Running in San Miguel de Allende

We run nearly every day without exception. As we travel from destination to destination we always have to figure out where to run in our new, temporary home. Sometimes this is easier than others, but more often than not, it is a challenge. We scan the internet, we look for blogs, we check Strava and Mapmyrun.

We decided to write about what we couldn’t find on the internet: a quick guide for running in new locations. If there is info you’re interested in that we didn’t think to include, or there are places we should be running in that we’re not, please tell us. It’ll make our lives better, our research easier, and it’ll help all the other runners out there that are looking for places to run in new locations.

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A view of the city from Caracol, the apartments we stayed in while we were there.

Fast Facts:

When: 6/15-6/21/16

Miles run: 25.6 miles (Matt)

Where we lived: Caracol Apartments, not in city center, but close

Pollution (self-made index 1-5): 2 – not bad at all

Shoes Worn: Nike Zoom Elite and Nike Wildhorse (Matt)

Paavo’s age: 6.5 months

Quickscore (1-5 scale): 3.5 out of 5

-Where did you run? – specific routes or areas

  1. Trails just outside of town. On day one I ran with new friend David on a 5k loop just outside of town. There was minimal climbing, but that was on purpose because he was tapering for a 100k a couple days later. Muddy in spots but great for running. One encounter with a “pueblo dog” that required us to grab rocks to scare it away. Really happy with the run and safe enough to do alone – as long as you know to grab rocks when dogs are around. David also pointed out some nearby mountains available for climbing trail runs.
  2. The track. There is a center for Deportes (sports) in town with all kinds of nice sporting facilities, including a nice rubber track. It was just over 3k from where we were staying so twice while there I headed to the track for some laps. Beautiful views of town and the nearby mountains, it was a pleasant place to run, away from traffic. There were always locals on the track and at the nearby sporting fields so it was never lonely.
  3. El Charco del Ingenio. This is a nice nature park and conservancy that had nice trails for running. Probably 4 or 5 miles of total trail with lots of little loops that can be made into a bigger loop. The backside of the park may have more trails than I found – I noticed this after checking a map after the run. Nice place to get away, but still within the borders of the city. It cost 40 pesos to get in.
  4. Coahuila 100k. In the middle of our San Migeul de Allende time, we left town with David and traveled 6 hours north for a 100k trail race. Not SMA running, but still one heck of a run!
The parque Charco, a few miles drive from the city center, with quiet, peaceful trails

The parque Charco, a few miles drive from the city center, with quiet, peaceful trails

-How accessible were the good running locations? Road, track, trail?

Everything felt closer and with less traffic than Mexico City! – though that may not be saying much. From where we were staying, the track was within a couple miles and both the trails and the park were within a few miles by car. I imagine there was more available, though it also seems like the type of place that has stray dogs to be wary of.

-Safety

Felt totally safe every place I went, again except for pueblo dogs! (I imagine that this is something you just get used to, as David didn’t bat an eye as he casually picked up a rock during our one encounter.

-Weather

Cooler temps in the 60s and 70s most days. The sun was hot, especially when the skies were clear. Pollution wasn’t much of an issue, except on the main road in town with lots of bus and truck traffic.

-What was the running vibe?

Not many runners, but also not weird to be running. David was possibly the only ultra runner in town, but there were people running the main road through town and using the track, so it’s not a totally foreign practice there. While there were runners, I wouldn’t say that it felt like there was much of a community of runners there. I didn’t see any running shops and David mentioned getting all his gear in the bigger city of Queretaro, an hour away.

A view of the finish line of Matt's 100k race outside of Saltillo

A view of the finish line of Matt’s 100k race outside of Saltillo

-Best parts about running in city

Fresh air, views, and altitude. The main road in town connecting to the track wasn’t a fun run, but in the parks and once on the track, it felt like a place I could run frequently and enjoy. Though because the town is smaller, I’d have to have car access or learn more of the town to not get too bored with the few routes I ran.

-Least favorite aspect of running in city

Pueblo dogs!

-Unique aspects – factors to consider

Cobblestone streets through much of town. This can be particularly challenging for many runners. I saw it as a good opportunity given my upcoming trail racing schedule. Many of the streets are composed of big, uneven stones, and running on them can be tough. There are also lots of steep, large hills around town. We stayed in a place on top of one so each run from home began and ended with a big up/down.

Still smiling after finishing a 100k race in the mountains

Still smiling after finishing a 100k race in the mountains

-Best stories from running there

I met David on my first full day in town and it lead to the Coahuila 100k racing adventure a day later. Memorable event, and hopefully a guy that I’ll get to run with again some day.

What did we miss? Other great places to run in San Miguel de Allende? Share your experience and let us know where we should run next time we’re in town because I can definitely see going back here!

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