What Makes for A Great Beach Run?
By Mark Lowenstein, Chief Running Officer, Great Runs
It’s mid-summer, and millions of us will incorporate the beach into a vacation or weekend getaway. For runners, a great beach run is a singular treat – scenic, open, freeing, and cooling – and ideally barefoot! But anyone who loves to run on the beach knows that there are some beaches that are great for running, and others that are are more challenging.
At Great Runs, we’ve created a special category called Great Beach Runs(more than 150 worldwide!), which singles out a beach that we think is particularly good for running. Note that this category pertains to being able to run on the beach, rather than along a beachfront path or promenade.
So, what qualifies as a great beach for running? An idyllic beach for running will be long, flat, and feature sand that’s firm enough you could almost ride a (fat-tired) bike on. Here’s what meets our criteria:
Has to be at least 1-mile long, or 2 miles out and back
Features packed, firm sand – ideally all the time, or at least near the shoreline at low tide
Wide enough to be able to avoid crowds and flat enough so as not to strain the knees
Now, beach running can also be sort of like skiing, in that conditions can be very situational. At some beaches, the packed sand perfection is only right near the water and/or near low tide. It’s always good to consult a tide chart, such as Tide-Forecast. Also, conditions can change if the water brings in debris, or windy conditions can create ridges which makes it difficult on bare feet. So, always good to check!
On the Great Runs website, we have a special category called 'Great Beach Runs'. Below are a few of our favorites in North America, with a sampling from the east and west coasts.
The Best Places to Run in Destinations Worldwide
“I’m traveling to [Chicago, London, Beijing…name your city] next week. Where are the best places to go running?” Until now, you might have relied on some random hotel concierge for guidance, or on a crowd-sourced route from one of the leading running apps such as MapMyRun or Strava. But help is now here in the form of Great Runs, which is the ultimate guide to the best places to run in cities and destinations worldwide.
Great Runs was started three years ago and has built up a catalog of thousands of curated running routes in some 400 locations popular with both business and leisure travelers. For each city, they provide guidance to the most interesting, scenic, and accessible places to run. The routes are developed using extensive research – traveling to those locations, talking with folks in the local running community, and calling reps at visitor bureaus. For a typical city, Great Runs provides maps and descriptions for 10-15 of the most beautiful routes, even designating 2-3 in each city as the ‘must do’ or ‘iconic’ run…as in, “if you only have 24 hours in Berlin, this is the must-do run”. Most routes have numerous options for distances, and other essential information such as elevation gain, public transport access, and even keywords such as ‘by the water’, ‘hilly’, etc.
Movement is pleased to announce a partnership with Great Runs. We’ll be highlighting a different city or fun list of favorite spots in each issue.