Running tours in America's original seaside resort
Gentle ocean breezes. Leaping dolphins in the periphery. Horses clip-clopping through a Dickensian town. And guilt-free cocktails. (Never forget the guilt-free cocktails!) There are so many reasons to love running in Cape May. We’ll help you get intimate with all of them.
Let’s face it – running is sexy. That’s why the hobby has experienced 300% growth since 1990, with nearly 20 million Americans completing running events last year. This is where we’ll invoke the peer-pressure tactic of choice among junior high schoolers: “C’mon, everybody’s doing it.”
Here’s the secret: you don’t have to pound the pavement for the length of a marathon or with the speed of a Cape May lifeguard to be a real runner. At RunCape, we take it nice and slow, so that any person of any ability (we heart first-timers) can keep pace.
What you get out of it? A healthy dose of Cape May history – and not just the buttoned-up kind you’d expect from a proper Victorian town, but the grittier side you won’t read about in brochures -- and a healthy dose of nature, too. On Cape Island, our marshes and beaches are a hotbed of conservation drama, our skies are like a chic happy-hour club for birds, and our sunsets are just, well, hella pretty.
And did we mention the guilt-free cocktails?
We’ll see you at the start, solemates.
Diane Stopyra is a journalist by day. Much of her writing focuses on running (Runner’s World magazine) and the history, nature and culture of New Jersey (New Jersey Monthly, Exit Zero, SJ magazine, WHYY).
She runs like she sips her tequila – slowly but with passion.
Kashi Davis has been running since she was 14 years old - she likes to joke it has been her longest relationship and one of her happiest. She will run any distance, anytime with anyone - so long as running is involved, you can convince her to do just about anything (this is how she found herself agreeing to go sky diving). She gravitates towards longer distances, from half marathons to ultras. When she isn't running, Kashi is a biologist with the state's Endangered and Nongame Species Program where she chases down the dream of a Jersey coast filled with recovered feathered friends. She wrote a column in the color issue of Exit Zero in 2014-15 where she married her running and nature passions and is looking forward to offering a 3-D version on RunCape Tours.
Kashi, the CliffsNotes version:
Favorite punctuation mark: exclamation point (!!!!!)
Favorite carb: Bread Lady, aka Enfin Farms, bread
Favorite emoji: Salsa dancing lady fist pumping
Favorite childhood television show: The Adventures of Pete and Pete
Favorite Cape May Restaurant: Come on now, you didn't seriously think she would play favorites on this one, did you? Nice try, Mr. Cliff.
We are currently offering two flagship tours - Cape May City and Cape May Point - Saturday and Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (see below for schedule). Each tour is $25 (plus tax). As we grow, we'll add more options, including some specialized ones (we're looking at you, ghost tour), so please check back as the summer sizzles on...
Cape May is America's first seaside resort, which means long before bikinis and Speedos, there were cumbersome flannel bloomers and male onesies. That's just one of the vivid images you'll get on this tour of Cape May Proper, ravaged by storms and fire time and again. The only things richer than the history here? The people who own the beachfront McMansions and magnificent Victorian homes which dot the landscape. (Use our tour to scope your dream real estate purchase... we don't mind.) Meets at Exit Zero Global Headquarters on 109 Sunset Boulevard, led by Diane.
Saturdays - June, Aug & Oct 7:30a Sundays - July & Sept 7:30aWednesdays - July & Aug 6pm
This tour introduces runners to the history and nature of Cape May Point, where worlds collide. Old and new, Mother Nature and Father Time, change and stasis all funnel down to the southernmost point of the peninsula, and swirl together in this enchanting little town. We'll explore its evolution, visiting points of interest such as the lighthouse, Lake Lily, the Circle, Sunset Beach and the old Magnesite Plant. Meets at Sunset Beach, led by Kashi.
Saturdays - July & Sept 7:30a Sundays - June, Aug & Oct 7:30a Tuesdays - July & Aug 6pm
Do I have to be a runner?
Well, kinda, yeah. We love walkers, bikers, Segwayers, Ellipti-goers and pogostickers but at the end of the day, this is a running tour. Can you take a walk break? Sure! Do you need to be Usain Bolt? No way.
What is the pace?
Comfortable, and dictated by participants. We don't expect to go any faster than a 10-minute mile (and can go slower). There will be multiple breaks for points of interest and we will leave no runner behind! The idea is to enjoy Cape Island in a new way, not to break any land speed records. If you are still feeling the butterflies, please message us and we can help assess whether this is the tour for you (spoiler alert - it is!).
What is the minimum age?
Although the tours are family friendly, they are designed more for the 13-and-up set. We want to be sure that younger participants are able to handle the distance and that the tour (generally an hour to an hour and a half) holds their interest. If, after reading this, you're still sure this activity is your kid's speed (ding!), contact us.
What weather will we run in and what would lead to a cancellation?
Coastal weather is notoriously unpredictable, so we won't just run on those picture perfect days (though we will be extra delighted to do so!). We'll also take to the streets in wind, rain, cold, heat, you name it. Unless, of course, what you name is thunder, lightening or super heavy precipitation, in which case, we're heading to Tommy's Folly for some coffee.
Speaking of, what is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?
We will wait as long as possible to make a judgement call on days when the weather is iffy, and we'll either call you or email you (depending on what contact information you provide). No news is good news! If we call the whole thing off, you may either reschedule or take a refund. But if you bail within 24 hours of the tour (insert sad face emoji) we can only reschedule.
Do I need a reservation?
Technically, no. If you show up without one, we'll gladly add you to the tour -- but the caveat is "if there is room". Our permit only allows us a certain number of people so we are limited by that. And if you are asking our preference, it is for you to make a reservation.
What should I bring? Will there be water?
Bring as little as possible so you are not bogged down with personal items. You may want to carry a phone for photos, and guides will be able to store your keys. There may be water en route in the form of water fountains or water stops, but this will vary by tour, and guides will provide water at the end. If you are still concerned about having enough to drink, BYO.
What if I need to use the bathroom?
Some tours may have bathrooms on or near the tour route but this will not always be the case. If this is of special concern to you, contact us so we can talk toilets.
Do you have any specialized tours?
We plan to! Currently, we offer our core tours but we have plans, big plans. Stay tuned.
Do you sell gift certificates?
Heck yeah! Available in our online store.
Is sales tax applied to the tours?
Alas, the great state of New Jersey deems it mandatory, so yes, there is. Tours are $25 and tax is an additional $1.75.
Can I bring my dog?
Not on our regular tours, no. But you know those specialized tours we mentioned above? Dogs are very much a part of those plans.
Are jogging strollers allowed?
In most cases, no. We don't want to put you or your child at risk on narrow streets and shoulders. But we're open-minded... contact us directly if you want to sell us on your buggy.
Are tips allowed?
It's not at all expected but always appreciated (unless, that is, your tip is: "Do not eat the yellow snow." That one we already know).
Diane and Kashi can be reached at:
or by filling out the form below: