Whether for Marathon training or just the ultimate morning jog, forget pounding the pavements and be inspired by some of the best running tracks in the world, from New Zealand to Tanzania
At Chem Chem Lodge on the edge of Lake Manyara in a private wildlife conservation area in northern Tanzania you can see, feel, touch and smell the African bush on foot. This not only includes walking safaris in the Tarangire National Park but you can also work off the safari pounds on a guided run with a Maasai through the wilderness – surely the ultimate morning jog. Your Maasai guide will chat as you run, while you do your level best to keep up with the giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and other wildlife. Afterwards return to one of eight tented suites where in-room yoga mats are also provided.
It might be too hot to run in the Islands of Tahiti, but that won’t stop you running with a view in the comfort of an air-conditioned gym. For treadmills with breathtaking views to take you mind off the grind, you can’t beat the fitness centre at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. After your work-out, spend time at the heart of the resort in the amazing Deep Ocean Spa – the first thalassotherapy centre in the South Pacific where treatments use mineral-rich deep sea water drawn from depths of over 900m.
For off-road runners, the Knuckles mountain range north of Kandy in Sri Lanka is incredible, with stunning tracks up into the hills. The Tea Country would be amazing as you can either run between the tea plantations or even up into the hills beyond them – there are great tracks everywhere. For running and staying in luxury, adventurers could run between the Tea Trails bungalows. Further south, running along the many tracks between paddy fields would be exhilarating.
British Virgin Islands
Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands has two excellent running trails: the two-mile long sunrise loop, which is mainly flat and follows the eastern shore of the island passing three great beaches and offering fantastic views of the rising sun, and the more challenging sunset loop which is five miles long and takes you up a very large hill. Once you reach the top you are blessed with amazingly scenic views in all directions. Particularly worth the effort for sunset.
With a temperate climate, magnificent scenery and clean air, running in New Zealand is unbeatable. On Waiheke Island, just a short ferry ride form Auckland, the Waiheke Coastal Loop is a 6km track that takes you across clifftops, past hidden bays, along stunning beaches and through native bush. Take your phone or camera, as the views are incredible. For a post-run treat, head to one of the many wonderful wineries for which Waiheke Island is renowned, then check-in to The Boatshed for a few nights on the island to soak up the laid-back Kiwi lifestyle and the eclectic mix of vineyards, fabulous beaches, artists’ studios and great food and wine.
Mindfulness travel specialist Retreats are introducing a break that allows runners to ‘get into the right head space’ by combining marathon training with motion meditation, mindfulness and Tibetan yoga. Taking place in Morocco in March (23-30), the new week-long break is led by mindfulness guru and experienced runner, Brian Hilliard, and is priced from €1,400pp (around £1,075pp). Departures later in the year in both Morocco and Greece will also offer this opportunity.