Run of the City

Sight-jogging: a healthy, efficient way to tour the world

By Robert Beauchamps

You love to travel. Exploration is your life’s fuel. Nothing satisfies your soul like absorbing the sights and sounds that make a city unique. But sometimes you worry while you’re on the road. Will your exercise routine suffer? After all, part of every journey is the food. You want to counterbalance those extra calories with a workout here and there. If you’re a runner, there’s a new and exciting way to combine sightseeing with jogging.

Sight-jogging is a trend sweeping most major cities around the world. The concept is simple: Get your run in while following a specific route that allows you to take in the sites from ground level. The best part? Most cities offer sight-jogging tours complete with a knowledgeable guide who runs with you and your group. If you prefer running solo, a map and a list of sites are available.

“I joined a sight-jogging group in Paris,” recalls Ken Stockton, former triathlete with more than a few hundred thousand kilometres under his sweatband. “They offered me a couple of routes. I chose the one with the most kilometres and the most sites. I got to break a good sweat and saw everything on my list. It was better than dying of boredom on one of those stuffy sightseeing buses.”

“I was just getting into jogging when I travelled to Dublin,” says Gaétan Desnoyers of Verdun. “I was there for five days on business, and I didn’t want to skip on my routine. So I went out on a sight-jogging run, and I would definitely do it again. The new streets and the new sights really helped distract me from the pain,” he says, laughing.

Besides the cardio, another benefit of sight-jogging is the green angle. Your running shoes leave no carbon footprints, whereas a tour bus burns a lot of fuel to get around a city with the air-conditioning on full blast.

Buses can only follow so many roads. The fact that you’re on foot means you can run off the beaten track and take note of interesting shops and restaurants only the locals know about. After a shower, you can return and properly experience all the gems you’ve uncovered on a sight-jogging tour, from Berlin to Brussels and back to Brooklyn again.

Sight-jogging tours can usually be booked for an individual, a private group, while some companies run group tours that individuals can join at set times. Trainers design routes to suit their clients’ age, tastes, and fitness level.

“At the end of my trip, I felt good about myself and where I’d been,” says Mr. Stockton. “I scratched off all the sites on my list and I stuck with my training regimen. Best of all, I met fellow running enthusiasts from all over the world. I’ll be running with my buddy Mikaël next time I’m in Stockholm.”


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