Running Tours – My Legacy in Madrid

21 October 2016 0 Comments Category: blog, Expat News, Living in Spain, Robert Nieuwland

I’ve written here before about running, but funny enough never really got further into how this hobby actually became a profession… quite a nice one, I might add. Here’s how and why.

It will be five years this December, since I started the give form to the idea of offering running tours in Madrid. I was writing the section of fun activities for a Dutch outdoors magazine when – while having screen through earlier editions of that magazine – I came across a small piece on sightrunning in Amsterdam.

The name itself caught my eye: sight running. I immediately caught the idea, without reading anything else. But, just in case, here’s the explanation we have published on MadridOutdoorSports.com:

Discover Madrid on your sneakers!

Sightseeing & Running

Why let your holidays or business trip stop you?

The running tours we offer with Madrid Sight running combine running with sightseeing to help you discover the secret spots of Madrid. So are you one of those travelers who can’t leave without their running shoes? You’re at the right place!

Madrid Sightrunning will lay out a map for you in the beginning of the trip and make navigating the city a breeze. And not only that; you’ll know what to visit, where to do it and when, all thanks to the enthusiasm and personalized care of our running guides.

The sightrunning tours are between 8 and 10 kms long, are always run at a pace enjoyable for all runners and will give you an excellent idea of what Spain’s capital has to offer!

Every tour starts at an (easy to find) metro station. There we simply meet at the programmed or agreed hour.

So that’s the idea.

Growing

As I sad, it’s been five years now and, looking back, it’s very fulfilling to see how the running tours in Madrid are becoming (or have turned out to be) quite a success. We’re not only experiencing growth with the individual customers, but also more and more companies value the physical activity of there employees, for example during a trip to Madrid. And this (the growth of both client types) not only means growth for our company, but the actual recognition of the whole idea. On the long term, that’s very promising.

Sport Binds People

On a completely different level, an aspect I looked forward to with this work and proved to just as satisfactory as the results themselves, was to constantly be working with new and different people. It never fails: welcoming someone to Madrid, a fellow runner, with the disposition to book a running tour, showing them the city doing what they enjoy so much… The conversations are always interesting and entertaining. Clients from all over the world land in Madrid and share anecdotes about where they’re from or ask countless questions about Madrid and Spain.

All this has a couple of interesting consequences: clients often seem to forget they’re running and are happily surprised afterwards when they see the distance they’ve done. Many clients have broken personal distance records thanks to the simple fact of being so entertained during the run.

Also: it levels out all types of hierarchies. This is a very positive thing when mixing corporative groups; it noticeably brings everyone together more and created space for a different and more natural behavior.

All together, what I wanted to do with this blog was simply to briefly explain what’s behind it all, from the perspective of yours truly, the person who can proudly state he’s introduced a completely unique tourist activity in a city that receives millions and millions of tourists each year, and growing.

And that, is pretty cool.

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