For these accomplished Canadian athletes, running sets the tempo of everyday life. Here, they talk about the places where they benefit from a good workout while enjoying inspiring scenery.
1. Martin Goodman Trail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“One of my favourite places to run is in Toronto, along the Martin Goodman Trail. It’s close to home, which makes it incredibly convenient, and it’s a nice long, flat trail along the Toronto waterfront. Whether it’s a sunny summer day or a snowy Toronto winter, it’s well-used all year long. There is always lots to see and experience, and the view of downtown is simply rad.”
2.Saint-Maurice Boulevard, Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
“There are two places in particular where I like to run, especially to admire the scenery. There is Saint-Maurice Boulevard, which is about 5 km long (10 km return), where you can follow the Saint-Maurice River while enjoying the view of the Cité de l’Énergie theme park across the river. There is also La Mauricie National Park, which is ideal for runners who like uneven terrain and trails. You can run dozens of kilometres. It’s an excellent place to experience higher levels of difficulty.”
(Nicholas Berrouard, marathoner, men’s gold medallist, 2015 Montreal Oasis Marathon)
3.Arugam Bay (Sri Lanka)
“[The most beautiful place I’ve ever run is] Sri Lanka, especially around the village of Arugam Bay. A few minutes from the village, I would leave the main road to run along kilometres of dirt trails through rice paddies, forests and fields. It was magical. I saw elephants, tons of monkeys and many other animals I didn’t recognize. Sometimes I felt slightly in danger, but that only amplified the adrenaline in my body. I felt so alive.
In fact, I always do my best runs when I’m travelling… There is something about this sport, when you’re travelling, that lets you to really discover a place, and that makes running even more exciting.”
(Philippe Viau-Dupuis, marathoner, ranked 23rd at the 2015 Boston Marathon and best time among Canadian participants)
4. Bass Lake Provincial Park, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
“One of my favourite places to run is Bass Lake Provincial Park, near Orillia, Ontario. I grew up playing, exploring and competing in school cross-country meets in this park. It holds many memories for me and provides hills, flats, trails, loops and scenery, all in one beautiful setting.”
5. Mount Royal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
“One of my favorite places to run is Mount Royal. I love this place because you can do everything there! There is obviously Olmstead Road, for those who train on roads. But there are also trails, very difficult ones and easy ones. Some have a lot of slopes, while others have few. Some have a lot of roots, others few, etc. You can also run a very long time on the same trail, but in different directions (laughs)! You can run in nature, with a view of the city at the bend in a trail or through a gap between the trees.”
6. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and Red Rock State Park, Arizona, U.S.
“I have run everywhere that I’ve travelled, whether in Quebec or elsewhere (Cuba, Dominican Republic, California, Arizona). But I must say that Quebec City is by far the most easily accessible place to do a run surrounded by beautiful scenery! Whether it’s the Petit Champlain neighbourhood, along the banks of the Saint-Charles River, or in the mountains at Stoneham or Mont Sainte-Anne, there are landscapes for all tastes!
But my favourite was in Arizona, in Red Rock State Park. Why? Because of the view, the lack of humidity, the opportunity to train at high altitude (very beneficial), the politeness of motorists and the possibility to run on roads and trails in the same outing.”
(Geneviève Asselin-Demers, marathoner, women’s gold medallist, 2015 Montreal Oasis Marathon)