Austin has all kinds of tours that you probably know about. We have duck tours, bike tours, carriage tours, even Segway tours. But now we have something else to add to our list of ways to get to know our fair city: running tours. That’s right, it’s a tour of the city while you’re running.
City Running Tours, a company that has running tour installments in different cities all around the country, has teamed up with Texas Running Company in Austin to bring you a new way to get to know your city while getting your heart pumping.
“There are a million other types of tours but nothing like a running tour. It combines the passion for running with the will to explore the city you’re living in,” said running tour guide Lee Ackerley.
The Austin City Running Tour had its grand opening this past weekend in tandem with the Livestrong marathon as a way to capitalize on the running energy that was running through the veins of Austinites.
The current tour option is a historical tour of downtown Austin. You will start from Texas Running Company on 5th St and run through the maze of downtown landmarks and historical stops before eventually finding your way back to Texas Running Company.
As of now, you can choose from a 5K or a 10K run. But don’t let those figures scare you, as there are plenty of opportunities to take short stops and learn more about Austin’s most historical landmarks. You’ll also have to stop from time to time to let traffic whiz by you. While this isn’t a tour for those who want to stop and smell the roses, it is a fun and enjoyable way to get social and get some exercise.
Presently, tours are only available on the weekend, but Ackerley hopes to soon offer tours everyday as well as offer a wide variety of tour options. Everything from music tours, pub tours, scenic tours, bat tours and social runs are on the agenda for Ackerley.
“It’s a really fun thing to get out and do. You get to know the city and keep it local,” said Ackerley.
Each tour costs about $25. But if being social, getting your cardiovascular rate up and getting your vitamin D for the day isn’t enough for you, you will also run assured knowing that a portion of your money will go towards a worthy cause.
Since its founding, City Running Tours has donated a notable portion of the company’s revenue to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Approximately one dollar of every tour fee will go towards helping children who have devastating illnesses such as cancer and leukemia. Perhaps it’s a way of paying homage to those who are battling health issues while creating and maintaining a healthy body.
There’s also one other little talked about side effect of participating in things like the Austin City Running Tour and that’s the “runner’s glow.” It’s the euphoric cloud of energy that surrounds you after a run. It’s produced by endorphins and is sustained by the fact that you’re probably smiling and don’t even know it.
“You’re attractive in some regard. It looks like you’re vibrant, living,” said Ackerley.
The effect of the runner’s glow on people is strange and mysterious but always positive. People who have the runner’s glow experience everything from discounts on meals to spontaneous kindness from strangers. If you ask me, I’d stay that’s a pretty good trade-off for sweating it out on the mean streets of Austin.