In another country and want to get to know the area? Just bring your running shoes. And that's exactly what I did when I was in Sydney, Australia in late November. It was a last minute trip that left next to zero time to plan on how to get around. So I threw my running shoes in my luggage and less than a week after finishing the ING New York Marathon, it would be great to get in a nice and easy (and scenic) run.
So I when I woke up the first morning, I put on my running gear, loaded a backpack with a map, some water and made my way to the lobby... only to find out that it was pouring rain. I was already dressed and set to go, but wasn't anticipating the rain drops so I decided to see if I could wait it out. I went to the hotel's business room and jumped on the Internet to kill some time. After about 30 minutes and the rain still falling, I decided that I wasn't going to let the rain stop me. Screw it! I was going to go run in the rain. I threw on a hat I bought the day before (the $3 tourist hat with a kangaroo on it) and started plotting away. I considered running while holding an umbrella, but thought that might look dumb (says the guy in the kangaroo hat). I got about a mile in and it started raining harder and I was already drenched. I decided to swoop into a 7-11 (yes, in Australia) and buy a poncho. Now I was thinking! So I threw that on and away I went. This was a much better way to run in the rain... it kept me completely dry, although my clothes were already wet. As you can tell, my running brain doesn't function outside the US.
I really wanted to see the ANZAC bridge, so I made my way in that general direction. I reached the bridge quicker than expected, so I decided to run across it. It was a shorter distance than I anticipated, so I kept going... seemed like that right thing to do. I saw a park on the other side and thought: "who doesn't like to run in a park?" After that, I headed down what looked like a nice neighborhood and ended up in cozy neighborhood/downtown area. I passed a bakery and immediately decided it was a good time to grab a bite to eat. I settled on a white-chocolate blueberry scone with an orange juice and rested for a few minutes while I ate my delicious breakfast and watched the locals go about their daily business.
After I was done I realized that I put my backpack down in what started as a dry spot and was now a puddle. PERFECT. So I put on my wet backpack on my wet clothes and covered it with my water proof poncho and headed back to the hotel. All in all, it was a "interesting" run. I got my 10 miles in, ran across an amazing bridge, had a great breakfast and WAS IN SYDNEY! Can't beat that I guess.
Here is a photo of the experience... so if you happened to be in Sydney and saw this crazy guy running in wet clothes and a wet backpack with a kangaroo hat covered by a poncho, it was probably me. Seems like a safe bet.