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WORK-LIFE BALANCE

The Best Guided Running Tours

Whether free or for a fee, here are five alternatives to the hotel treadmill

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Why settle for the hotel treadmill? Find a guided running tour that begins and ends right in your hotel lobby. Or plan one yourself.

FOR FREE

Many runners will tell you that one of the best things about the sport is the fact that it's free. Thankfully, someone at Westin Hotels seems to agree; the company's hotels in 30 cities employ a "running concierge" who leads guests on three-mile runs three mornings a week, free of charge. And at more than 100 Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, free running route maps and GPS armbands are delivered to your room. Of course, there's another free option: planning your own run. To find the best routes, check out MapMyRun.com. It lets you choose among 775,000 U.S. routes; provides precise route details and a map; saves the route to your GPS device; and even calculates the calories you will burn.

FOR A FEE

If you are willing to pay, you can find longer, tailored runs in many cities. City Running Tours has guides in New York; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Charleston, South Carolina; and Austin. There are also a number of city-specific tour outfits -- SF Run Tours in San Francisco, for example. Typically, a running guide takes you on a scenic jaunt from your hotel, at the time and pace of your choosing, while pointing out landmarks and answering questions about running or the city. Most charge about $45 per person per run. For an extensive list of tour companies, click here.




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