by Jacquie in Stories, image by A. Strakey

The Sights And Sounds of City Running

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There are some truly awe-inspiring cities around the world and each one carries with it their own culture and vibrancy. Every city has its own scent and smell that can in certain cases be instantly recognizable. It could be the smell of the many bagel stores in Manhattan, the heady scent of garlic in ‘little Italy’ New York, or the wonderful aroma of early morning coffee and croissants of the Paris café’s.

Whichever your favorite city, running is the best way to take in all the sights and sounds. Try jogging in the morning just as the sun rises or in the evening just as it is getting dusk. The city will take on a whole new appearance and is a great way to start or finish your day.

If you have just flown in to a major city from afar, nothing beats going out for a jog to shake off the feeling of jet lag. It is also a quick way to get to know the city and what it has to offer and as you jog from one landmark to another, it is a great way to take in the sights and sounds while getting your bearings and keeping fit.

On the other hand why not simply take the time out to explore your own city in a different light. You may or may not know that every morning around 5am it is common place to see a plethora of joggers around Capitol Hill Washington DC. It is here that the high-powered politicians and business elite use this time to not only exercise but to strategically plan their day ahead. In fact, there is no doubting that some pretty big decisions have been made whilst pounding the streets around the historic district.

Jogging is simply a great way to exercise and what’s more important is that it doesn’t cost you a dime. So with this in mind… here are some of my absolute favourite cities in the world to go jogging.

New York City

If you want to go jogging in NYC then it simply has to be Central Park. Forget the bustling streets of the city and the busy subway, Central Park has a selection of running routes which you can see when you enter the area. From the upper park loop which is a lengthy 6.1 miles, down to the lower loop, which is recommended for beginners, at a distance of 1.7 miles, the jogger has choices.  The park itself covers 843 acres of beautiful woodland and sprawling waters that is an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

The month of November is the season for the world-famous New York City Marathon that was formerly held in Central Park (all 4+ laps of it) which is a testimony to how beautiful and magnificent the park is to run in. However after 6 years the Marathon took to the streets and is now run through all five boroughs of the city.


Similar to New York, a great way to escape the high-rise buildings and noisy traffic of London is to jog in one of the many parks that are dotted around the city.  There are eight royal parks and each one is abundant with greenery and flowers.

Hyde Park is by far the most popular and probably the best place to go jogging as it has many miles of pathways that meander in and out of the park. The routes give you plenty of views such as the magnificent Buckingham Palace with its regimental guardsmen, plus a plethora of historic buildings and landmarks for you to admire as you exercise.

If you don’t fancy Hyde Park, then why not try Richmond Park. At over 2360 acres it is around 3 times the size of New York’s Central Park. Running around its perimeter is the ‘Tamsin’ trail which is a distance of 7.35 miles and is a great way to get to see the many protected deer that make their home in the park.

London has some great public transport links that connect all the royal parks so you are never too far away from a great jogging experience here in the city.  Every April, hosts the London Marathon, in which expert and novice runners can experience the sights and sounds of the landmarks of the city at first hand.

Washington DC

The great thing about Washington DC is its vast tree-lined streets, which give the jogger plenty of room to run. However if you are looking for a route and are not sure where to go, then don’t worry as there are a selection of handy guidebooks that give you routes to take. Each route is broken down into distance and difficulty.

For example, one of the best places for novices is the 2.5 mile route along the National Mall. The terrain is nice and flat so it won’t throw up any sudden challenges. There are also a selection of historic buildings, galleries and museums along the route to keep those people interested who have a penchant for architecture.

Rock Creek Park is another popular place to jog and presents a variety of challenging elevations as the 13 mile trail snakes through woodland from the Kennedy Center through to Montgomery County Maryland.

As you can see, these are only a few examples of some of the best places to jog which is a simply great way of getting to know a city while keeping fit. The more you get to know a jogging route, the more you can push yourself, and with full and half marathons taking place in all of these cities, you might soon be joining the realms of the exercising elite and before long taking part for yourself.

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