What’s the best package trips for trail running?
I know of some companies that arrange travel in the States for trail runners, like Adventure Running Co [www.adventurerunningco.com]. They take your belongings to the next destination while you're running. I would love to take a trail run in New Zealand or Chile. Is there some similar program for those who would like to do the same abroad? –Joshua Melbourne, FL
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You know, there’s an easier option, Joshua. You can always just find a lodge with great trails around it, and run some loops on them. Then afterward you can take a shower, change into clean clothes, pack your bags, and hop on a bus (or into a taxi or rental car) to the next destination. Just a thought. But then again, ultra-distance runners can never do things the easy way, can they?
You’ll be happy to discover there are a handful of different trail running travel services around the world that are similar to Adventure Running Co. In Chile, you’ve got Andes Running Adventures. They support 10- and 17-day trips in the southern part of the country, through the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, and put you up in lodges and hotels along the way ($4,850 with airfare). They also offer a two-week running expedition that begins in the parched Atacama Desert of northern Chile, high among the Andes, and ends at Lake Titicaca in Bolivia ($3,750 with airfare).
In New Zealand, there’s Kiwirun Tours. Their 13-day adventure is more of a multi-destination running camp. You’ll spend your time at four different “training bases” among some of the most scenic areas of the North Island. The workouts will take you over trails like the Waiatarua Circuit, among the mountains above Lake Rotorua, down the pine needle-covered trails shaded by towering redwoods in Whakarewarewa Forest, and along the Pacific shoreline near the city of Wellington. The next trip is to be held in January ($1,390 per person).
If you’re interested in Europe, you can latch onto the Tour du Mont Blanc running trip being organized by Sierra Mountain Guides. It follows a 100-mile circuit around the famed ice-encrusted mountain and takes six days and costs $2,700.