The cities of the world already have “walking tours,” “carriage tours,” “cruise tours,” and “Segway tours.” The thought occurred to me yesterday that someone ought to make “running tours” a thing. Turns out many entrepreneurs already have.
Running might be the best possible way to see a modern city.
First, let’s talk about perspective.
If you drive through a city, you are going to see that city from a driver’s point of view – and this is how most of us do our exploration. You sit in traffic, you take the main roads, you get stressed about parking and wrong turns, and you experience the best of everything new in a hermetically sealed and climate-controlled cabin (unless you roll your windows down, of course).
As a runner, on the other hand, you stand apart from the press of traffic. You experience all the open air and sounds and smells and breezes which the glass of car windows keeps from you. You move on the ground, at the level and the view from which buildings were meant to be admired and experienced and enjoyed. You run past people, close enough to touch them – and though you’re moving fast, you have the opportunity to see their faces and the role they play in city life.
Second, consider the meaning of how you get around.
All the scooter-rides, car drives, bus transits, Segway rides, and even walks of the world offer an easy way to experience a city. But what’s adventurous about that?
Running makes you stand on your own two feet (literally) and really strive. And to experience a city while striving (as opposed to sitting still) is an entirely different experience. You are challenging yourself to do something most people don’t have the will to do – so you feel a pride and a power that can even make you feel bigger than the city that usually feels bigger than you.