Airport jogs for the fitness minded

When I land after a long flight – make that nearly every flight – I want to move. Not just a brief walk to a taxi or car but a proper workout.

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Airports in Cleveland, Indianapolis and others have laid out marked walking paths in their terminals while Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco have added yoga rooms recently. But for some these are just warm ups to the real workout.

Through various social media sources, we were able to tabulate a brief list of airports in the USA where you can lace up your jogging shoes and go out for a quick four-miler from the terminal door or a brief ride on mass transit. 

The caveat: very few airports offer luggage storage or shower facilities, so be ready for the passenger next to you on your next flight pinching their nose for the next few hours. But if that doesn’t bother you, here are some ideas for your next airport run!

Baltimore-Washington

The 12.5-mile (20.1km) BWI trail is arguably one of the most convenient airport jogs in the country. The trail loops the airport property with good planespotting vantage points on both the north and south side of the airfield. Runners can access the trail from door 19 on the lower level, adjacent to the airport light rail station and concourse E.

The airport highlights the trail on its website. It does not offer shower or storage facilities in the terminal, it says.

New York’s LaGuardia

Few probably imagine that you can easily lace up and jog along the shore of Flushing Bay from New York’s infamous LaGuardia airport. The Flushing Bay Promenade stretches two miles from the eastern edge of the airport property to downtown Flushing in Queens. Runners can access the trail via sidewalks from terminal D (the Delta terminal) or a footbridge across the Grand Central Parkway.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport, does not advertise the trail on its website. Terminal D does not have any shower or storage facilities, according to the authority and Delta’s websites.

San Diego

The bike path along Harbor Drive adjacent to the airport terminal stretches about two miles to downtown along San Diego Bay. Runners can access the trail, which is about 0.2 miles from terminal one, by using the crosswalk at Harbor Island Drive and Harbor Drive, says the airport.

The airport does not promote the trail to passengers, though it does with employees, it says. There are no shower or storage facilities available in the terminal.

San Francisco

The Bay Trail is only a one-stop ride from the airport station on the regional BART rail system to Millbrae. After a 0.8 mile jog from the train station, runners can follow the trail for more than 30 miles along the bay front (with a few roadside sidewalk sections) all the way to San Jose.

The airport is one of the few that offers both shower (Freshen Up! in the international terminal) and storage facilities (Airport Travel Agency in the international terminal), it says. It does not actively promote use of the trail among travellers, however, it does promote bike access on its website, it adds.

San Jose

The Guadalupe River Trail passes only 0.1 miles from the door of terminal B at Mineta San Jose International Airport. Joggers can run north or south along the trail, with downtown San Jose’s Discovery Meadow about 3.7 miles south of the airfield.

The airport does not promote the trail inside the terminal but it does provide bicycle and pedestrian access information on its webpage, it says. There are no storage facilities in the terminal but shower facilities are under construction inside security in the international arrivals building, the airport adds.

Washington National

The more than 17-mile Mount Vernon Trail passes only 0.3 miles from the main terminal building at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport. Joggers can run north about three miles into central Washington DC (via the 14th Street bridge) or south 13 miles to Mount Vernon, the home of former president George Washington.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority offers bicycle access maps from the trail on its website but does not promote use in the terminal, it says. It notes that the trail is widely known in the Washington region. There are no showers or storage facilities in the terminal.

Others?

This short list of airport jogging options is just a start. Similar trails exist at airports in East Midlands, UK, Hong Kong and Victoria, British Columbia, based on a brief Google search and the author’s experience. Please let us know of others!

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