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City sightseeing under your own steam?

I’m sure, like me, you enjoy doing a spot of sightseeing when you visit a new city. Even if you’re there for work, it’s always good to look up and take in some of the local architecture.

As a keen runner, I tend to lace up my running shoes and explore a city on foot – it’s an excellent way to find your way around town. In fact I’ve explored a good many cities over 26.2 miles, having run more than 100 marathons including London, Dublin and Edinburgh and 13 35 mile Two Oceans Ultra marathons in South Africa.

Some clever running enthusiasts have cottoned on to the fact that people like to combine exploring with exercise, and you can now arrange to go on running tours of most major cities.

From Amsterdam to Lisbon and from Buenos Aires to New York and Melbourne, these tours seem to be everywhere. I quite like finding my own route around a city, but if you’re on a tight time frame and don’t want to stop and look at maps, a running tour isn’t a bad idea.

When I spotted these tours, one that stood out in particular was the Copenhagen Architecture tour. It’s a 10km run, where the lead runner briefs you on Danish architects and their ideas, as well as showing you the key sights.

The tour even talks you through new architectural initiatives in the city and everything that’s being done to improve quality of life. With all things Danish being quite fashionable in the UK right now, this looks like a good way to gain a deeper understanding of their design traditions.

The tour takes in iconic buildings including The Opera House, the Royal Danish Playhouse and The Black Diamond, as well as some less well-known buildings along the waterfront.

If you’re into running, these tours are something to look out for the next time you visit a new city. Make sure you’re fit and healthy enough to run though. I once made the mistake of running the Dublin Marathon with an injury…

I tagged the marathon onto the end of a holiday, and my family flew back to London ahead of me – I suspected I’d strained an abdominal muscle lifting my wife’s suitcase.

“Nothing too serious” I thought, so I decided to run the marathon despite the pain. It ended up taking me 3 hours 55 minutes instead of my expected time of 3:30 and it was only when I found myself still in pain a couple of weeks later that my doctor diagnosed a hernia.

So if you are embarking on a running tour next time you travel, watch out for heavy suitcases!

If there’s anything we can help you with, please do get in touch – and I’m always happy to chat about running too.

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