Very few sports offer athletes the chance to explore the world and exercise at the same time. Running is unique in that no matter where you are in the world, you can lace up your shoes and take in every aspect of a city's scenery in a way that really can't compare to the typical sight-seeing tour.
As CEO of The Bullitt Agency, an Electronic Dance Music talent agency with headquarters in Washington, DC and Barcelona, Arash Shirazi is a global jetsetter and a fitness fanatic who's pounded pavement in more cities than many people have the chance to see in a lifetime.
"Running is my time. It's my creative brain space," says Shirazi. "It's how I stay sane in an insane environment." It's also how he gets to see city sights beyond busy airport terminals and typical hotel rooms, which is much more than many entrepreneurs traveling for business can say.
Shirazi has worked in media for 14 years and he says running and fitness help keep him energized and mindful, which is important for keeping up with such a young and fast-paced industry.
The following 10 cities are his favorites for running. And if you're wondering what type of sneakers he takes along with him when he hits the road, his favorites are the Gel Kayanos by Asics.
Commenting that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world, Shirazi adds: "I can run for miles along the Seine River and take in views of the Eiffel Tower, past the Louvre, up through Place Vendome and the Champs Elysees." He also noted that there are many easy-to-find trails here. "Just ask the hotel concierge," he says.
Although running in Europe can be more challenging compared to other parts of the world, Shirazi still named London as his second favorite running city. "Running in Europe is more difficult because exercise culture isn't as pervasive as in the U.S. However, London does measure up to any American city, with fantastic trails through Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, and long the river Thames," says Shirazi.
#1 Washington, DC
Shirazi calls DC one the most runner-friendly cities in the world. "It's very European and set up with lots of walkways. It's pedestrian friendly and there are so many wonderful views," he says. "I especially love running past The White House, Capitol, and through Georgetown."