THE BEST RUNNING TRAILS TO CONQUER AROUND THE WORLD

Mammoth Lakes - David Laney

Mammoth Lakes - David Laney

With the London Marathon setting our city ablaze with intrepid runners this weekend, the runner’s high is palpable in the air. Didn’t make the ballot for the Marathon this season? Cast your eyes over our top recommendations for a whole cast of other races around the globe to satiate your sneaks.

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INCREDIBLE RACES

Run through the City of Trees – Miyagi, Japan [12 May 2019]

The Sendai International Half Marathon is one of the most popular and competitive events in Japan’s Tohoku region. Over 10,000 runners from around the world gather to compete in a 2k, 5k or half marathon race that traverses Sendai City. Whether you’re a competitive athlete, casual participant or curious spectator, the Sendai International Half Marathon is a great way to see Sendai, the gateway to Miyagi and the “City of Trees.” visitmiyagi.com

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Run in Paradise - Moorea, The Islands of Tahiti [31 May – 1 June 2019]
One of the most exotic sporting events in the world, the Xterra Tahiti-Moorea gives runners the chance to explore the breath-taking landscapes and lush nature of French Polynesia. From 31 May – 1 June, this multi-event challenge has something for everyone, from gruelling triathlons and mountain bike races to 13k trails and kid-friendly races. This ultimate test of strength and endurance highlights the Polynesian tradition of mana, the concept of power and greatness. 

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Escape from Alcatraz - San Francisco, California [9 June 2019]
Go on the run with the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon held on 9 June 2019. Starting with a 1.5-mile swim in icy cold water from Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, competitors will then make their way to Marina Green Beach. The race continues with an 18-mile bike ride on the Great Highway through Golden Gate Park where the views can be admired as participants push through the pain. Topping off the race is an 8-mile run through Golden Gate National Recreation Area – under the Golden Gate Bridge – finishing at the Marina Green with thousands of cheering fans. visitcalifornia.co.uk

Run toward pints and pasta - Portland, Oregon [September 2019]
Home to the national Nike and Adidas headquarters, a cadre of Olympic-calibre runners (including the most successful British distance athlete Mo Farah) and more than 100 miles (160.9 km) of trails and paths, Portland enjoys a well-earned reputation as a runner’s paradise. With a moderate climate and overwhelming natural beauty, it comes as no surprise that Portlanders hit the pavement in droves. Pints to Pasta, the city’s most carbo-loaded footrace held every September, is a local favourite. Winding through rivers and breweries, the race ends with a bang, a feast complete with pasta, salad, bread and pints at Old Spaghetti Factory. travelportland.com


INSPIRING TRAILS

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Meet the god of running - Hiroshima, Japan
This distinctive mountain trail starts by the only outdoor stone statue in Japan dedicated to Skanda, the god of running. The 4.85 km is difficult due to the mountainous terrain, but offers a good training base for experienced runners. Consisting of a wooded path maintained by citizens and other local volunteers, the route offers runners a cool breeze in the summer and warm underfoot in the winter. visithiroshima.net

Run with the stars - West Hollywood, California 

Just outside the city limits of West Hollywood, nestled in the famous Hollywood Hills, lies Runyon Canyon, a 160-acre park, popular with runners and hikers. The short, steep hills make it the perfect spot for interval training, with the reward of spectacular views of West Hollywood and the surrounding LA area once at the top. Look closely and you can spot the Pacific Design Center, the brightly coloured red, blue and green landmark located in the stylish Design District. visitwesthollywood.com  

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Run like an Olympian – Mammoth Lakes, California
A region favoured by athletes from all over the world for its high altitude and challenging vertical trails and multi-sport diversity, Mammoth Lakes, California offers incredible scenery and an abundance of trails along with a healthy running community for active travellers to explore. Legendary track coaches Joe Vigil and Bob Larsen brought marathon superstars to the region in 2001 and ever since, it has become the home of the most decorated distance running club in the U.S., training 12 Olympians who have earned two Olympic medals as well as three major marathon wins. www.visitmammoth.com 


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Cliffs and Coast - Shizuoka, Japan 

Only 90 minutes from Tokyo, Jogasaki Coast is a stunning stretch of coast on the eastern side of the Japan’s Izu peninsula and is famous for its beautiful cliffs and views. With cycling routes planned for Tokyo Olympics 2020, this trail can be modified to fit a runner’s experience level and includes possible stopping points like a Buddhist temple, lighthouse, suspension bridge, stained glass museum and ramen shop.  seejapan.co.uk


Glacial Lake and Cityscapes - Seattle, Washington 

Green Lake, in the north of the Seattle, is a picturesque park and great spot to explore away from the crowds of the city centre. Fitness fanatics can run around the lake before jumping in on a warm day and going for a swim. Seattle’s city skyline can be seen shining in the distance, reminding runners they’re far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. visitseattle.org

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Run the State Capital - Sacramento, California 

One of the best ways to discover the beauty of Sacramento is by foot, from the scenic American River Parkway, to the gardens of the historic Sacramento State Capitol building. The 5.24 mile loop surrounding the State Capitol building – which also serves as the finishing point for The California International Marathon – offers a beautiful path through the gardens and past the Capital Mall, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and the State Indian Museum. visitsacramento.com 

Run with the wind - Setouchi, Japan

The Shimanami Kaido Sea Route is a long bridge road that runs for approximately 70 km and connects the prefectures of Ehime and Hiroshima, while allowing runners to enjoy sweeping views as they run over the Seto Inland Sea. After a day of running beside the tide, discover Imabari Castle, one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea”. setouchitrip.com


Beach Runs – Santa Cruz, California
With roughly 300 days of sunshine and a dizzying array of outdoor activities, Santa Cruz County is a virtual outdoor gym from beach to forest trails on offer. A flat, mile-long path along Seacliff State Beach in Aptos is a perfect running venue for beginners, or anyone interested in being just steps away from the sand and waves. When you’re ready to kick it up a notch and get your heart rate up, climb the famous stairs—all 151 of them! —located opposite the historic “Cement Ship” and pier. In Nisene Marks State Park there are over 30 miles of trails with shimmering shades of green and nature to enjoy along the routes at every turn. santacruz.org

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Woodland and Creek Runs – Tuolumne County, California 

Located in the heart of the City of Sonora, the Dragoon Gulch Trail provides visitors with a unique opportunity to stroll through the Mother Lode’s oak woodlands. The Dragoon Gulch Trail provides over 3.1 miles of natural trails running alongside creeks and vistas that provide spectacular views of the City and its surrounding mountain ranges. The trails vary in difficulty making it perfect for the casual walker and for those who want a strenuous hike, jog or bike ride. visittuolumne.com

Lost Lake Loop -Whistler, Canada

Whistler is a runners paradise whether you are just looking for fresh air, maintaining a training plan, or ready to race. A variety of trails for all levels from the paved Valley Trail to mountain singletrack for trail and wild runners. Exciting running events held through the year including half and ultra marathons, relays, triathlons and more. One of the most inspiring trails is the Lost Lake loop, 4km of unpaved terrain with a couple of gradual hills that is a favorite among the locals. Start at the Nordic Ski trailhead at the PassivHaus, just outside the Village. This one is an early morning favorite. First light on the lake is beautiful and stopping for a swim is definitely recommended in the summer months. whistler.com/uk




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