8 Best Cities for Runners in the US
SAN FRANCISCO, CA:
San Francisco is a city for runners. With rolling hills, water lapping against the coastlines, and early morning fog, any run you go on here has scenic potential. San Francisco has 16 running clubs, and in 2015, according to Strava, the population ran 12,554 runs per week. San Franciscans can access trails easily, but the running epicenter of the city is Kezar Stadium, also called “The People’s Track,” which has been around for 90 years. Locals also love running in Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, and Lands End Coastal Trail.
Boston has a long and rich history of running, 125 years to be exact (that’s how long the Boston Marathon has been around!). At the end of every run, you could be met with a historical monument as your finish line. There are 15 running and track clubs in Boston; locals love to run the 18 mile trail along the Charles River. In Boston, runners and non-runners alike respect the sport. Four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers says, “The Boston fans really get it. And they appreciate all their runners, from first to last.”
NEW YORK CITY, NY:
The City That Never Sleeps has a lot to offer, running opportunities included. New York City has 80+ running clubs, 20+ running tracks, and 10 parks with 544+ acres. Central Park is a NYC favorite place to run. Writer Allison Feller says, “No matter what time of day I get out (to run around Central Park), I see a handful of runner friends I know.” New York is also home to the world’s largest marathon: the New York City Marathon.
Portland, Oregon is home of Protalus and a great place to run. This city boasts 18 running clubs, 220+ miles of trails, and 10,763 green acres. Portland is close to Nike, Adidas, and KEEN headquarters, so you know you’ll have easy access to running gear. There’s also plenty of opportunities to run in nature; Forest Park is 5,000 acres of forest–the largest nature park in an urban area in the US–and is a local’s favorite place to run.
Runners love Minneapolis. Here, you can run alongside lakes or down the city’s 50 mile trail system. Minneapolis winters can be cold and biting, but runners have access to 24 indoor facilities so they can run year-round. The Twin Cities Marathon is said to be “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America.”
Eugene, Oregon was made for runners; its nickname is literally “Track Town, USA.” Home of the University of Oregon and birthplace of Nike, the running energy here is electric. Over the years, Eugene has ranked in the Top 10 of the fittest and most running-friendly cities by Fitbit, Active , and Runners’ World . Eugene has 5 running clubs. Fun fact: late running coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman made shoes for his Eugene runners using his wife’s waffle iron.
SAN DIEGO, CA:
San Diego is a runner’s paradise. Its temperate climate and warm weather allows for people to go for a run outside year-round. San Diego ranked 7th place for how many members of its population ran. Whether running in the mountains or on the beach, you’ll be met with beautiful sights when running in San Diego.
That’s right, Omaha is a city for runners! This might be an unexpected choice, but according to Runners’ World , Omaha is experiencing a “running renaissance.” There are 120 miles of trails that wind through the city. Because it’s the Midwest, you’ll have plenty of chances to run on flat ground. But hill-runners, never fear, there are also hills for you to conquer in Omaha. Locals love experiencing the range of seasons on their runs and breathing in the fresh, clean air.