Travel. Run.

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When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to ‘travelogues’ at the local high school auditorium. These generally involved a couple (or, occasionally, a single guy) presenting home videos of their travels, and providing live commentary. Basically, you were paying to see what people normally used to show in their living rooms to unsuspecting dinner guests. Yet, my parents loved these shows, and I either got caught up in the story of whatever country we were visiting…or I sat on the steps and read a book.

Most of the time, my runs are predictable – they start and finish at home, at Forerunners, or at the office. The sights and routes are familiar. But once in awhile, when I’m out of town, I kind of what to make a ‘travelogue’ of my own – a TravelRun! It’s a great way to explore a new city, and I kind of enjoy having maps on my Garmin from faraway places.  It’s nice to mix things up once in a while!

This past weekend, four of us took a drive to Kamloops, a small-ish city about 4 hours from Vancouver. We were there to see a play written by a good friend of ours, and then we stayed the night. I had brought along my running gear with the intention of doing a run in a town I’d never visited before. I set my alarm and woke up before everyone else, stepped outside, and discovered this:

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There was no snow last night! It wasn’t even that cold! But it was 7am on a Sunday, the snow was still gently falling, and I felt like a kid at Christmastime.

My run took me through the quiet downtown streets (with a friendly “Mornin'” from a guy on his front porch having a smoke), to this curious bridge over the railway tracks:

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Evidently, the bridge was built to encourage exercise, since it’s easy enough to cross at ground level. But I crossed the bridge, reached the riverside park, and ran the path alongside the Thompson River.

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Once I reached the Overlander Bridge, I took a few more photos…

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Then I turned around and headed back to the hotel. As I retraced my route, I reached a point where my footprints were still the only ones…

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Just short of 5km, but I felt that I had gained some appreciation for this town. As you can tell from all the photos, it wasn’t much of a run in terms of exercise…but I had a good time.

We drove home after breakfast.

The very next day, I was off to Edmonton on business. It was a full day of conducting interviews, and after dinner and drinks with a coworker, bedtime sans exercise.

I woke up to this:

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That’s -17 degrees Fahrenheit!

And immediately decided that a run was not in the cards.

That night, as chance would have it, work took me back to Kamloops. But after a delayed flight…well, suffice it to say that my running shoes spent the entire trip in my suitcase.

Back in the office on Thursday, despite torrential rain in the morning, I steeled myself to finally get another run in. And at lunchtime – no rain! So I took advantage of the reprieve, did my seawall run, and felt happy to be home again.

A few of my favourite TravelRuns:


Do you pack your running shoes when you travel? What about business trips – do you keep running? What’s your favourite TravelRun?

72 Comments

  1. good morning Bradley! those are beautiful pictures! I love to run in new places and yes I always pack my running shoes no matter where I am going 🙂 it is such a fun way to explore a new town! Looks like you had a good time, snow and all! Have a great weekend and stay warm!

    • Thank you Mary Beth! I enjoying documenting my TravelRuns and sharing them. The weather just made the whole experience more serene, since no one was around. Back home in Vancouver, it’s a very rainy day – but I was able to run in shorts!

  2. fitnessmomwinecountry

    What a beautiful run you had. The pictures took us through it perfectly. Thanks for sharing. I do pack my running shoes all the time no matter what 🙂

  3. That looks like a really fun run! I always bring clothes to run in when I travel places and I also enjoy getting out and exploring a new city through running. Probably my two favorite places that I’ve visited and ran in have been Niagara Falls and New Orleans. There are lots of times when I’m traveling though where I would rather sleep in than get up early for a run.

    • I completely agree about wanting to sleep in! It was certainly not easy for me to get up for this run, since we’d all been out the night before. Everyone was still in bed when I got back, too! I’ve never been to New Orleans and I’d love to visit.

    • Thanks Deborah. It was SUCH a peaceful run – dark, snowy Sunday morning, no one around. I was so thrilled to realize I had come across my own footprints again. And it wasn’t that cold, either – just below zero. A perfect experience.

  4. Love the pictures! I have found the best way to explore a new city, or really anywhere is on foot, and running at that even better!
    I do pack my shoes on any vacation or trip I take. No matter if I am going up camping in the mountains for a week, or to the beach definitely always bring the shoes and sometimes those solo morning runs discovering something new are the best moments of the trip!
    Great post and it really is a great idea to take a camera with you. I rarely do that on a run, but I like your travelouge idea, like a running scrapbook of adventure:) Fun idea!

    • A running scrapbook adventure – yes! Exactly! I always have a camera because I run with my iPhone – used to use it for music, now I just have it available. Makes the runs a little less intense…lots of stopping at scenic spots…but worthwhile nonetheless. I love that you take your runners everywhere. I didn’t used to do that, but now it’s a must-have. Even though I didn’t end up running during my business trip, it felt reassuring to have the shoes with me.
      Thanks for your feedback!

    • Exactly, Fiona! I’m generally not a morning person, but the one thing that will get me out of bed is the promise of a run to get the day started. It also makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something before the other sleepyheads are up. Mind you, it works better for me when I’m travelling than it does when I’m just living my day to day.

  5. I always take my gear on trip for pleasure and for work. I have run all over the world including Moscow, Siem Reap in Cambodia, in Vietnam, Hong Kong and in cities all over the US. It is my FAVE way to see a new place. I love taking pics, too. I conned a co-worker into taking some with me on a recent trip to San Fran. Thanks for sharing yours!!

    • You make me envious, Erica! Those are some amazing places to run! What was it like in Hong Kong? I’ve read about running there and it sounds like cramped quarters! Is it work that takes you to so many places? I travel for work about once a quarter – to those awesome travel destinations – Edmonton, Kamloops and Yellowknife! 🙂

      • Bradley – the international ones have been pleasure. The Husband and I love to take one cool vacation a year and had friends in HK! Sadly, HK is very smoggy (like Los Angeles) and hot. Our friends lived near an awesome path/park near Victoria Peak. I loved watching the people doing Tai Chi and taking in the view. I travel to cool (San Fran) and less cool places in the US for work. We live in Chicago. I LOVE running in Vancouver. Stanley Park is amazing.

        • Oh Erica – you’ve run in Vancouver! I must say that living here has been a huge factor in my becoming a runner.

          I am thinking of running the San Fran Half Marathon this summer…and I should probably decide soon! Love your HK observations. Is there anywhere you’ve run that you thought was a good idea, but turned out to be not so much?

          • San Fran marathon was my first marathon (when I lived in NYC) in 1996. I am planning to run the full next year – 20th anniversary! I love that run.

            Hmmm. Yes. Moscow (b/c they did not have air pollution regulations and I felt like I had been sucking on exhaust pipes) and southern Russia b/c of the dogs running around… Buenos Aires b/c I did not feel safe where I was running… probably many more if I think about it.

  6. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes

    Wow, amazing run. I very rarely get to travel anymore unfortunately. I would have loved to get out there in the snow, maybe not -27 degrees though! Brr! I have become so warmblooded!

    • The day I ran it was a very tolerable minus one. Yes, -27 is a bit extreme! I was back in my hometown in Ontario in January 2014, and ran in -18 degree weather. THAT was a completely different experience!!

  7. Tricia Johnson

    I’ve never been able to go on a run while I’ve been traveling but I really need to get on board with this fun idea! I know a lot of people do it and see really cool sights, so I can’t wait to try it myself!

    • Honestly, Tricia, the first time I ran during my travels was just to show off a bit! 🙂 But now it’s really become something I don’t want to miss out on. I’m very happy if I’ve inspired you to give it a try!!

  8. haha, I’ve never heard of travelogues–I don’t think they had those at my school, but depending on the place (and the public speaking ability of the presenter), that could potentially be awesome! I probably would’ve brought a book with me too, just in case.

    Those pictures are beautiful! :] (I also feel like I have no right whatsoever to complain about the weather here anymore either, hahaha. How did you survive!?! Good on you for not going running that day; I definitely think it was a smart decision! :P)

    I don’t really run, but have been thinking about getting back into it lately because it really would be the best travel-friendly exercise that I could do!

    • Just to clarify, Farrah – the travelogues were public events (usually 6 per you, and you could buy a season pass!) – they just happened to be held at the high school. I don’t remember them in detail, but I have good memories of them. 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I’m actually spoiled because we rarely get snow in Vancouver, and the timing for this snowfall was perfect! Thanks for visiting!

  9. Mike (Fasterthanfrank.blogspot.com)

    That’s something I’m trying to do now when I go places, is to get a run in at the new place and document it somehow. In the last few months I’ve done that in both NYC and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and over the next few days I will be doing it in Dubai! I just love to travel and doing this just adds more great memories to the trip!

    • Kamloops is lovely, isn’t it? I’d never been there before!

      What is the deciding factor for you whether you run or not? FOr example – I didn’t run in Edmonton because it was -27, plus I was staying near the airport and there was nowhere nice to run!

  10. alicenronan1

    What beautiful pictures. I am terrible when I travel in that I usually take it as “off” time. Your story and pictures make me rethink my approach though. Getting to see things that the average visitor would never get to experience is reason enough to get out there.

    • Thank you – glad you liked the photos! I completely understand wanting to enjoy ‘off’ time on vacation. I guess it’s something about being able to run that makes the vacation just a bit better (even if it’s just once during a one-week holiday!). Let me know if you try it and like it! 🙂

    • Because it rarely snows in Vancouver, any snow is exciting! It was great to have this run…and then head home (to the rain, of course!). Whenever I complained about the wet weather here, my mom would say, “Well, you don’t have to shovel rain!”

    • It was amazing how peaceful it was!

      I would love to do more ‘racecations’ – I have one planned (so far) for this year. The good thing about a business-related TravelRun is that work pays the expenses! 🙂

    • Oh, thank you! What a lovely compliment!

      In answer to your question – slowly! In this case, it wasn’t too bad because the snow was fresh and a bit crunchy. But if it’s slippery, then very short steps is the key. Thankfully, I live in Vancouver, BC where the snow rarely falls – hence the novelty of this run! 🙂

  11. That looks like a really awesome place to run, so pretty! I always bring my running shoes on trips, but they unfortunately don’t always get used. I think I run more often on business trips than personal trips, everyone needs a break from a long work day!

  12. Hi Bradley! I love your travelrun. I, too, love to run through new places and I feel like you can never really appreciate a new city until you run through it. I often choose out-of-town races for that very reason. My favorite travelrun was this past summer when we were in Palm Springs for a few days (http://runwithsole.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-best-way-to-see-new-town.html). Quite a different experience than your frigid run, but still fun 🙂 And as a former east coaster, I do miss the occasional run through the snow. But not enough to move back 😉

    • I’m originally from Ontario, and if I still lived there I probably wouldn’t be a runner! Thank goodness for West Coast weather!! I will visit your blog and comment further there. 🙂

    • Thanks Donna! Where and when did you run in that cold? Although my snowy run was chilly, I have run in minus 18 degree weather – something I’d rather avoid in future! But it made me feel very hardcore. 🙂

  13. I always pack running shoes and clothes when I travel, because running in a new place is one of my favorite things to do. There’s no better way to see a new city or town than by running its streets or trails.

    And I have to tell you that I had to take a second look at the weather screenshot. At first I thought it said 27 deg. and that that temp wasn’t such a big deal. Then I realized it was negative 27!

  14. Sun

    Sounds like you had a wonderful travel run! Great pics during those miles.

    I usually do not run while traveling except if I am racing. I try to time my travel and training so I can take a few days off and be lazy 😉

    • It was a wonderful run! In this situation, I didn’t really count it as ‘training’ (I had done a long run the day before) – it was more of a fun way to explore the town! But I completely understand wanting to enjoy the time off on vacation, too!

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  16. Ardis Harris

    I enjoyed your travelogue Brad and the pictures. It looks so refreshing. Gord and I were there in Kamloops in 2000 and we visited Toni in Merit. Do you remember Toni? We even looked at some interesting houses for sale with him.

  17. Wow! What a nice run…looked very peaceful! I loved the pic of the footprint, along with your shadow. 🙂 And umm… -27 degrees?!?!? brrrr….I love running in different places also….I typically take my running shoes, when I travel…seems I’m always training when I travel so I wouldn’t dare leave home without them. 🙂

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