Runner Safety Month, Running Around the World
13 October 2023
This week we have Newton Athlete, Triathlon Coach and World Traveler Doc Golden sharing her tips for traveling solo internationally.
From Doc: After human relationships the next two things I love most in life are running & travel.
I am a single woman and a solo traveler and I love it all. It’s not something to be afraid of, rather something to enjoy and celebrate. Just be smart. Every time I travel it’s an opportunity to experience new parts of life, nature, humans, animals and always a time to learn and grow.
I don’t go anywhere without a pair of Newton Running shoes. Even if I am not planning to run—I have to always be ready. Running is an excellent way to explore a land you are not familiar with. You see the earth, the animals the plants native to that area and you smell the air. If you are in a city you can see the lay of the city, the architecture, shops, churches, monuments, music halls, sports venues, everything that makes up the city and where all the places are that you want to visit later in your trip!
So far I have run in 8 countries and 22 states and I am only getting started. One of my favorite international runs was on La Palma island in the Canary Islands, when La Cumbre Vieja volcano was actively erupting! I was staying on the mountain and I found a safe route that ran down into the city, near the ocean. It was a downhill run, with the volcano erupting molten lava hundreds of feet in the air. Ash pebbles were getting in my hair and my Newtons.
When traveling to another country or a different state these are some of the things I do to be safe and smart on my run:
1) Look up local run clubs and join them, there is strength in numbers!
2) Find a local run shop and get tips on where to run or how to run with others
3) Google popular run routes in the area
4) Check Strava for the most popular routes
5) Ask locals where a park is (you can run to and around)
6) Ask your run community for run tips in the place where you are going
7) Bring a whistle or pepper spray on your run
8) Run with confidence – don’t look confused, afraid or “not from here”
9) Plan your post-run to end at an open café, where you can eat & meet people
10) Don’t blindly run without a destination or route- You don’t know where you are and it could be dangerous terrain, people or wildlife. Or simply very crowded with people and not good for runners
11) Respect signage – If you see a “do not enter” symbol don’t go there. Not time to explore, there could be mudslides, flashfloods, cliffs, holes in the ground, anything.
12) Pick something you want to see in your new place and run there and back instead of taking a bus or car.