This time of year can be tough to work through. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel as spring approaches, but winter likes to hold on for as long as possible, and although one day can be sunny and warm, the next could see a snowstorm. Plus, by March, enough time has passed since the winter holidays that you’re starting to itch for some more time off from work.
You might not have plans to travel at the moment, but eventually (in the fall, next winter or a full year from now) you might want to take a trip somewhere. Here are a few destinations you can visit that will satisfy your need for a getaway while still offering great opportunities for running.
Panama City, Panama
Panama City is a vibrant and buzzing metropolitan hub in Central America, and it presents visitors with plenty of running and tourist opportunities. If you stay downtown, you can follow a path called Cinta Costera for several kilometres. The path runs along the ocean, and you can take in the views of the harbour. If you follow the path long enough, you’ll arrive in Old Panama, or Casco Viejo. From here, you’ll have a great view of the Panama City skyline (it looks like Miami) and of the many freighters on their way to or having just left the Panama Canal.
If you’d rather a run in nature, you don’t have to go far. Right in the city is Ancon Hill, a forested area with a road you can follow upward, and just 40 minutes away is Soberanía National Park, where you’ll find great trails and—if you’re lucky—monkeys.
Many Canadians go to Cuba but never visit the nation’s capital of Havana. Taking a day trip to the city from your resort—or making Havana your main base for the vacation—is a great idea. You’ll be able to soak in the culture as you explore the city, and in between tours and sightseeing, you can work in some great runs. For a waterfront workout, take the Malecon, a seawall that spans eight kilometres, from Old Havana (a tourist hotspot) to a neighbourhood called Vedado. The waves can be quite high along the Malecon, so you might get a welcome spray off the wall every so often to cool you off in the Cuban sun.
For a calmer run away from the city’s downtown area, head over to Miramar, a neighbourhood west of the city. Here, you can run on Fifth Avenue along a well-kept boulevard where many runners and walkers exercise.
If you’re OK with skipping out on the hot weather you’d find in Havana or Panama City, staying closer to home and visiting Montreal is a great option for a running vacation. It’s a busy city, and whether you’re into art, history, sports or something else, there’s always stuff to do and see. As for the running, the city presents many different options. You can stick to flat routes along the St. Lawrence River, or take to Mount Royal for some hill training and views of the city.
You don’t have to go far to have a great run vacation. All you need is somewhere fun and interesting to explore, your shoes and maybe a few running buddies, and you’ll be set for a great time.