Running is good for the soul

Running is a great way to free the mind from everyday cares it also keeps body and mind in shape and you get to explore the region. Benjamin Frizzi, Marketing Director at Ascona-Locarno Tourism and keen runner. He has tips on where best to prepare for the Ascona-Locarno Run in the region.

I used to hate running; now I use it to relax after a hard day's work. It's a time that belongs to me alone – an opportunity to clear my head. I discover wonderful places and things I wouldn't see if I wasn't running. The best moment is when something clicks in the brain. That's when you know you're mentally far away and fully focussed on the running and the surroundings. Sometimes you have no idea where you are, though that doesn't matter, as the region's easy to find your way around. 

Running is a wonderful way to shake off the day and the stress. It can be done anywhere with very little preparation – and at any time. And to be honest, even in the busiest of schedules anyone can squeeze in half-an-hour of something that's good for the body and the mind.

The Ascona-Locarno region is perfect for running: the mild climate means you can keep running on mostly snow-free surfaces through the winter. And if it looks like being a hot day in summer, just run early in the morning. The region is huge, as is the choice of routes. Wonderful traffic-free routes along the sparkling lake, little rural paths and lanes through vineyards and ancient villages, steep climbs to the surrounding peaks – or the National Youth Sports Centre in Tenero. Whichever route you choose, one thing's for sure – amazing views.

Ascona-Locarno really is a great destination for runners. The scenery where you run is enormously important: endless expanses and arduous climbs here by the Lago Maggiore make exploring the area really exciting by taking you to spectacular places and sights.

The premier running event is just around the corner: the Ascona-Locarno Run is only a few steps away, which means it's time to boost your training and increase your distances. Better late than never! I personally run (not only!!!) for pleasure; the participation is what counts. It's a magical feeling when you cross the finishing line exhausted and your time's shown on the electronic display (at least, when you've done as well as you've hoped 😊). To achieve this, you need an inspiring route to train on. My two personal tips are the Rivapiana, along the lake between Minusio and Tenero (the route can easily be extended to Bellinzona) or, for advanced runners, the "Giro delle tre chiese" from Contra to Brione and on to Orselina (passing the three churches in the name).

Anyone who hasn't yet registered for the Ascona-Locarno Run should do so now! The atmosphere at the finishing line in the Piazza Grande gives you goose bumps and the runners are so happy to be there.

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