In this day and age when marathons are coming up by the dozen every month, it’s easy to lose sight on the fact that running is supposed to be a fun exercise, and not just a competition.

Often fun runs are relegated to dream run status where the joy of running is not always apparent. Especially in a city-based marathon, dream runs can become costume parties rather than a thing for runners. The answer lies in achieving a balance of fun and fitness, and not make running ultra-competitive all the time.

That’s what Go Heritage Run, an offshoot of GoUNESCO, has been doing since 2014 through a series of UNESCO New Delhi supported programs that hope to “Make Heritage Fun”, while also bringing in a fitness angle to it all. As a result the GHR series has become something of a run vacation. It takes place at numerous heritage sites across India such as Hampi, Warangal, Ooty, Badami and Bidar, and there’s no emphasis on competition or finish times. At the same time, it’s not a kiddie run, as much of it takes place on the trail, and the course has hilly portions.

Having already finished the Hampi edition this year in January, the GHR team is now preparing for the Ooty Run which takes place on May 29, 2016. Event categories include a 5K, 10K and a 15K, while runners can opt to get a commemorative T-shirt, and discounted accommodation for the trip. The 5K has an entry fee of Rs 673, while the 10K and 15K have a registration fee of Rs 884. mobiefit RUN is the registration partner for GHR Ooty and as such anyone who is interested can get registered for this running vacation through, or through the app’s Events section. As reward, those who do sign-up through mobiefit RUN will get our premium 10K training package absolutely free, including the brand new Pro mode, which is built for slightly experienced runners.

“Our motive is to make these runs a fun event and not a competition. We had invited families, travel enthusiasts and not just race runners to be part of the run. We want to sensitise tourists to the importance of the heritage structures in and around Ooty,” Ajay Reddy, the group’s founder told a news outlet.

All Planned
What makes Go Heritage Runs different is that they are planned run vacations, which have travel, heritage as well as fitness on the menu. The idea is to explore the scenic beauty and cultural variety of the location and its heritage, while also completing a run.

Not just travel
Yes, it’s a vacation, but not your usual kind with lazing around on the beach or in your resort. This is about getting a dose of adventure, heritage while also keeping fit. That’s why the run vacation is not just for everyone.

Did you know that Ooty, the famous hill station and summer escape in the South of India is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Our finisher medal at Go Heritage Run – Ooty is not just s medal, is a souvenir and a reminder of Ooty's heritage as well! Registrations closing soon, signed up yet? #ooty #goheritagerun #runvacation #heritage #worldheritage #indiarunning #landscape #india #runnersofindia #heritagerunners #indiarunning #runhappy #happyrunner #instarunners #wearetherunners #marathon #strava #nikeplus #fitfluential #runchat #ultrarunning #runners #runnerspace #runnershoutouts #igrunners #seenonmyrun #runnersbelike #runtoinspire #runnerscommunity #run #runnersofinstagram

A photo posted by Go Heritage Run (@goheritagerun) on

No timed runs
There’s no timing chip in the GHR Ooty so you can take your time to explore the route, the sights and soak in the experience without having to push hard to finish. Having said that it’s no cakewalk. As with any trail runs, there are several physical challenges, while for Ooty especially, the course has hilly portions. So it’s not the best idea to show up hoping you will cruise through the run. You can even walk if you want to!

A family run
THE GHR events encourage participation from entire families, group of friends or couples as it’s considered a unique bonding exercise. The group says, “Our runs have witnessed participants as young as 3 years and those young at heart at 85 years.”

An offbeat vacation
Besides the run, local experiences are also part of the package, as GHR offers participants a chance to explore activities in the location. It could be bouldering in Hampi, or watching a cultural dance performance in Warangal or an additional heritage tour.

Images: Go Heritage Run

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