Thursday, May 07, 2009

Running Concierge

I just spent the end of last week, through the weekend, and into this week in Boston. Our annual industry trade show was there. When I found out last year that the show would be there, I hoped I would be able to attend. Thanks to being part of two teams that launched new products at the show I was given the green light. While my main focus was the show you know that running was a close second on my mind.

How could I go to Boston and not run? Boston is a running town. Or at least I imagine it so. We were staying at the hotel adjacent to the convention center. I had scoured the net for some suggested routes in the area and the hotel had a feature sponsored by Runner's World magazine. They had mapped out a 3 mile and 5 mile route from the hotel. Pretty cool.

Even cooler, when I arrived at the hotel and checked in there was a message on the room phone. I checked to see if some of my workers were checking in. The message was from Paul the Running Concierge at the Westin inviting the guests to join him the following morning, Friday, for a 3 mile jog around the area. How cool is that. I had already planned to run and now I had at least one partner.

I showed up at the fitness center at 6:25 the following morning and met the Running Concierge and 6 other folks. Two of the other runners were from my company. I had no idea they were runners. Cool again.

The run was a fun little jaunt around the south end of Boston, a recent redevelopment area. Our route took us just short of the North End and Hanover Street, home of some great Italian food.

The other two employees and I met up again on Saturday morning. We ran a 5 mile loop suggested by the RC, Paul. I took Sunday off and then met Paul for another 3 miler on Monday.

Tuesday Paul had invited anyone who was interested in joining in on a 5 miler. He was helping a fellow Westin employee train for a half marathon. I decided to venture out on my own instead and plotted a route to get me over the the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I couldn't travel to Boston and not see a running landmark as famous as the Boston Marathon Finish Line. It was, what else, pretty cool to see. It is 3 foot wide yellow band painted across the street. The route turned out to be about 5 miles.

On my flight home I was catching up on back issues of Runner's World and I came across a little blurb about Westin Hotels and their Running Concierges. They are piloting the program in several major cities. Westin Hotels are out of my personal price range but it a really great perk that lends a lot of credence to the popularity of running.

12 comments:

FLYERS26 said...

Man that is awesome!
I read about the RC, and it is a really smart thing to do, so when you are in the "big city", you can have a nice safe route to follow.
Congrats on running in Boston. I make sure I go for a run everytime I visit beantown.(sis in law lives there!)

Wes said...

That's pretty cool to go to someplace like Boston and have a built in running guru to help you out and keep you company. Very nice!!

Joe said...

Nice of the company to put you up at the Westin!!! Amazing they have a RC. wonder how widely that is seen to pay off. And if some marketing guy will scuttle it eventually!!

Cool to run across the Boston finish line...even if you didn't start in Hopkinton!!

lindsay said...

very cool! i wish more places would do this. i hate trying to figure out what would be a good, safe route when traveling. glad you were able to get some good runs in.

Backofpack said...

That's so great! I loved running in Boston - we did the river loop, bridge to bridge several times, or I would start at the Commons, run the loop around them, then run out the "Emerald Necklace". We ran past Boston College and MIT several times too. Such a great city.

Best of all was the cheer in your post - you sound happy!

David said...

That was a pretty cool post, to be redundant. Excellent adventure is another way to put it.

Billy Burger said...

That is so friggin' awesome - what a great idea! What do they do about paces? Try to pick a neutral one that is comfortable for everyone?

Shilingi-Moja said...

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston in November and they had 2"x3" cards with a running route mapped out on it. It beat having to figure one out for myself in a city where I never visited. Like you, though, the Hyatt Regency is way out of my personal price range.

Anne said...

I know where that hotel is located. I think a running concierge is a great idea, especially if you're a woman and like to run in unfamiliar cities. They help you not get lost AND stay safe.

Annette said...

A running concierge!? That's so cool. How do you land a job like that? That'd be sweet, huh? :) I stayed at a Westin awhile back that had a couple running routes available, but no concierge.

Glad you had a good trip and got in a couple good runs!

Jean said...

Running concierges? Wow, that is pretty cool! I stayed at a Westin in San Antonio once, and those are pretty darn nice places. What a cool concept.

Hope your training is going well this spring, Darrell!

Anonymous said...

Darrell, thanks for the nice write up. Unfortunately, it was just brought to my attention, so I could not reply until now. For all of the people who left such great comments, please do not hesitate to look us us when you are in Boston. We generally run MWF at 0630. The run is a medium pace (we are as fast as the slowest runner). There are two people who run with me so we can split the group when needed. We are the Westin Boston Waterfront and you can reach me at paul.dwyer@westin.com if you are interested. We can even arrange some runs outside of those times. Thanks and I hope to see some of you in the near future. Paul