July 2015 to July 2016: Running around the World. I love to run through new cities as we travel, exploring and scouting places for Jean and I to visit. On each run, I track my route map and take photos to save the memories. I will be adding to my collection during our Birmingham, Croatia, Greece and Egypt journeys this year. Birmingham, Zagreb, Rovinj are already in the books! So, you may ask, how did this “collection” begin?
Sydney and Melbourne
In July 2015, Jean Miller and I were just wrapping up a stint in Australia, where I was leading and Accenture project for a client. We lived in in a tiny 35th floor apartment in downtown Sydney; it gave killer views over the CBD, Sydney Harbor and its sailboats, and Darling Harbor’s lights. The views and cool winter mornings often led me to lace up and run.
I explored Pyrmont and Miller’s Point, crossed the Harbor Bridge to Lady Gowrie Lookout, and looped through Hyde Park, Circular Quay, the Botanical Garden, the opera Opera House. I also ran King’s Cross and Woolloomooloo (sounds like a Dr. Suess word, doesn’t it?) with its fine Navy Ships. Sydney was to me a runner’s paradise; exotic and nearly limitless.
I traveled frequently to Melbourne to meet clients. Whereas Sydney is tropical and exotic, Melbourne seems a proper European city, gritty yet stately, with the Yarra river winding through. I frequently ran the river paths and through the 1956 Olympic Park early in the morning before work (there generally was no “after work” to be enjoyed… it was a busy project!)
Towards the end of our stay, we decided to cap our Australia visit with a weekend to visit friends in Hong Kong. We flew 9 hours in coach… for a 3-day weekend! But when would we be on this side of the world next? Of course, I had to run the harbor while there, just to say I had!
Ireland, London and Amsterdam
We returned from Australia to our Charlotte home for only a few days. We had a long-planned vacation to Northern Ireland with friends. So the running streak continued! Carnlough, Ballyliffin, Ballybofey, Cabra Castle, and Dublin. Then on to London to help with a couple of proposals and prepare for a conference in Amsterdam. More runs, new cities.
At some point in this time, I decided to “collect” these runs. Pretty amazing places for a kid from Kansas to run. I am far from the greatest or fastest Kansas runner ever, but I may have run in more cities!
52 weeks, 52 cities
Jean and I were finally home in Charlotte. Well, she was anyway! My role at Accenture had me leading Tech Innovation workshops for clients. Each week, one or two clients and one or two cities. In each new city, a new run, including a memorable Brooklyn ½ Marathon with friends. The weekly travel continued pretty much non-stop until July 2016, when I finally had several weeks at home. As I looked at my run history one morning, I realized I had run in 45 different cities. Hmm… that’s only a few short of “52 cities in 52 weeks” to start a Running Around the World collection! So off to Lake Norman, Rock Hill, Davidson, Cornelius, and Belmont in the last weeks of July to close it my running year.
I created a commemorative collage of the routes as tracked by Nike+. I will to continue to collect these runs as we explore new cities in our Journeys. Maybe there will be a second “running around the world” poster someday!