Cross Country Running Trails

Here’s a guide to running on dirt and without cars
BY: FERNANDO BALDERAS RODRIGUEZ

When healthy physical fitness enthusiasts travel anywhere in the world, many of them continue their running and training regime, no matter what city they're in. While visiting Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, guests to this magical beach paradise tend to hit the road and get their morning or late afternoon runs, traversing over concrete roads when there are wonderful desert terrain trails they can readily enjoy, if they only knew where to go and how to get there.

As a former USA Top 12 nationally ranked high school miler (4:15) and two mile champion (9:13) along with finishing 10th at the California JC State Championships and winning the Nor-Cal 10,000 Meters in 1988 with San Jose City College (30:58), I have enjoyed the pleasure a few times; of guiding serious and passionate runners along off road trails in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose.

In Cabo San Lucas, visitors to any of the Medano Beach area resort hotels can enjoy safe jaunts through town by running along and around the marina; which is cool in terms of the spectacular view of yachts docked within the beautiful scenic area, but those longing for a quiet and peaceful off road run can head south towards the four lane highway and pick up the old trail that starts at Villas del Arco. From there, it's about a mile and a half to the Los Cabos Municipal Cemetery along the safe, sandy, dirt terrain, that is located behind Cabo Fitness and Office Max.

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I once led an Ohio family court judge along that trail and crossed over at Costco, where a pedestrian bridge would be ideal and is badly needed. Once across the highway, the trail resumes one block up from Latitude 22 Restaurant and continues its ascent behind Costco. The running journey continues for roughly four miles as far up as the Communication Tower hill, which consists of a few challenging uphill switchbacks. From Villas del Palmar, where the trail begins, all the way to the top of the communications satellite towers is roughly a 4 mile run. Making the complete round trip a total of 8 miles.

There is now a new trail, actually built for bicycles, that goes along the beach from the Holiday Inn to the Thompson Cape hotel. It’s a nice dirt track and very scenic.

The countryside rural area above Costco is an ideal place to choose a variety of dirt, sandy trails that wind and weave their way next to the paved street that leads back towards the hills along the gated condominium and home communities located there. Trails that will take any and every fit person through a desert-like landscape; void of pavement and congested automobile traffic. Not that there's any traffic in Cabo. This vacation city is still bumper to bumper free, even during rush hour mornings and early evenings.

With a rental car or even by jumping on the Desierto SuburCabo bus for less than $3 dollars, guests of Los Cabos can ride out to El Tule and hit the canyon trail deep into the eastern mountainous horizon for an easy 6 to 8 mile run.

In San Jose, the changes the city has taken as host of the Los Cabos International Ironman competition, now in its 6th year, have been runner and cycling friendly. Securing a bike and running path which serve the modest, quiet sister city of Los Cabos. Providing a nice haven that has been specifically zoned for runners and cyclists alike.

At Costa Azul, which is about a mile away from the furthest resort located near the Estuary of the Hotel Zone, there is a 3-mile trail that begins under the bridge and heads east into the canyon for a complete 6-mile run round trip. What is memorable and sweet is the waterfall that flows at the end of the canyon trail. Halfway towards the water fall, there's an uphill trail that isn't as challenging as the steep one in San Lucas above Costco, but a mountainous climb nonetheless, and isn't for the timid new beginners.

For more information or a running guide tour, you can contact me, Fernando Balderas Rodriguez, at aztecofthecity@yahoo.com