Boston Running

I needed to be on the East coast last Friday and today, so rather than spend 12 hours on planes I spent the weekend in Boston and got in three great runs. The Westin Copley Place is my favorite centrally located hotel in Boston. Four short blocks from the Charles River, you can run for miles in either direction. I've spent many a cold winter day running along the snow-packed Charles River (the blacktop jogging/bike path does tend to clear quickly after all but the worst storms). But this was a perfect weekend for running in Boston, maybe the best I've experienced. Exit the Westin on Dartmouth St. and turn left and head towards the Charles River. There is an overpass at Storrer Drive which is more like a mini freeway than a drive.

My standard run is to turn left after the overpass when you hit the Charles River running path, continue about 3 miles to the Cambridge St. bridge, cross over, then run back on the opposite side, re-crossing the Charles at Massachusetts Ave. The total run is about 7 miles and you can always extend further across the Charles at either end. Want a bit of a shorter run, just don't cross the Charles and turn around anytime you feel like it.

Of course, after running, you will be hungry. On Friday afternoons, there is a wonderful farmers market right on Copley Square outside the Marriot. At least one night, you will have to head out to the North End for carb loading at Giacomes. They open at 4 and get there any later and join the crowd in the line outside. A tiny dining room with seating for only about 35, the wait can easily be an hour or more. No reservations. But they did make it into Rachael Ray's $40/day FoodNetwork show.

Of course what is a weekend in Boston without seafood. A must-visit is Union Oyster House, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the U.S. Do get reservations here or be prepared for another hour plus wait. They serve some of the best New England lobster in Boston, supposedly from the Canadian coast. If you have never eaten whole lobster, they are nice enough to crack it for you, although I prefer doing the work myself. I'd recommend the medium, it won't break your budget and always more tender and flavorful than their older, larger siblings.

So there you have it, one weekend, three runs, two great dinners (you are on your own for Sunday night, but if you can't find a good place to eat in Boston...)

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