Running while traveling can help you build or maintain physical fitness, and prepare for competition. Some people complete marathons or other races all over the world, either as part of visit to a place they wanted to visit, or as the main reason for going there. Companies such as Marathon Tours and Travel[dead link] operates tours that take traveling marathoners around the globe.
Marathons, endurance races and shorter distance runs are held in many cities and some rural areas at all tines of the year.
- Hash House Harriers. This is a running club that originated among expats in South-East Asia, but has 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". They are sometimes described as "a drinking club with a running problem".
Guided running tours are a fairly new category of adventure travel. Experienced local running guides take clients on great routes and allow them to maintain a running routine while travelling on business or pleasure. They are known as "running tours", "city running" or "sightrunning". Generally, we can distinguish two kinds of running tours. Scheduled tours are such events that take place with fixed time, itinerary and meeting points; more than one participant usually takes part. Most popular are the customized, private or personalized tours which only realize once a traveling runner books them. Some providers operate both kinds, especially the established or bigger ones; some specialize only on customized tours.
Internationally, there are nearly 200 running tour organizations. Most of them operate independently. On RunningTours.Net you can find almost 100 independent and well-rated running tour organisations around the world. The organisations on this network website mostly started 5 to 10 years ago and have the best quality/price rating.
Global Running Tours successor, Go Running Tours networks dozens of sightrunning providers on four continents. With roots in Barcelona's Running Tours Barcelona and Copenhagen's Running Copenhagen, it was quickly joined by Running Tours Prague based in Prague and others. It focuses on bringing quality standards into the field of activities with quite a few requirements (insurance, top customer rating etc.) for a provider to fulfill before they are invited onto the board. In The Netherlands, you can find running tour organisations in a.o. Amsterdam, Nijmegen, on the National Parc the Veluwe, Rotterdam with Rotterdam Sight running Tours and in Maastricht Maastricht 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 8-km 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. FitCity Tours & Travel offers a guided tour from the West End, into Stanley Park and around Coal Harbour. Lead by local guides these tours are a great way to learn a bit about the city and get some tips about where to go for dinner or what other cool things you should check out while you are in town.
- 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.
- Mexico City, Mexico - hosts an annual marathon (Maratón Internacional de la Ciudad de México) in late August or early September. Visitors to the city can join their fellow runners any morning in the forests of Chalpultepec Park or through the expansive tree nursery of Viveros de Coyoacan National Park.