When you arrive in a new city for the first time, it can take a few days to get familiar with the neighbourhoods and figure out where everything is (and where to get a good cup of coffee!). Want in on a little secret? Every city that has a lululemon also inherently has its own local "athletic tourist bureau" (aka amazing store educators) that can tell you where to find a yoga class, what to check out while you're in town, and where to find the best locally roasted coffee beans or handmade veggie burger in town. If you're lucky and your trip coincides with a store's weekly event, you could also have your own local's tour of the city which includes a leader, friendly people in the community, and healthy snacks!
Last week, while visiting the lovely city of San Francisco, I joined the lululemon Grant Ave. store on their Thursday night run. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about dropping in, seeing as I'm a new runner [read my blog on the No Excuses Run Club], but the Grant Ave. run club info said "all levels welcome" so I decided to check it out.
5:55 p.m: people started gathering inside and outside the store.
The first few people I talked to were all first-timers to this run club, too. This is Lucy from the UK, who first heard about lululemon in Peru while trekking through the Andes with llamas.
This run was the first time Lucy took her new Run:Speed shorts out for a spin. Lucy, if you're reading this - what was the verdict?
Our group split into two: a 5km and a 10km group. The route for both was handed out on a piece of paper. Very helpful for newcomers in unfamiliar territory!
Our run started off by running (uphill!) through Chinatown.
We ran along the Embarcadero and under the Bay Bridge. It was a beautiful sunny evening and I was so happy to be outside!
We looped back through downtown. I was dazzled by tall buildings - a little different than the seawall I'd gotten used to running on in Vancouver.
The run ended back at the store where we stretched it out.
Fresh fruit and electrolytes were waiting for us.
Me stretching next to Matt, who ran the 10 km route. I had actually already stretched and eaten lots of fruit at this point but wanted an action shot.
Ciara's an educator at Grant Ave. and was also documentating the run club for the Grant Ave. run club Facebook group.
Meet Clay and Jessica, run club leaders and planners!
It was Canada Day and I was understandably drawn to Kim. Yup, she's a fellow Canadian but currently lives in the U.S. This was a great way to spend Canada Day, eh Kim?
Paige is training for the Chicago marathon. This is her on the final stretch of the 10 km. What the photo doesn't show is after she got back to lululemon, she kept running! Her training schedule called for more than 10 km that night. Go Paige go!
All in all, running through the streets of San Francisco with the lululemon run club was a great way to explore the city, meet some new people, and sweat once a day. To the Grant Ave. run club and all the fellow runners I talked to - thanks for sharing your amazing city with me! I'll be back.
If you're travelling this summer and there's a lululemon near by, make sure to check out when and what their weekly events are.
find a lululemon run club or yoga class
1. Check our store locator at lululemon.com/stores to find the store info, and then choose either "community events" or click on the calendar to see what's going on.
2. Find the lululemon store on Facebook by searching and ask the community there.
3. You can always call or email the store to ask for the most up-to-date information (find the contact info on the store locator).