Running The World


I got very excited this weekend about a new series I’m planning to start here on the blog.    I was thinking about our time in Japan and how interesting it had been to see the running culture over there, and it made me wonder about the running culture elsewhere in the world. So I’m going to be running a series of interviews with runners from different countries across the world.

I’ll be asking them about the running community in their country – what’s popular, where it’s growing, what the big races are, what the cool kids are wearing…that kind of thing. Obviously, this will be one person’s perspective on their country, as opposed to an exhaustive, definitive survey that covers all the bases, but it might give us a glimpse into different running cultures!

Japanese running magazine!
Japanese running magazine!

I’ve been speaking to all my international friends, who have then reached out to some of their compatriots to find runners for me to speak to. It’s been a really exciting process so far and I am so excited about the series kicking off. I’d like to run one interview weekly, but we’ll see how that works out.

How can you help?

Firstly, is there anything in particular you’d be curious about? That may vary per country so I’ll try to mention every week which country I’ll be featuring next. But is there anything generally you’d be interested to know about?

Secondly, this blog needs YOU!!! If you are an international runner and would like to be interviewed, drop me a note! Alternatively, if you have any friends who you think would be perfect for this project, I’d be so grateful if you could link us up. I’m after people of either gender who are passionate about running and who are part of the running community in their country. I’m not after speedsters by any means! I’m having particular issues finding people to speak to from Africa, the Middle East and South America!

Running in Japan in a shell suit and a breathing mask
Running in Japan in a shell suit and a breathing mask

The one thing that’s struck me as I’ve started pulling this together is how social media has shrunk the world. I’ve been linked to people via Twitter, Facebook and email…a few years ago, this project would have been so much harder! Social Media has been so revolutionary in linking the worldwide running community together!

When I wasn’t frantically emailing random strangers across the world, I got a great run in on Saturday. The Husband and the Dude went to the Exploratorium, the new science museum in San Francisco. I’ve already been and they wanted some boy time, so I used those few hours for a run through San Francisco. I started on the Embarcadero and headed west through the tourist hell of Fisherman’s Wharf and out onto Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge and back again.

I initially planned to throw some tempo miles in there, but it quickly became one of those lovely runs that you simply want to enjoy. Running for pleasure, not for training reasons.  So I ran at a comfortable pace, stopped frequently for photographs, people-watched (the beautiful, the touristy, the crazies) and just soaked in the beauty of this city and appreciated once again how lucky I am to live in the Bay Area!

Cue the photos.

I always vow I won't take any more photos of this bridge...and I always do
I always vow I won’t take any more photos of this bridge…and I always do
I was there too...
I was there too…and it was windy!
Angel Island...I'll be running up that hill in a few weeks
Angel Island…I’ll be running up that hill in a few weeks
The city from the bridge
The city from the bridge
Little boat, big bridge
Little boat, big bridge
Industrial Orange
Industrial Orange
Heading back towards Crissy Field
Heading back towards Crissy Field
The Finish line...the Ferry Building
The Finish line…the Ferry Building

Happy Monday, everyone!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Bean says:

    I am so excited! What a great idea. I can not wait to read all about running around the world! Love the pics from your run. I wish I had taken some pics from the Atlanta marathon. Beautiful course and I was going plenty slow I just didn’t even think about it. Runner fail.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m so glad you like the idea, I’m really excited about getting it started. Know anyone international I can bother with my questions?

      Congrats again on Atlanta…hope it didn’t hurt too much!

  2. Jen says:

    Genius idea, Cathryn! My only contributions are my limited observations about running in Taiwan (which I posted in November/December). Oh, and I have a Mexican friend who did a few races in the States before moving to Germany and getting more into racing there. Let me know if you’re interested in talking to her.

    p.s. Great photos!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I was going to link to your Taiwan post!!! I’m currently chasing down two contacts in Germany but if they fall through, I’ll def ask for your friend’s details! Thanks.

  3. I can hook you up with some Irish Runners

    1. Cathryn says:

      That will be brilliant, thank you! I’m currently working on a UK post so I’ll keep your details for a few weeks’ time if that’s okay! Thanks so much.

  4. I always run along the Embarcadero during my lunchtime runs, but I’ve never made it past Fisherman’s Wharf. I REALLY need to go farther, and in particular finally run the Golden Gate Bridge!!! The photos are stunning and make me wish I was out there right now.

    1. Cathryn says:

      You know, once you get past the Wharf, it’s SO much nicer! Like a world nicer. But that stretch between the Ferry Building and the Wharf is pretty gorgeous!

  5. NicJ says:

    Assuming this means that you’re hoping some ‘on site’ research might be required for the more exciting locations (ie, you can already write up Hawaii and obviously Wiltshire)! I’m pretty sure new running communities are setting up in the likes of the Maldives!
    Didn’t see much in the way of outdoor running in the Himalayas, have to confess. The exception was our first visit outside, where we were up above the town of Leh, visiting the Shanti Stupa (Japanese-built Buddhist shrine). We were out of breath just walking around the shrine and climbing a small set of stairs (we were 3500m above sea level), but watched a chap in tracksuit gear, and the oldest trainers ever, run all the way up the road, around the shrine, and back down again, barely pausing for breath. Very impressive!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I am planning some UK ‘on site research’ for June…you around? I can’t imagine running at Himalaya altitude though – Colorado was hard enough.

      1. Nicola Johnson says:

        June sounds like a winner! Nothing planned holiday wise at the mo. Still need to collect that brewery poster from your parents at some point too! X

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