Have you tried: Scottish city running tours?
I have written about the trend for city running tours in my recent Sunday Mail column. Since publishing, I have also found out about another new tour company, Glasgow Running Tours. You can read the pdf here. Or see the article below.
City sight-running tours
What is it?: A guided running tour that takes you around the highlight sights of a city.
Tell me more: Running tours are an increasingly popular way to see the attractions in cities across the world. And now there are several running tour companies in Scotland.
The tours are ideal for people who want to keep fit but who are also keen to do some sightseeing.
Most running tour companies offer a range of different distances and can cater for groups or solo runners.
It doesn’t matter how fast you run because the guide will adjust their pace to suit.
Ali Wyllie has launched one of the newest running tour companies in Edinburgh called Run The Sights.
Ali, a keen long-distance runner, said: “Our most popular runs are about five to six miles and take in dozens of sights.
“We can reach many highlights, from the most famous, such as Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, to lesser-known gems, over this distance.
“A running tour is faster than a walk but more of an up-close experience than a bus tour.
“It’s a really good way to take in the history, landmarks, characters and scenery in a place that you are visiting or to find out more about the place where you live.”
Ali, a civil servant by day, believes running tours suit all kinds of runners. She said: “Whether you are a jogger or a speedy runner, you can enjoy a city running tour.
“It’s is not a race and so I simply take my pace from whoever I am running with.
“In less than two hours you can see so much of our fantastic capital city on foot and enjoy so many different views.”
Run The Sights offers two tours of five miles, the Volcano and Crystal River, a six-mile Edinburgh Magic tour, as well as a nine-mile Wee Cheeky and the Pentland Playtime that extends to 11 miles.
Where did it all start?: One of the world’s first sightrunning tour companies was City Running Tours.
About a decade go, New York chiropractor Michael Gazaleh was working in a small gym when a customer from outside the US city asked for someone to run with him.
Michael volunteered to run with the visitor and decided to take him on a tour of his favourite sights.
That led to City Running Tours, which now operates in 16 American cities with four to eight running guides at each location.
In 2013, running tour companies in Barcelona and Copenhagen merged to form Go! Running Tours.
They got together with other tour companies and currently offer running tours in 70 cities worldwide.
In the UK, the only city offered is Edinburgh, which is a tie up with Edinburgh Run Tours.
The tours include a 6km Auld Reekie Highlights and 10km Panoramic Edinburgh and are usually led by Lucja Leonard.
Her philosophy is: “I love running and I love Edinburgh so I like to combine sightseeing and running to suit your fitness levels.”
Ali plans to roll out Run The Sights tours to two new cities, Glasgow and Dundee.
She said: “I have runners in these cities who are keen to guide tours.
“I hope to have these up and running, so to speak, this year.”
Anything else to know?: Make sure you are fit enough to run the distance of your chosen tour.
The pace of a group can be adjusted to suit the slowest runner but you should have enough running experience and endurance to go the full distance.
It’s also worth noting that some cities, such as Edinburgh, are hilly, so you should choose your tour distance with this in mind.
Ali said: “You do not need to be fast but it is important that you can cope with jogging the mileage.”
Who is it for?: Anyone over the age of 16 who likes running and wants to see the attractions of a city.
What kit do I need?: Your normal running clothes and road running or off-road running trainers according to the terrain. Check out Dealslands.co.uk for a range of the latest money saving discount codes. For more information you can visit here.
Cost: Varies according to tour and if you have booked with a group or bespoke.
Anything else to try: Running the Highlands offers running tours in rural areas of Scotland. See runningthehighlands.com/running-tours
Run The Sights at runthesights.co.uk
Edinburgh Run Tours at edinburghruntours.com
Go! Running at gorunningtours.com
City Running Tours at cityrunningtours.com
And now Glasgow Running Tours, too.