We all travel for different reasons. Some people travel to absorb as much of the culture as possible, some travel to visit tourist spots, some travel for adventure, and some travel for the hotel/accommodations. Having a variety with travel is one of the great things about our individuality so we know that we will not all share the same travel aspirations.
When I travel, it is typically for very short periods of time in a location so I try to do all of the above in 24-48 hours that I can. When I travel with my family, our travel habits change a bit. But, this was the first time that I had actually traveled to another continent to run on a treadmill!
Why I Traveled To Another Continent To Run … On A Treadmill!
As part of my upcoming 6 marathons on 6 continents in under 5 day trip, I scheduled two trips to my “trouble” locations for the purpose of familiarity and route selection. Those locations were Cairo and Abu Dhabi. I have been to both cities before but not for the purpose of selecting a route for 26.2 miles of running.
I knew that Cairo would be a difficult location – from experience. Cairo was my African stop the last time I attempted a multi-continent run and was the location of the only run I could not complete. I had a 6 hour window there, which I knew was tight, and I had residents telling me that running there was very difficult. It turned out that, for me, it was impossible. I had someone crewing me and driving for me but was unable to find a stretch of road that would have been safe to run on. Eventually, I ran out of time.
Figuring Out Cairo
This time, I was committed to not letting that happen. Since I am in Greece, it was just a short jaunt down to Cairo so I headed down there one morning with a return very early the next morning. Here were the things I needed to deal with:
- Exit strategy from the airport
- Selecting a route that was safe from the traffic
- Dealing with the humidity (especially since this stage of the run will take place at 2AM)
- Finding stores that would be open for me to purchase water from en route
- Finding a return point to the airport in case things fell apart
I did have a backup plan and that was to run on the treadmills at the beautiful Le Meridien hotel which is attached to Cairo International Airport (hotel review to come). But, I really did not want to run on a treadmill for one of these runs – again. The last time I did this, I had to run on a treadmill inside the Marriott near Sao Paulo airport because of torrential rains and flooding. It was not fun! I have run on a treadmill for 18 hours before and did 1,000 miles on a treadmill in a year, so I can do it but it is not fun!
Going With The ‘Mill
In the end, I had to come to grips with the fact that running in Cairo itself for this leg of the adventure is not going to work. The most difficult part is that I will be starting the run around 2AM on a Monday morning. I know Cairo traffic a bit and, while it won’t be as busy at that time of the night, I do not want to be running on the roads at that time of the night. Furthermore, finding 24 hour store locations on the routes I was looking at was going to be problematic. Those are necessary since, with that heat and humidity, I will need to stop to refill my hydration pack at least 3 times.
So, I headed down to the fitness center and began to run for a while on a treadmill to get the feel of the center and the treadmill. Unfortunately, it is very humid in that fitness center and not a lot of air movement! Since I will likely be one of the only people in the fitness center at that time of the morning, I hope it won’t be as bad and I was told I may be able to have the temperature turned down some more.
Plus, that is going to be 26.2 miles on a treadmill indoors! That is not an easy thing to do, especially just hours after running 26.2 miles on a different continent! But, I will have to make it work. That will be the safest route for me to do. The nice thing is that there is internet in the hotel so I can watch my Yankees play while I run. 🙂 Also, my watch works nicely for tracking my steps and strides so it will be uploading my live tracking to the website for any that want to keep track of the run.
Worst Reason Ever For Traveling To A Different Continent? Probably!
Yes, I traveled to a different continent to run on a treadmill. And it will not be the last time – I will do it again in two weeks. That is certainly not my favorite reason to travel but it will have to work right now! 🙂
Have you ever run 26.2 miles on a treadmill? What is the longest distance you have run on a treadmill before?