Tools I Use For Route Planning

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

This week I’m in Northern Ireland visiting family and I’ve had to pull out my route planning toolkit, as I’m not too familiar with my surroundings.

I’m staying at my parent’s house and I need an 18-20 mile run this weekend.


When planning a route I’m looking for safe roads with sidewalk for the duration, if possible. The first tool I use is I plan most of our group runs on this website and share the route with our crew.

As I map out unfamiliar terrain, I use google maps street view to check the route at various points to see if the road looks safe enough to run on.

When I save the route, it calculates the elevation gain and gives options for downloading. One of the dowload options is a GPX file.

View the route here.


I take my downloaded GPX file to and upload it. It uses Google Street View to capture images for the whole duration of the route. You can add modify the settings on the video to include more frames, and the delay time between each frame.

If I wasn’t planning to share the route/video with others, I’d stop here. There’s a bit more work involved in sharing the video generated by


Since gpxhyperlapse does not offer a download option, I used a Chrome plugin called Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder to record the video. There is a download button on the screen when recording completes that will allow download of the video to webm format (mp4 and other video formats are available in the paid version).


I’m using the free version of Nimbus, so I need to find a different way to convert the webm to mp4. In the end I used a website called


To enable easy sharing, I uploaded the video to YouTube as unlisted. I used YouTube’s online video editor to trim the beginning and end of the video.

Here’s the final video and I think it serves as a great tool to get a feel for the route

Spooky Half Marathon Photos

I posted this route a while back on the blog and finally got around to running it this past weekend. I left around 7.30am, and it was just as quiet as it was the last time (around the lake section). A few geese protecting their little one, tried to block my path, all three of them hissing at me. Grrrr.

The new section of this route which I had not run before was really nice. It’s well sign-posted and called “Kitt Creek Loop”. I followed it down Development Drive and back round to Davis Drive.

It was warm and humid and I was worn out by mile 10. Instead of running any further hills, I adjusted the route and ran the last three miles on a flat track and then Liz came to take me home. 🙂

A great run, and I will be back. But trails are calling me

Beautiful morning at Spooky Lake (Lake Betz, Morrisville).

These guys were not going to let me pass.

The Kitt Creek loop was really nice. I met a few runners on it. Fairly hilly though.

Route: Running Of The Bulls 8K

Next Friday at this time, I’ll be picking up my race bib for Bull City Running Company’s Running Of The Bulls 8K (website).

The race starts on Saturday morning, June 3rd at 7.15am. It’s the first time I’ve ran this particular race, but I have ran very similar routes in Durham before so I have an idea of what to expect (i.e. HILLS).

I enjoy running through cities. You get to see things you easily miss when driving through. You also get a better feel for where everything is. I’m looking forward to it!

2017-05-26 16_05_34-Running Of The Bulls 8K _ Strava Route


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