Running in a beach destination isn’t always the easiest thing to do. In fact, running while on vacation or traveling isn’t the easiest thing to do. While being near the ocean, there are a myriad of things that can keep you from running. Be it the hot weather, crazy humidity, fruity drinks or overall lack of desire to do anything but bask in the sun. A good run is always necessary, though. This was exactly what I remembered when running around Gili Trawagan in Indonesia.
Located off of the big island of Lombok, the Gili Islands are known as a hedonistic paradise where motorized vehicles, police and responsibility don’t exist. With plenty of sand and sun to go around, travelers from around the world have begun to discover how great a trip to one of the three islands can be. For me, my time spent on Gili Trawangan reminded me how great a run in a beach paradise can be.
While the humidity in Southeast Asia can be oppressive, running in Gili Trawangan is phenomenal. For my run, I started out in the midst of the main harbor, right outside of my guesthouse. The main harbor area, and the next 1000m to either the east or west, are hectic. Shops, travelers, horse drawn carriages and bikes run the streets, so keeping up a good clip is rough. I found myself weaving in and out just trying to stay on the path. After the shops stop though, is where the fun begins.
Heading east, the path that started out as a mix of dirt and concrete turned into packed sand. The hustle and bustle of the harbor transforms into sporadic resorts and bars. The view of the ocean is only impeded by small patches of overgrowth, following you with each step.
With the sun setting, I had a magnificent glimpse of what Gili has to offer during the dusk. Though this was fantastic, before I knew it (after about two miles), I was once again back to the craziness of the harbor. The western end, though, was less packed, but right as I hit the night market area, the roads were crowded again.
Though for about a quarter of the run I was busy dodging onlookers, running on Gili Trawagan was a dream. The sunset is immaculate (as well as the sunrise for early morning runners), and the scenery is fantastic. Along with this, the entirety of the outside of the island is one soft path, and much of it is covered from the sun. Gili Trawagan is a great place to vacation, but even more so for runners.