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Thread: Jogging/Running/Walking on St. Barth

  1. #1
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    Of course one can run on any of the island's roads if you don't mind steep hills and traffic, but the following suggested locations minimize those two factors:

    1. The track around the soccer field in St. Jean Carrenage. The soccer field has artificial turf and the track has a rubberized coating to make it easeier on the joints, projects that were completed in April, 2010. The field is located behind the fire station in St. Jean. The track is occasionally used by school groups during the day, but is available for runners most of the time, especially early in the morning. The distance around the track is approximately 365 meters.

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    2. The road around St. Jean Carrenage. Park near the soccer field and run on the flat roads adjacent to the etang. You'll soon find your way.

    St. Jean Etang(pond)

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    3. The road along the Saline salt pond. Park at the Saline Beach carpark. Do a loop or continue towards Lorient on the sidewalk. See Earl's comment below.

    4. The road along the sea at Grand Fond. This site has the advantage of being able to add the road going up the mountain if you want to do some hill climbing, 350 feet above sea level at the peak elevation of the road. Check out the beautiful tile tableau at the overlook near the summit of the hill.

    Photo by Helene Bernier

    5. The road that parallels the beach at Flamands. Park in the beach parking area. Walk the beach, and run the road or vice versa.

    6. St. Jean Beach, St. Jean due to it's almost flat profile and firmness of the sand.

    7. The streets of Gustavia on Sunday mornings when the traffic is light. On other days the early school arrivals can lead to much congestion.

    8. The loop around Pt. Milou has some hills and spectacular scenery. Tom Armour describes it in his post. Below is a shot looking down from the road on a bright day.

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    9. For serious runners, see Gotrhum's route described below.
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  2. #2
    Dorocke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2004 Charlotte, NC Posts: 2,402
    I'm no avid runner but my dad is and loves #1 for the safety factor of it. I liked #5 this year and also the treadmills at Form Fitness! The views and equipment and set-up there make working out hip and sexy!!
    Ashley (formerly "AHowell")

  3. #3
    griegle1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2006 arlington, virginia Posts: 484
    I have run extensively all over the island. The list above is a good one. Gustavia, Grand Fond or Forma Form are clearly the best places. Gustavia has a nice combination of flat and hills and the most abundant sidewalks. I highly recommend the very early morning or Sunday. I would also urge anyone thinking about running to be very careful. There are very limited sidewalks and shoulders on the roads, lots of blind corners etc. More importantly, most of the drivers are not used to seeing runners on the roads. Don't wear your ipod either, you need to hear what is around you.

  4. #4
    Earl is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2003 Moneta, VA Posts: 4,593
    Lorient to Saline and return...about 4 miles total, 1 gradual hill each way. Of course, only if the construction is done.

    Edit - Construction is complete. Sidewalk is in place on a large portion of this route.
    Still Alive and Kickin'!!!

  5. #5
    griegle1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2006 arlington, virginia Posts: 484
    That is a good one. Light traffic and some shade.

    If you like hills, I like going out of Gustavia (one way traffic on the road out of town helps), over La Tourment and down the hill on the back side of the airport (like you are going to Les Ilets). You can also run St. Jean beach from there........

  6. #6
    Tom Armour is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2009 Wilmington, NC Posts: 68
    The loop around Pointe Milou doesn't have much traffic and the terrain isn't brutal; you just have to do multiple laps if you're trying to get nay distance. Some great views on both sides of the loop also.

  7. #7
    Lance is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2002 Posts: 348
    One should try running on the otherside of the airport. Drive down to the parking area, then duck under the gate and run the road. It has small hills and no traffic. Each lap will be about 2/3 of a mile.

  8. #8
    Voosh is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2007 Detroit Posts: 13,151
    I at first thought that the "jogging" was gonna refer to doing the back roads in a Moke.

    My favorites are doing EVERY road in Gustavia, or stopping at Santa Fe and then doing Gov and then back through Lurin to St. Jean (and back to pick up car sitting at S'Fe) and then there's hustling through Flamands and to Colombier and back.

    C'est tres bien.

    Oh, the back hills east of Toiny are pretty easy and cool.
    Yeah, Yeah - IMHO

  9. #9
    taxkohn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: May 2007 California Posts: 125
    I run Flamands or Gustavia in the morning (before 8). Gustavia is probably the safest just running around the harbor. I can't imagine running in St. Jean.

  10. #10
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,764
    My sister saved the photo of the Grand Fond road as her new wallpaper on her pc.....and she is going to submit to Runners World for their " Rave Run" feature.....she is very thankful for this thread
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  11. #11
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    Re: Running Routes
    Hi Tim,

    Below is the description of the route I typically run while on St. Barth. I've also forwarded this to BAM. .



    This route is 10k (6.21 miles) and is very similar to the course run for the Gustavia Loppet, with a slight modification so you can start and finish at the same location. It is my favourite route to run on St. Barth. I've attached a map of the route for a visual.

    1. Start inside on the track at the Stade de Saint-Jean. I usually run 2 or 3 laps of the track.2. Depart the stadium and turn left. Continue to the Territorial swimming pool, then turn right at the intersection. Follow this road around the St. Jean pond (stay left) until you reach Eden Rock Hotel.
    3. At the stop sign turn right and follow the main road (you can run on the sidewalk but just after Eden Rock you will have to cross the road to the left side where the sidewalk continues).
    4. Once you get to the roundabout by Chez Andy (The Hideaway) turn around and follow the main road heading back in the direction of the airport. Note in some areas of the main road there are no sidewalks. Once you get near Hotel Emeraude Plage there is a sidewalk on the left side of the road.
    5. Follow this sidewalk to the gas station by the airport, then cross the road and run on the sidewalk next to the airport.
    6. Continue past the airport and then head up the hill to the roundabout (Tourmente). Nice hill to tackle and a wide shoulder to run on.
    7. From the roundabout follow the road that heads down to Public. This is probably the trickiest part of the run as you run against the traffic direction down the switchback.
    8. Once at the bottom, follow the sidewalk on the left through the industrial zone in Public and the dock.
    9. The sidewalk eventually ends, so follow the road around the point, making sure you run against the traffic. You will then see Gustavia Harbour.
    10. Follow this road (main road into Gustavia - Rue de la Republique).
    11. At Le Select turn right and follow Rue du Bord de Mer past les Route de Boucaniers. You can also go to the left at Le Select, but the scenery isn't as nice.
    12. Turn right on Rue Samuel Fahlberg, go past the Anglican Church and continue past the post office.
    13. Turn right at the post office and follow Rue Jeanne d'Arc to where it turns right towards the Presquile Hotel and follow along the harbour.
    14. Run past Segeco (no stopping for refreshments allowed!) and at the Wall House turn left.
    15. Follow this road until it turns left, then you will be on Rue Victor Schoelcher which you follow uphill past St. Barth Stock Exchange and Spam To Go, then downhill.
    16. Then turn left back onto Rue Samuel Fahlberg and head in the opposite direction, past the post office, the Anglican Church and Totem Surf Shop.
    17. Turn left onto Rue du Roi Oscar II by Le Vietnam restaurant and remain on this road all the way out of Gustavia. It becomes Rue August Nyman.
    18. Continue up the steep hill towards the lighthouse, and up the switchback to where you get to Le Dispensaire at the top of the hill on the left. At the top, turn right and head back towards the roundabout (Tourmente).
    19. At the roundabout go right, back down towards the airport. Try to be on the left side of the road in the opposite direction of traffic. Continue past the airport and past the small shopping center on the right (where the video store and Maya's To Go are located).
    20. After the gas station, turn right and head towards the fire station and then you will be back at the stadium.
    21. Once at the stadium you can run another 2 or 3 laps around the track.

    If you do 3 laps around the track at the beginning, follow the route described above, and 3 laps at the end, you will have completed 10km.

    If you have a GPS watch (like a Garmin Forerunner) it will certainly help you with getting the distances right. The track at the stadium is not a proper 400m track. Depending on which lane you run, the track length is approximately 365m.

    For a variation, you can shorten or lengthen the run depending on how you feel. One variation to lengthen the run is when you get to the roundabout at Chez Andy, continue up the sidewalk heading towards Lorient. How far you go depends on how you feel as this is a good sidewalk now. This is where a GPS watch comes in handy for tracking your distance. To shorten the route, it is easy to make either a few left hand turns where you should go right and vice versa.

    I hope these directions and tips are helpful. The map below with the red route should help give a visual of what I've described.

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    Happy running!
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  12. #12
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    Mr. and Mrs. Gotrhum at the finish of 2012's Gustavia Loppet. Super job by both runners!

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  13. #13
    jcmc is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 112

    running/walking route

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    I've opened the thread. Please post your additional comments on this topic.
    saline parking lot out to the first paved road to the right,over the hill to the end,right again past the grocery wholesaler,over the mountain to and through grand fond out to the rocky beach, then back to saline parking lot. 5 miles exactly and if you do this every day you can do what we do and eat anything you want!!

  14. #14
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    We walked that sidewalk covered area last year which is probably over half the route and moost of the hilly part but not all the way to Saline and Grand Fond.

  15. #15
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,145
    Tim--this thread provides great tips, routes and cautions. We've walked and jogged many of the routes. The safest are those with sidewalks. It is nice to have a combination of flat and hilly terrain. The routes of Lorient to Saline and back or Lorient to Grand Fond and back (tough hills especially going down!) are excellent. When there are no sidewalks be very careful! A nice alternative to the roads is the trail in Toiny. And the track is terrific.

  16. #16
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,788
    Where/what is the trail at Toiny? We're going to need to run a few times this trip, trying to figure out some good places.
    This thread rocks!

    mb (and Randy, who will ultimately be the one ensuring we actually get these runs in....)

  17. #17
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    The best moderation is the least moderation.

  18. #18
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,788
    Thanks for pointing it out Tim...I figured it was already described after I posted that. Any thoughts on how long it is and if its "runable?"

    Looking forward to trying some of these out next week.

  19. #19
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    MB, a small segment is runnable, but it's mostly walking and partially climbing terrain. The views are quite spectacular as can be seen from further down the "Hiking" thread. A fast pace will finish in 25 minutes or so.
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  20. #20
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Denver, Colorado Posts: 18,233
    Is this the walkabout you took Alijax and me on some years ago, Tim? If so, is SO worth it! Views to die for!!!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  21. #21
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,797
    This is the place.
    The best moderation is the least moderation.


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