It has now been over 4 years since I’ve started running. Anyone who has met me, knows I could talk about running for hours. All the beautiful and painful and encouraging things about it. The way runners are amazing. All the fantastic people I have met thanks to running. And, well… All the places running has taken me, giving me a lifetime of running travel stories!
Some of these places I’ve visited mostly for the purpose of running – meaning, if there wasn’t a running plan there, I may have ended up somewhere else (now we’ll never know, right?). Other places are mostly places where I’ve lived at some point. Not that it matters, really.
I have so far finished 8 half marathons, 6 marathons, 2 ultramarathons and dozens of shorter races, which gave me quite a bit of reason to see some new cities and countries. So, let me show you some beautiful places I was lucky to run at!
This was a run that will always mean something extraordinary to me: this was my first marathon. At this point, I was only properly running for about 4 months (I was, however, a handball player for 13 years prior to that), Italy was very and untypically warm that weekend (it was about 25°C in March) and I never in the world thought I’d finish a marathon. And yet, I did.
In the cutest city ever!
Slovenia: Ljubljana, Maribor
I ran a marathon in Ljubljana twice, and a half marathon in Maribor once. If you still haven’t been to Slovenia by now, go as soon as you have the chance, as this is one of those countries that leaves you breathless… And I’m not saying that just because I was left breathless there during my runs!
Biel is a bilingual city in Switzerland (Biel is its German name, Bienne is French) that I was lucky to visit due to an incredible run called Bieler Lauftage/Courses de Bienne, and on the year when I ran it, it consisted of a half marathon, marathon, 100 kilometre run and some relay runs… In the night time. Yup, the start times were between 10:30 and 11 pm and were finishing anywhere between midnight and morning time.
Absolutely loved everything about this place!
Poland: Łódź, Poznań
Poland is the first country I’ve lived in outside of Croatia. The only thing I want to put emphasis on here is the fact that Poland was the first place and the first time I’ve had to run a long race without my parents, boyfriend or running team by my side. I was frightened!
However, friends I’ve made during my time in Poland have taken their time to make my Łódź marathon experience an incredible one. Less than 2 months later, I also took two of my closest friends to hang out with me while I run the Wings For Life World Run in Poznań. Such a beautiful time!
This is by far the biggest marathon I’ve ever attended. Vienna is such an inspiring city, and I had an amazing time running the Vienna marathon together with 40,000 (!) other runners!
Montenegro: Durmitor (Žabljak)
Besides the hiking, jumping in river Tara, canyoning and all the exciting stuff I did during my time in Montenegro, I was running like crazy. Training at such altitude does so much good to a human body, also making it recover much faster than usual, which is why I was able to run a month’s mileage in less than 2 weeks on Montenegro’s Durmitor. I also did some mountain racing, and it was absolutely incredible!
I am now living in Dublin and most of my running is logically happening here. In the previous 14 months, I have run another Wings For Life World run, and some amazing charity runs. And I know it doesn’t count under my own running, but I did volunteer at the Dublin Marathon 2015, and I sure hope to run it at least once in the upcoming years!
My Croatia. I have been to so many cities and towns and villages and trails in Croatia simply in order to run, that I’ve lost count (I’m kidding, I haven’t, but there are really so many wonderful places I’ve run at).
From 4 kilometer runs to 12-hour ultramarathons, Croatia has made that cut for me. From mountains to running along the coast. From runs with 20 people to runs with hundreds. Running community in Croatia has grown really strong in the past years and it is such a great feeling to be part of it!
And I could put countless photos here now… Instead, I’m leaving you with the one when there was -17°C while running towards Sljeme, the peak of Medvednica mountain beside Zagreb:
Are there any of you out there who do the same thing – travel in order to run? Let me know!