There is no better way to explore a new city (or even an old favorite) than to run through it.
Lacing up your running shoes to venture out not only gives you a great workout while you are traveling, but offers an insider perspective into daily life.
The trend in hotels offering wellness and fitness amenities to guests keeps expanding. The list started with bicycles to ride around town, in-room yoga mats, and lending gear so that you don’t have to pack your running shoes. There are even hotel chains that now offer natural eucalyptus fiber bedding to help you sleep well. But when I learned about Run My City at Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC – one of my favorite hotels – my heart skipped a beat.
Why exactly would Run My City make me swoon? It isn’t as if there aren’t other hotels offering a run concierge?
Well…here is the thing. Washington DC is a runner’s city.
The National Mall is one of those epic running areas – with views of national landmarks that still take my breath away even after living in the area for over 20 years. And? Unlike other bucket list running destinations that offer jaw dropping views – these routes are flat which is music to my lungs. And? Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC has always had a special place in my running heart. (Ok fine, I have loved the hotel since I was a freshman in college.) You see, I pause every time I run by the hotel during the Marine Corps Marathon – I want to stop and make a beeline for brunch instead of continuing on.
(Confession time: I am afraid to make the hotel my pre-race hotel in fear that I will be so comfortable that getting out of bed at 5 a.m. to get to the start line is overshadowed by thoughts of resting like a cocoon in bed and a morning in the steam room. Maybe my solution should be to plan to make the hotel my “night after” marathon celebration? Hmm…)
So the idea of going on an organized guided run organized by the hotel? That is swoon worthy in my book.
What is Run My City?
In short, Run My City allows you to be a running tourist in Washington DC.
Guests at Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC can experience Washington’s sights and Run My City on a complimentary 3 to 6 mile tour with General Manager David Bernand or Hotel Manager Rolf Lippuner and other Four Seasons management Tuesday mornings at 6:30 am.
Based on the length of the run, guest will pass the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, White House, US Capitol, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and Arlington Cemetery. As guests return to the Hotel, they will be offered a gluten-free Superfood muffin and a recharging Green Goddess juice made of basil, mint, kale, and honey dew compliments of The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Washington.
What if you are a usually a solo runner? My Run My City at Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC experience
The idea of a group run does not appeal to all runners – especially those like me that consider themselves a solo runner. In part my solo-ness comes from the fact that I am a slow runner and I spent too many marathon training runs feeling bad because I could not keep up with my pace group. So I tend to want to log my miles without the pressure of anyone else’s pace.
As part of Global Wellness Day, I was invited to participate in a Run My City run with David Bernand. I knew that David was more than just a running enthusiast. He is an athlete, having competed in many endurance events in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (aka – at a significant altitude) and around the world. I won’t lie. My insecurity raged through my dreams the night before the run – would I be able to keep up? Would I be able to enjoy the run? It turned out (hello DC heat and humidity) that it was just three of us for our run – David, myself and Julia Boeminghaus – the hotel’s Spa Director which at first made me nervous since it is harder to hide your slow pace in a group of three.
My insecurities were unfounded of course, because David is not only a great runner – he is a kind runner. He matched his pace to mine and chatted with me the entire run (even when my answers started to sound more like one syllable grunts). While our pace was definitely faster than my typical run sessions, I knew that had I needed to slow us down even more – that would have been ok. Conversation was easy and made me forget about the fact that I looked like a drowned rat (note to self: maybe running with someone else during my long marathon training runs is not such a bad thing).
And as a bonus? How fabulous did I feel to run at a pretty respectable pace on a hot and humid day in Washington DC? (Since the results would probably have been very different had I been on my own). Pretty. Darn. Good.
So…if you are a runner planning a trip to Washington DC – your running shoes will be extra happy at Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC (and make sure that your travel coincides with a Tuesday morning run).
And if you are on the lookout for other fabulous running destinations – Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris also offers a “cultural jogging tour” Run My City program on Tuesday mornings (at 7:30 am). (Washington DC will always be my favorite running city, but I think I might need to concoct a scheme for a running trip to Paris… with a few macarons and crepes thrown in for good measure. Who wants to join me?)
*I was invited to participate in a Run My City run as part of Global Wellness Day at Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC. All opinions are my own.