Saturday, January 9, 2010

A very cool vacation idea: RunBoston

For many people, going on vacation is about relaxing on a beach and doing very little. Not for runners. A runner's vacation is about exploring new places on foot, and that is why Jared Perrine and Abby Greshik have hit a home run with RunBoston, a tour guide company that shows runners around Boston through individualized running tours.

Abby and Jared came up with the idea during a 7-mile run in Cambridge this past fall when Abby mentioned how she enjoys running through new cities, but fears getting lost without someone to guide her. A year earlier she had given her cousin a 9-mile tour of Boston, and the more she thought about it, the more perfect the idea seemed. "Boston is the perfect city for running tours," said Abby. "It’s a big city, but packed into a small geographic area. Runners can see a huge number of historic sites and neighborhoods within a handful of miles.”

After checking to see if anyone else was already offering running tours of Boston (note: there are running tours in other cities around the world, but this is the first to be offered in Boston), Jared quickly developed a Web site and purchased the domain name. However, the goal isn’t to become a massive running tour company. “Our focus is putting together (a tour of) all of the best and most historic places in Boston and to let our love of the area diffuse into our customers," says Jared.

One perk for tour participants is that every tour is individually customized, from the speed to the sights. Depending on the pace that customers want to run, they will be paired with a specific tour guide that can run with them and converse in order to provide them with information about the area they are running through. Customers can also decide how many miles they want to run and what they want to see, ranging from Bunker Hill, the Back Bay, Harvard Square, or even the last 8-9 miles of the Boston Marathon. “We aren't afraid of detours,” says Abby. “If runners spot something they'd like to see up closer, we'll shamble down an alley, or careen up a hill. We want runners to see what they want to see in Boston.”

RunBoston isn’t just for tourists either. “Whether you are local, visiting for business, or visiting for pleasure, sometimes you just don't want to run alone,” says Jared. “RunBoston offers a smiling face, a chatty mouth, and another pair of shoes hitting the pavement with you.”

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