Finding your way

For me, running is not about the clocking up of huge distances but the experience of finding somewhere new.  Whether that’s far away from a concrete jungle, which is my preference but to also traverse part or all of a town or city.  I get quite a buzz from finding a new route – it’s the simple things sometimes.

Around 50% of my job requires travel so I’m always on the lookout for somewhere new to explore.  My ‘Google-Fu‘ usually finds something but not always for areas that aren’t typically traveller destinations.  I happened upon a website and smartphone app late last year that sparked my interest, it’s called AllTrails,  As with most applications, there’s normally a fee involved but I was prepared to give it ago. 

The premise is pretty simple, there are thousands of trails uploaded by users that have been category tagged with an accompanying description (some with photos too).  Navigate to the area you’re interested in and hey presto all the available trails are shown.  There’s a useful planning feature as well as having the facility to create lists. There’s a record feature if you wish to upload a route to compare against others plus maps that you can follow too. Other users can post reviews and ratings too so there’s a sense of being able to check it out before committing to going. 

To date, I’ve used it in London, Amsterdam and Las Vegas and it’s been worth the first year’s subscription cost.  I too have rated and reviewed the trails I’ve explored to support the community element of the app.

Other apps I use include OS Maps and the simple to use Google Maps which clearly show where you are but AllTrails adds that extra bit of fun.  The planning and knowing that you’ll be exploring somewhere new once you’ve arrived at your destination.

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