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Running in Nassau, Bahamas

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
in Training

As a runner being on vacation does not mean you take a vacation from training. Many times it is quite the opposite. Being on vacation gives you the opportunity to run in new places and explore new areas. For me this is always exciting.

In 2010 I was able to go to Nassau, Bahamas with my wife and daughter to escape the cold New England winter. If you read my previous post about running in Washington, DC you will know that my family enjoys running from place to place while we are sightseeing. We did the same in Nassau. We mapped out a running route that would take us by all of the sites we wanted to see. The route we ran took us to Rawson Square where all of the government buildings are located, the Queen's Staircase, the Water Tower, Fort Fincastle, and the shops on Bay Street.  The run was about 6 miles long and while we enjoyed the sites there were a few drawbacks to the adventure.

I have traveled to a few Caribbean islands and there is always one thing that stands out while you are running. Dogs!! There are loose dogs everywhere. In all my years of running I have never seen a loose dog in a downtown city area. In the Caribbean this is commonplace. The first time you see it you are shocked. After awhile you try to ignore it but seeing 2-3 loose dogs walking together down a main street in a major city is very strange. The other thing you will notice is that many of the tourist attractions are located in run down areas. On our short run we noticed people living on the streets, broken down cars, and whole neighborhoods of dilapidated houses and trash very close to popular tourist areas.

Beyond our running tour of the island, I ended up running quite a bit to get around. We were staying on the main island near the bridge that goes over to Paradise Island. The very famous hotel and casino Atlantis is on Paradise Island. On the first day of our trip we took a cab over to Atlantis. After a short drive up and over the bridge we arrived at Atlantis and were told the cab fare was $20. After I stepped out of the cab and realized it was going to cost me $40 round trip every time I went to the casino I said...No way!! I was not paying $20 to travel 2.5 miles. Now I love gambling and had planned to go to the casino every day of my 4 day stay in Nassau. I would much rather spend the $40 x 4 = $160 in the Atlantis Casino than on a cab.

So I decided to get myself to and from the casino by running. Each day I put on my shorts, fanny pack (for wallet) and golf shirt and did an easy jog over to the casino, and when I was finished I would run back. Unfortunately the bridge over to Paradise Island is no picnic to run over. It is a very steep uphill followed by a steep downhill. I have to admit it was a pain to have to run a total of 5 miles just to gamble, but I did it. The sweat on my shirt probably wasn't cool when I arrived at the casino either, but I didn't care. I'm a runner, and it goes against my nature to pay for such a short ride.

I did enjoy my trip to Nassau and ended up running 25 miles in the 4 days I was there. If you have never been, it is probably worth checking out. However, with all of the travel choices out there, unless you can foot the high price to stay at Atlantis I would probably look at another location.

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Running on Vacation in Washington DC

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Friday, June 22, 2012
in Training

Over the years one of my favorite parts of a vacation is the sightseeing. Visiting new places, famous landmarks, historical buildings, etc. My preferred way of sightseeing may be different than most. I have always enjoyed running from place to place during my designed "sightseeing tour". Now this is not an official workout. I typically wear a 3 button down shirt, golf shorts, and running shoes.  This is simply mapping out all of the places you would like to see in a city and instead of riding a bus, cab, or rental car I run between each venue. It may be a little unconventional, but luckily my wife is a runner too, so it works for us.

One of my favorite places to go on a "running tour" is Washington DC. I have made this trip with my family several times. In the early years my daughter was small so I would push her in a jog stroller and my wife would run next to me. We would stay in a downtown hotel and map out a route that would take us by the monuments and museums we wanted to visit. Now remember this is not a workout. We would run at a comfortable pace and stop to take pictures and visit the monuments or museums for as long as needed. Once we were done visiting a particular place we would simply start running to the next location. Being the typical runner you know I was wearing a Garmin. That way all of my miles could be calculated....you didn't think I wasn't keeping track, did you?

Here is one of our Washington D.C. sightseeing running routes

We would start approximately at a hotel 1 mile from the mall and then complete the following "tour":
  • White House >
  • U. S. Capitol >
  • Smithsonian Museums >
  • Run along Reflecting Pool to Vietnam Veterans Memorial >
  • Lincoln Memorial >
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial >
  • FDR Memorial >
  • around Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial >
  • ...then run back to hotel.

 

White House

This would total anywhere from 8-10 miles of total running depending on where our hotel was located. Would you be drenched in sweat?  Yes.  Would you be tired? Yes. But was it fun?   Absolutely. There is nothing like being able to get place to place by running and not having to worry about traffic, crowds, parking, etc. Not to mention if you like running this is actually fun. My daughter was in the jog stroller so she didn't care at all. Once my daughter graduated from the stroller I can tell you we had to abbreviate our "tours" to a 4 mile version. She actually "trained" one summer to get ready for our trip to DC.

I have done many trips like this one over the years in different locations. I think it is fun and active and eliminates the boredom of trudging from place to place on a tour bus or going back and forth to your rental car and waiting in traffic. You also get a better feel for a new location and get to see different things along the way that you wouldn't see otherwise.  Next time you travel to a new location, consider planning out your own running tour.

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