All these pictures have been taking while I ran as as a form of sightseeing. The one above is from the Standhope Challenge in Idaho at the 11K foot pass as rocks shed from the peak to the right and you looked out over everything, a transcendent moment.
I’ve been lucky that I naturally wake up earlier than the fam on vacations and caffeine up, put on the running shoes and escape out the door and discover the world. I get the lay of the land, get to places I’d never see otherwise. Running is a passion of mine. I’m lucky that way as I know of other people that genuinely hate it…”The day I run is the day a bear is chasing me.” Well my friend if we are hiking together when we encounter that bear.. I’ll run faster.
I feel if you make running, walking, hiking a habit it would also pull you in to that freedom and adventure. Each time you head out the door you don’t have to stick to a planned route, just go discover. Let the world happen while being in the middle of it.
So my better running experiences have come from running as sightseeing. They each are etched in my mind. Running down the mountain trails I just ran up in Hawaii, Tantalus, it was like downhill skiiing with quick feet avoiding tripping on the roots. Running around the whole of the medieval walls of Rothenburg-on-the-Tauber in Germany, about a 10K at times running along the parapet in top of the medieval wall. Every single run in Alaska, seeing a moose around the lake at Danali, running up the glacier trail to the top near Seward, best of all topping Mount Marathon above Seward with a view over the whole bay. These are all experiences I couldn’t and wouldn’t have had if I didn’t love running.
I’ve ran into the running dog of Oia at Santorini Greece, got torrentially rained on and saw the world’s 2nd biggest spider in Phuket, all in the same run.
And the thing is, you don’t have to be on vacation to practice running as sightseeing, it can occur right outside your door. Don’t stick to the same path every time, you’ll be surprised by what you see and find. Recently I’ve chased quail across the street, ran into kids digging ramps in a dirt construction zone who were so happy to get to pet the retrievers, Kyra & Koufax. Even if you aren’t a runner, try it a few times… or even walk then jog. The beauty of running is you get to cover more ground. Even in quarantine, there’s still a world out there… just stay 6 feet away for goodness sakes.
Run on dear friend. Run on….