All posts by PetersBrain

Waikoloa, HI – December 08, 2010

Few days after Thanksgiving, we traveled to Hawaii for a family vacation. We went to the Big Island and stayed at the excellent Hilton Waikoloa Hotel. If you are traveling with kids, this is absolutely the best place to stay on the Big Island (probably all of Hawaii). Sadly, Maggie could not come with us, so she stayed in Seattle and I ran by myself.

I have to say, I was surprised at how hard it was to find a nice place to run there. I examined the map and Google Earth in detail, asked around, but nothing obvious came up. Two options were mentioned, running in a circle on Waikoloa Beach Drive or running on Queen Ka’ahumany Highway and neither one seemed appealing.

At the end, I ran down on Waikoloa Beach Drive to Ku’uali’I Place and then all the way to the Ocean by Lava Lava Beach club. Sandy part of the beach there was quite short, so I only took it to Marriott hotel and then run back to Waikoloa Beach Drive and my hotel. At hotel, I ran around the resort before getting back to my room. All this was only 3.4 miles. While the run was short, it was not too bad. Some of it was on the Waikoloa Drive, some on the beach, some through the resort.

Big Island Run - December 08, 2010 (3.4 miles)
Big Island Run – December 08, 2010 (3.4 miles)

Vancouver, BC – August 09, 2010

VVancouver is one of my favorite places for longer runs. There are a number of good hotels close to the Stanley Park and Stanley Park is a great place to run.

This time, we stayed at the dog friendly Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. It just opened, so it was nice and new. Maggie and I went running several times during our stay and went for two longer runs on two consecutive days both of which I’ve recorded on my GPS.

On August 8, we went down to the water, followed the coastline about half way up to the park and then came back the Pipeline road, with the detour around the Beaver Lake. Once outside the park, we came back the same way, along the water. That ended up being 8.1 miles.

On August 9, we got to the park the same way, but then continued all the way around and then went across the park on a trail parallel to the N Lagoon Drive. Once we got the Park exit, we went straight on Georgia Street back to the hotel. This run was 8.2 miles

The only downside to running here is that for the most part, you have to run on the hard surface (pavement). I wish there is a gravel trail here like what we have at the Green Lake.

Maggie did great on our runs! We stopped few times for her to get some water, but she was keeping up no problems. Best running buddy in the world.

Vancouver Run - August 08, 2010 (8.1 miles)
Vancouver Run – August 08, 2010 (8.1 miles)
Vancouver Run - August 09, 2010 (8.2 miles)
Vancouver Run – August 09, 2010 (8.2 miles)

Bozeman, MT – July 20, 2010

Bozeman is one of my favorite places. I’ve been here a number of times in the past. This year I came for the ASV meeting which was held at Montana State University (accommodation was at the dorms). This was my second ASV meeting in Bozeman.

During this trip, I went running several times, few shorter runs and one long one. There are very nice trails in the area near the MSU where I stayed. I ran on Bozeman Trail, Gallagator Linear Trail, etc. Things got a bit confusing during the longer run, as we were trying to stay on the trail, but kept getting lost (I ran with a friend who was also at the meeting). As much as all Bozeman runs were fun (and they were), thing that I remember the best was a huge breakfast at the Nova Café after our 11.8 mile run. That place was awesome!

Portland, OR – June 21, 2010

In Portland, I stayed at Residence Inn Downtown/Riverplace, just off the I 5, right on the Willamette River. Weather was decent and I went for an early morning run along the river front.
From the hotel, I went North, following the river, under the Hawthorne Bridge, Morrison Bridge, Burnside Bridge and then I crossed to the East side of the river on the Steel Bridge. For some reason, my GPS does not seem to be synchronized with the map and shows me as walking over the water to the other side and back. Rest assured that I actually went over the bridge. I am guessing that all that steel interfered with the GPS signal. Once on the other side, I run South past the East side of the Burnside Bridge and then pretty much took the exact same route back. Had I planned this a bit better, I could have probably run in a circle or something. I generally do not like to go back and forth the same way, but this is how it worked out this time.
Generally, this is a pleasant run, nice scenery, river views. There was some noise from traffic, but not too bad. If you are ever in Portland, you cannot go wrong with this route.

Portland, Oregon, 4.4 mile run, June 21, 2010
Portland, Oregon, 4.4 mile run, June 21, 2010

Long Beach, WA – May 28, 2010

Long Beach in Washington State is really true to its name. Although their claim to have the longest beach in the world is exaggerated, beach at Long Beach is pretty long (28 miles). Town is located on the south-west corner of Washington State, about 160 miles from Seattle. In addition to the beach, there is a lot of history here. Over 200 years ago (November 19, 1805), Captain Clark arrived at the Pacific Ocean for the very first time in what is now Long Beach, WA.

We stayed at Super 8, which is a great hotel. Dogs are welcome, people are very nice, and hotel is very close to the beach … what else is there to say. We used to come here with kids, enjoy the beach and the town. After seeing movie “The Impossible” however, I am not quite comfortable bringing kids here. Maggie and I still visit from time to time though.

I went running with Maggie at Long Beach a number of times. This time, I finally got to record it. The route is very simple: From the hotel, we ran towards the beach, continue on the boardwalk, and then come back right next to the Ocean. We ran anything from 3 miles (really a minimum run), to over 9 miles. Runs that I recorded on this trip were 4.9 and 6.0 miles long.

 Long Beach Run - May 29, 2010 (4.9 miles)
Long Beach Run – May 29, 2010 (4.9 miles)
Long Beach Run - May 29, 2010 (6.0 miles)
Long Beach Run – May 29, 2010 (6.0 miles)

Boston, MA – April 29, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve been in Boston. I used to spend so much time here, that arriving here almost felt like coming home. This time, I stayed at Hotel Marlowe (in East Cambridge) and went running two times (recorded only one though).

From the hotel, I followed the river going south west to Boston University Bridge, crossed it to Boston and then followed the river back to Charles River Dam which got me back to the hotel. Total for this run was 5.9 miles. A very nice thing for this route was that most of it was by the river.

Boston Run - April 29, 2010 (5.9 miles)
Boston Run – April 29, 2010 (5.9 miles)

Green Lake (Seattle, WA) – July 29, 2007

I used to live in Ravenna neighborhood in Seattle. During that time, Maggie and I would run to the Green Lake, go all the way around and run back. This route was 5.7 miles and was a great way to start our day. Maggie loves to run around the Green Lake (squirrels!), and the part on the streets was not too bad either since we always went early in the morning before the rush hour. Some days, we would also go to the lake after work and go around again (we drove to the lake, and then walked around).

Most mornings, from our apartment, we ran west on N 65th Street then on Ravenna Boulevard to Green Lake Park. Once at the lake, we ran counter clock wise, came up the N 64th Street, and then go east on N 65th Street all the way back home.

Green Lake Run July 29, 2007
Green Lake Run July 29, 2007

Indianapolis, IN – June 3, 2007

I was in Indianapolis for the 55th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry. I stayed at Westin, which is just across the street from the Convention Center. When I checked in, I asked for their recommendations for places to run and they gave me a little map showing all the good local running trails. Nice!

I managed to run most of the mornings during my stay, despite the fact that we went to The Slippery Noodle almost every night (I highly recommend The Slippery Noodle!). I was alternating between a shorter and a longer route.

For both runs, I would first go north from the hotel, and then west on New York Street, which took me across the White River. Once on the other side, I went down the N White River Parkway Drive to Washington Street which goes back all the way to the hotel. For the longer runs, I would detour on the N West Street and go up the Canal Walk to 10th Street and back. Longer runs were about 6 and shorter about 3 miles. Overall, this was a pretty pleasant run, although there was a lot of traffic at few places.

Indianapolis Run June 03, 2007
Indianapolis Run June 03, 2007
Indianapolis Run June 04, 2007
Indianapolis Run June 04, 2007

Boston, MA – May 14, 2007

I used to travel to Boston quite often. For a while, I was spending almost half of my time there (the other half, I was in Salt Lake City). My favorite place to stay there was Holiday Inn on Beacon Street in Brookline. Hotel was OK, had decent breakfast and it was very close to Longwood Campus where I worked.

I had a number of running routes starting from that hotel, some shorter, some longer. The shortest one was just over 3 miles, while the longest one was over 10 miles (Boston sightseeing, Freedom Trail and the Boston Harbor). My most common running route, was this one I recorded on May 14, 2007.

From the hotel, I ran on Beacon Street towards the downtown, turned left on Mass Avenue and went across the Harvard Bridge over Charles River. On the other side, in Cambridge, I went left and ran along the river, crossed the Boston University Bridge, went around the Amory Playground and then back to the hotel. This route was about 4.2 miles. Most of it was on the streets, and even early in the morning there was significant traffic, but for being in the city it was not too bad. The part along the river was very nice.

Boston Run 4.2 miles
Boston Run 4.2 miles

New York City, NY – May 11, 2007

Next stop on my trip was Boston, and since I had a whole weekend to get there (there was no point in flying back to the West Coast for a day), I drove. I spent a night at the hotel in New York City (Club Quarters on 45th Street – near the Times Square).

I have been traveling for days, and was a bit tired, but I did not want to miss an opportunity to run in NYC. I got up early in the morning, ran east to the 6th Avenue and then straight up to the Central Park. I have to say, this was quite an experience. Years ago, I watched Marathon Man, the movie, and I remembered a scene where Dustin Hoffman runs along the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. For some reason, that scene got stuck in my head (much more than the “is it safe” scene), so I made sure to run by the Reservoir. I’ve been to the Central Park before, and I’ve been by the track next to the Reservoir before, but this was the first time I ran there. After going around the Reservoir, I ran back on the east side of the Park and then down the 5th Avenue back to 45th Street. That was a very nice, 6.7 mile long run. The part on the streets was a bit tough, but the part through the park more than made up for it.

New York City Run
New York City Run

Rahway, NJ – May 11, 2007

I used to travel to Rahway several times each month. Being the creature of habit, I would always stay at Holiday Inn hotel in Clark. Once I find the place I like, I always go back and do not try to change things. The restaurant there was OK and I had a decent running route, so why not.

Early in the morning, from the hotel, I would run south past Mother Seton Regional High School, then follow Broadway over a small climb and after the Madison Avenue Park, continue down Madison Avenue . After passing the Rahway High School, I would turn right on the Midwood Drive which goes by the Robinsons branch of the Rahway River. Then, for some reason (and now I have no idea why) from that point, I would always go back the same way I came. As I am looking at the map now, it seems that it would make much more sense to continue through the neighborhoods and come back from the other side of Mother Seton High School.

Be that as it may, it was a decent route and it comes to about 4 miles.

Rahway Run
Rahway Run

Long Branch, NJ – May 09, 2007

At Long Branch, I usually stayed at the Ocean Place hotel. That is a very nice hotel, right on the Atlantic Ocean (as the name suggests). I enjoyed going to sleep with the soothing sounds of the ocean waves.

For running, there is pretty much only one option; the boardwalk. That is a nice route although not very long. It goes along the ocean (obviously), there is no traffic and the air is fresh (well, New Jersey fresh). I would usually go south from the hotel, then back. To the south, the boardwalk goes to Brighton Avenue and to the north, it only goes to Seaview Avenue.

On the day I recorded this, I went for the total of 3 miles at 7 min 20 second per mile. That is really a minimum distance for it to qualify as a run. Anything shorter than that is a warm-up.

Long Branch, NJ

Lansdale, PA – May 07, 2007

At Lansdale, I always stayed at Homewood Suites on Church Road. From the hotel, I would run down the Church Road to Sumneytown Pike, continue to the entrance of Merck campus, and then back up on the Church Road. Sometimes I would go straight to the hotel, and sometimes I would continue to Main Street and then back to the hotel.

This was not the most pleasant route, most of it was on busy streets, but any run is better than no run I guess. On the day when I recorded this, my total running distance was about 4.5 miles.

Lansdale Run

Salt Lake City, UT – April 22, 2007

Our house in Salt Lake City was above the Foothill Drive, few blocks from the edge of the town. Most days, Maggie and I would run up to the Wasatch Drive and from there either go south, to the I-80 and back, or north, to the Bonneville golf course and back. Both of those routes were about 3 miles. For longer runs, we went the southern route first, and then instead of turning left to go home from Wasatch Drive, continue north to the golf course. Maggie loved the golf course. Wide open green and the lot of wild life (foxes, bunnies, seagulls and deer). Since we always ran very early, we never saw any people the golf course (we did see a lot of animals though). Every time when we went the southern route first, Maggie would start pulling to the right as we are getting closer to our street on the way back (we would turn left there if going back home). She really wanted to go to that golf course each time.

One morning, the gate for our back yard was open and Maggie ran to the golf course and back into the house all by herself. We would have never known that happened, had it not been for our neighbors who followed her back to the house and told us what happened.

Even though most of the running was on the streets, these were very nice routes. The neighborhoods these routes go through are very nice, views are absolutely incredible and there is very little traffic, especially early in the morning. There were a number of trails near our house, but they were all quite steep and rocky. Running up would be hard, but running down would be very dangerous.

Southern route
Southern route
Northern route
Northern route

Salt Lake City, UT – April 17, 2007 (hike)

Maggie and I did not have to go far from our house in Salt Lake City to be in the wilderness. There were a lot of great trails just few blocks from our house. One of our favorite hiking routes was “antenna hike” shown on the image below. This route went from our house to an antenna which was on one of the smaller peaks (I never figured out what that thing was) and then back to the house. For me, the antenna represented a goal to achieve, something to aim for, to make sure I do not quit half way up. Maggie probably did not care about the antenna, but she was always happy to go anyway.

Getting there was quite a challenge. Round trip distance was only 4.1 miles, but it was very steep. We would usually go up to the letter “H”, and then continue up the ridge all the way to the antenna. From there, we would come down the other side of the mountain, circle around and take Wasatch Drive back to our street. This was a nice hike albeit a very strenuous one. The hills outside the city are very rocky with very few small trees (Utah is a desert after all). If you try it, take your time, and be very careful, especially going down. It is very easy to roll your ankle on one of the loose rocks.

Antenna Hike, April 17, 2007 (4.11 miles)
Antenna Hike, April 17, 2007 (4.11 miles)

Amsterdam, Netherlands – February 21, 2007

For some reason, on this business trip to Amsterdam, I had trouble adjusting to the time zone difference and I was quite exhausted. We did go out night before, something I usually try to avoid before my run, but on a business trip that is not always possible.
I had to be at work early in the morning, so I got up even earlier and went running in the nearby park (Vondelpark). That turned out to be quite a decent place to run. Vondelpark is not huge, but still a decent size park with a large number of trails through it. As I long as I am not running on the crowded sidewalk, next to cars, inhaling exhaust things are OK.
Run was short, just over 3 miles, barely worth mentioning. It was cold and rainy and I was quite tired. Still, this was the first time I run in Amsterdam, and running in a new place is always exciting. I did not have my GPS with me to record the run, but I tried to reconstruct the route as best as I can from my memory using Google maps. The exact path might be a bit off from the actual run, but overall, it should be quite accurate representation.

Harding Ice Field trail, Seward, Alaska – September 10, 2004

My climb to the Harding Ice field was between a hike and a run. I was trying to decide whether to include it or not, but once I took another look at the pictures from the climb, it seemed quite obvious that I’ve been mostly running so here it is…
Earlier that day, I took a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords National Park. After that was done, driving towards the Anchorage, I noticed a sign for the Exit Glacier and I went to check it out. Harding Ice Field trail head was near the parking lot. I have not heard of this trail before, but the sign said it was only 4 miles to the top and I figured it would have great views. I had little over 3 hours of daylight left, which I thought was plenty. Back then, I’ve been running routinely 6-8 miles, and I was in decent shape.
I signed the log book and took off (by myself). After a first ¼ mile or so, it became obvious that this will be quite a challenge. Calling this trail steep and strenuous is a major understatement. The elevation gain is about 4000 ft over the course of 4 miles! On some parts I almost had to scramble on all fours. Still, I kept running and running. I took few stops along the way to take selfies and pictures of the ice. I finished my run/hike and logged out 2 hours and 58 min after I started. That included some 30 min at the top, chilling out near the ice field, and few minutes here and there to take pictures. I have to say, this trail and the views are out-of-this-world. It was really worth it but I was very tired. I can definitely recommend this hike, but please, take it easy and give yourself a lot of time. I almost broke my leg on the way down.
Looking back now, I realize how insane this whole thing was. Since then, I’ve tried to reach the Harding Ice field two more times with my friend and both times we failed to make it to the end of the trail. Once we had to turn back due to the very bad weather and near 0 ft visibility, and the second time we had big problems with Grizzly bears on the trail, and then, my friend fell through the ice and injured his leg so we had to turn back.

Philadelphia, PA – 2000

When I started running, way back in 2000, my favorite trail was the Pennypack trail. Few of us would drive there from Fox Chase Cancer Center after work, and go for 3-5 mile run, depending on how much time we had. We run there many times, too many to remember each one separately. My best guess is that we started probably in July 2000.
Pannypack trail is probably the best place to go running in Northeast Philadelphia area. Driving north on the Pine Rd brings you straight to the park. Just before the Pine Road crosses Pennypack creek, there is a park entrance on the right and the trail head is at the far end of the parking lot. I am not sure know how long the trail is, but it seems on the map that it goes all the way to the Delaware river. The longest I ever run there was 6 miles round trip (so 3 miles down the trail, then back the same way). I do not have any pictures, or GPS tracks, but I am including this Google Earth view. The parking lot is in the middle and the trailhead is just to the right.

Pennypack trail head - Parking lot at the Pine Rd.
Pennypack trail head – Parking lot at the Pine Rd.