Travel. Run.

Posted: February 7, 2015 in My Story, Training, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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…


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:


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?

  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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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 says:

    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 🙂

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks so much – glad you enjoyed! The pictures are partly for my blog, and partly for the memories. Do you have a favourite TravelRun spot?

  3. Emily Gercke says:

    SNOW RUN! One or two per season is fun. Good to know you didn’t try in -27!

    • bjcjapan says:

      I wouldn’t want to have to snow run every day, but occasionally is wonderful. I’ve done a run in -18, but I just couldn’t do it this time!

  4. Beth says:

    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.

    • bjcjapan says:

      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.

  5. I am loving those beautiful pics-so nice and quite except for your footprints. I could do without the extreme cold though. Thanks for sharing #growyourblog

    • bjcjapan says:

      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.

  6. cassi9879b says:

    I’m not a runner but I bring my workout gear with me. My husband groaned at having to carry the bag with my weights when we visited family over Christmas.

    • bjcjapan says:

      I LOVE that you took your weights with you, too! Good for you. I suppose that’s one thing I love about running – you can do it with minimal gear!

  7. 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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!

  8. Ima Mosier says:

    I love, love, love the travel run. There is nothing better than seeing new scenery on a run and getting a different view of the location than most visitors get.

    • bjcjapan says:

      Yes! Exactly! It’s also fun if you’re out for a TravelRun and encounter some of the locals on their runs (or walks) – I find it makes me feel like I belong there!

  9. Those early morning walks and runs when no one else is around and it`s just quiet are the best. It`s kind of nice to experience things without a ton of people around.

    • bjcjapan says:

      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.

  10. 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!!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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.

        • bjcjapan says:

          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.

  11. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!!

  12. Tricia Johnson says:

    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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!!

  13. Farrah says:

    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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!

  14. Mike ( says:

    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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      As I said on your blog, Mike – I can’t wait to hear about your experience running in Dubai! You’ve had some cool TravelRuns – keep up the good work!

  15. Shayna says:

    What a beautiful city! I love hearing about other people’s trips! It depends on where I’m going if I run or not. As well as the weather!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!

  16. alicenronan1 says:

    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.

    • bjcjapan says:

      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! 🙂

  17. Lesley says:

    That looks like the perfect winter wonderland. I used to love the snow as a kid but it loses it’s fun factor when I have to shovel it.

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!”

  18. Jenny says:

    There is really no better run than a quiet early run in the snow! I do love to get the lay of the land any time i travel. I always take running gear.

  19. Beautiful photos from your run. I love the snow! The picture of your footprints was very cool. But holy cow negative 27??? Yikes.

    • bjcjapan says:

      Amanda – please keep in mind that the lovely snowy run and the -27 were in two different cities! It was only about -1 when I was in Kamloops! 🙂

  20. Running in new places is always so much fun. I love being able to explore new places by foot and discover all of the beautiful places that we have here on Earth.

  21. Your pictures are beautiful! Like you, I love running when I travel! My favorite place I have run is Berlin, Germany.

  22. Denise says:

    What gorgeous pictures, the snow looks so peaceful to run in! I like to run when I travel too, but most of my trips lately has been for “racecations”.

    • bjcjapan says:

      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! 🙂

  23. I always pack my running clothes, especially if I have to travel for work. It’s the best way to see a new city!

  24. I have to say I am so happy that the #GrowYourBlogHop brought me to your blog. I love it. And second of all, how do you even run in the snow? I can’t even wrap my head around it!

    • bjcjapan says:

      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! 🙂

  25. shohman25 says:

    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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      I like the idea of having the runners with you, just in case. It’s a good way to blow off steam at the end of the work day, to be sure! Any favourite running destinations?

  26. 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 ( 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 😉

    • bjcjapan says:

      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. 🙂

  27. Donna Currey says:

    Visiting from Grow Your Blog! I love the pictures. Absolutely gorgeous. I have had the opportunity to run in cold 20 degree weather but never beautiful like that. So incredibly jealous! =)

    • bjcjapan says:

      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. 🙂

  28. alsoranagain says:

    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!

    • bjcjapan says:

      Glad you agree! Any favourite (or not so favourite) places you’ve done a TravelRun?

      Keep in mind – that screenshot was from the next day, in another town. My snowy run was only minus one (celsius) vs. the minus 27 in Edmonton (where I did NOT run!) 🙂

  29. Sun says:

    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 😉

    • bjcjapan says:

      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!

  30. kimberlyjob says:

    I do pack my shoes, but I usually stick to the hotel gym. I don’t really like running in new places alone, and as of yet, I haven’t convinced my husband to join me.

  31. Ardis Harris says:

    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.

  32. Safari says:

    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. 🙂

    • bjcjapan says:

      Haha – keep in mind the run was only minus 1 – then I went to Edmonton, where I did NOT run in minus 27! Glad to hear your shoes accompany you wherever you go!

  33. […] hope to get in at least one TravelRun while I’m away – but it won’t be the most scenic time of year! Stay tuned for my […]