawa - enjoys a lovely greenbelt that traces over the city. Of particular interest is the river valley and Rideau Canal where a 10km loop will take you past such national landmarks as the Supreme Court, the Parliament Buildings, the landmark hotel Chateau Laurier, down the Rideau Canal, loop back across the canal on the heritage Pretoria Lift bridge, past the National Gallery of Canada and over the Ottawa River into Hull, Quebec, where you'll run along the river past the Museum of Civilization and finally cross back into Ottawa past the War Museum.
- Prague - there are few great places for running, like Stromovka park, Letná or along the bank of the river Vltava. If you would like to see more of the city or run longer distance Running Prague provides guided running tours through city.