The Casual Runner

Casual Runner Goes to Canada

Casual Running In Canada

This is the latest installment in Team Casual Runner’s series of adventures and explorations while training on their travels. You can also check out some other Casual Running adventures from the road, including Jennifer’s run through Central Park during her trip to New York City, her picturesque runs in Key West, Florida, her early morning runs in Texas, her fun runs across the pond in Huntingdon and London, United Kingdom, and her exploration of Germany.  You can also check out some other Casual Running adventures from the road, including Mike’s trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and even more exciting Casual Running locales!

 

I have cousins who live in Canada.

No, this is not a variation of the song from Avenue Q, I really do have cousins who live in Canada! Stony Creek, Ontario to be precise. Two years ago they invited the American side of the family up to visit for a reunion.  We immediately set out to find a hotel and I stumbled on what I thought would be a gem.

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It is torture being in such a perfect running locale and not being able to take advantage of it.

The nearby city of Burlington boasts a gorgeous downtown waterfront promenade that serves as a gateway to its lakefront running and biking trail, and we found a hotel located smack dab on this trail. As I had recently run my First Mile and was training for my first ever running race, I was excited to try out running in a fun new place.  Unfortunately, right before our trip, I managed to injure myself and could not run along the trail, or anywhere else for that matter. I found my activity on that trip limited to a short walk along the promenade and enjoying my morning cup of coffee on the city’s modern pier.  While I had a great time at the reunion, I left disappointed at not having had the opportunity to run in this great location.

Fast forward to this summer as we once again ventured to visit our relatives in Canada, and, determined to experience running along the shores of Lake Ontario, we booked ourselves into the Waterfront Downtown Hotel.  You may be asking why I was so excited.  In short, I LOVE running in new locations. As Jennifer has pointed out repeatedly in her travel series, there is no better way to discover the personality of a new city than to lace up your shoes and go for a run.

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A picture perfect day to venture beneath the falls…Back! Back! Over the Falls! Disappear! Disappear!

On our way up on Friday afternoon we made the obligatory stop in Niagara Falls, where we toured the tunnels underneath the falls. I know that this is not running related, but, come on! It’s Niagara Falls! They are impressive and amazingly gorgeous.

I woke up on Saturday morning and had a light breakfast before setting out on the trail. I exited the rear of the hotel and turned left. Just as I loosened up, after less than 100 yards, I was greeted by a construction fence and a sign telling me that the trail was under construction. So yes, I waited 2 years only to learn that I could not run the trail.  Well, at least THAT part of the trail. So I turned around, and ran back towards the East along the waterfront promenade.

Anyone who has read my past articles knows that I love kinetics, and am motivated by seeing other Casual Runners, walkers, and cyclists out enjoying themselves. That morning the Burlington waterfront had a healthy buzz of activity and excitement without ever being too crowded.  So it was the best of both worlds, I could feed off of the energy of others while being able to run at my own pace.

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Some Casual Runners playing the roles of Casual Tourists.

As the sun started rising in the morning sky I ran past walkers, runners, plenty of cyclists, families playing on the playground, stand up paddle boarders out on the lake, and even a skateboarder or two. It was invigorating. As I was limited on time, I had to turn around long before I was “ready” to do so, further enjoyment would have to wait until the next morning. But at least I could enjoy the same sights and energies on the way back.

Then next morning my girlfriend, and awesome Casual Running Buddy, Candace joined me. While there wasn’t quite as much activity as there had been the day before, the waterfront trail was nonetheless abuzz with amateur athletes and weekend warriors. Together we ran until the paved trail turned into a mix of sand and dirt and we become totally enclosed within the tree canopy that enveloped the trail.  We could not have asked for better weather or a more enjoyable experience.

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The spectacular Burlington Waterfront trail.

I left Burlington with a healthy respect for the way they designed their waterfront. Truly, every community should have a place like this.  The waterfront trail serves as a kinetic artery for a variety of outdoor activity that locals and tourists alike certainly took advantage of when we were there.  By day it was a hot bed of a variety of physical activity, and by night culture, arts, entertainment, and gelato took over.  Not to miss out, we ruined our diets by buying some gelato and strolling along the promenade to the pier, where we were treated to a gorgeous view of a spectacular full blue moon.

While, like most Casual Runners, I would never welcome an injury or setback for training, but this spectacular weekend of running in Canada was certainly worth the wait.

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We found where the sidewalk ends, but that did not mean that is where the running stopped.

This is the latest installment in Team Casual Runner’s series of adventures and explorations while training on their travels. You can also check out some other Casual Running adventures from the road, including Jennifer’s run through Central Park during her trip to New York City, her picturesque runs in Key West, Florida, her early morning runs in Texas, her fun runs across the pond in Huntingdon and London, United Kingdom, and her exploration of Germany.  You can also check out some other Casual Running adventures from the road, including Mike’s trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and even more exciting Casual Running locales!

The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and add us to your circle on Google+.  See you out on the running trails!  

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