Thursday, May 7, 2015

Go! Running Tours Barcelona

After arranging my flight into Barcelona to join my wife who had earlier gone over on business, I knew I would have one solo morning to kill while she was still in company meetings. I was looking for something active that would help me beat the jet lag but at the same time give me a quick introduction to the sights Barcelona has to offer. Initially I was thinking about a bike tour, but I noticed that Go! Running Tours Barcelona was one of the top rated activities in the city according to TripAdvisor. As I am an avid runner at home, this seemed like a fantastic option for Day 2 (my first full day) in Europe.

Go! Running Tours Barcelona offers several different options which vary in length, route, private vs group etc. I chose the 10K Old Town private run. I initially found the cost a little steep at 60 euro, but when you consider that it is essentially a private tour guide as well as a private photographer the price-point ends up being very fair for the service offered. I booked my run for 8am which was a little early, but provided some open space as well as the exciting backdrop of a city just coming to life for the day. 

My guide Robin was awesome! We met at the convenient Plaça de Catalunya (they offer to meet at your hotel, but mine was a little too far out of the way for the tour so this central location was chosen). After a quick meet and greet we were off, with Robin allowing me to set the pace while he ran alongside with his pole-mounted GoPro camera in hand. For the next 2.5 hours we would explore much of Barcelona’s historic Old Town. Main stops included Plaça Reial, El Raval, Las Ramblas, Palau Güell, Parc de la Ciutadella, Santa Maria del Mar and many more. 

Our total time on the move was about half of the 2.5 hour excursion and the rest of the time was spent standing in/around the aforementioned sights while Robin provided both factual historic information as well as humorous personal commentary. Of particular interest to me was the history behind the Estelada flag that I saw all over the city. In all we ended up covering just under 12.5K, so even more than the 10K that was paid for. In my remaining days in Barcelona I was able to use this base knowledge of the city to further explore with my wife.

The day after the run Robin emailed me over 70 excellent photos as well as a map of our route. He also offered for me to further contact him by email at any time later in the trip or even down the road if I had any questions about Barcelona.

I would highly recommend Go! Running Tours Barcelona for both casual and serious runners who want to keep up their cardio abroad while receiving an excellent jumpstart on their city sightseeing. Robin is a real pro and a great ambassador for his city. Here are some of my favorite shots from the run:
Meeting up with Robin for the run!
El Raval Cat
Picking up speed through the old hospital
Las Ramblas in the morning, before the crowds
Heading for the docks
Santa Maria del Mar - The "People's Church"
Fountain in Parc de la Ciutadella
Pretending we are running the Barcelona Marathon through the Arch

Here is the Go! Running Tours Barcelona website.

Mike & Palms & Pints

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