During my travels I’ve met many people from all walks of life. And, regardless of where I am when running, or when speaking with people abroad or back in Canada, one inevitable question always comes up: Where is my favorite place to run?
It’s an incredibly hard question to answer, yet it always makes me smile as I’m instantly transported back to all of the amazing places I’ve run. And though my answer is almost always changing, here is the third installment of my current Five Favorite Places to Run Abroad list. (Links to parts one and two).
Uvita, Costa Rica
When I first came to Costa Rica, I rented a house for six months just 200m from the beach in the tiny pueblito of Uvita. The Howler monkeys that lived in the jungle across the street were my daily 4 a.m. alarm clock. Their sleep-shattering screams served well to jolt me awake and out of bed so that I could run before the heat kicked in and while I was the only one on the entire 5K stretch of sand.
I recall fondly running along the beach, out towards the famous and naturally formed ‘Whale’s Tale’ that put Uvita on the map, prior to the tide came in and temporarily hid the rock formation for a handful of hours. Running for an hour, completely alone with my thoughts, while the sun came up over the ocean, were some of the best runs of my life. Not for time or distance, but for sheer enjoyment of the moment.
My daily morning run here reinforced the fact that I shouldn’t measure my success by my bank account, but by my ability to visit or live in such places. Uvita is a small paradise for those that like being off-the-beaten path, eating fresh seafood in local restaurants and being surrounded by nature. I may have encountered poisonous snakes and spiders, 9’ crocodiles and a shark while living here, but the serenity and peacefulness of this slice of paradise made it all very worthwhile!
Why Uvita? Stunning beaches, healthy and fresh food, a laid-back vibe, great people and hot weather.
Stephen brought together his two loves (running and travel) to start his company Dream Travel Canada, which takes runners and walkers around the world to participate in exotic races. He started running in 2001 in order to lose weight, despite being told since birth that a serious birth defect to his foot and leg would not allow him to run. He quickly fell in love with the sport and within ten months, had completed marathons in New York City, Reykjavik, Iceland and Edmonton. Instructing Running Room training programs was the next step and something that he continues to this day. Between racing and Dream Travel destinations, he has visited close to 100 countries.