People often like to ask me questions like, "Is it safe to run in Morocco?" "Isn't it scary to run in a foreign country?" "Isn't running there dangerous?"
If you were to do a quick Google search on this topic you might get the idea that running/jogging is a rare thing in Morocco and that you might be the only one out there or that if you are female runner it might be dangerous. When I first visited Morocco I was nervous about running here because of how different a place I thought it was. But as I have learned, in my time living here is that's just not quite the truth. Just like a lot of other countries running is common (and getting more so) here. In some cities it is more popular than others, such as in Marrakech, Casablanca, or Rabat you will probably see more runners than you will see in villages or rural areas, but this is often true of anywhere.
So, back to the question, "Is it safe to run in Morocco?" Just like running in anywhere, running here can have some inherent risk associated with it. Twisted ankles, traffic, crowded streets, pollution, local cultural differences, and weather are all things that need to be taken into account. But for the most part if you run against the traffic and use common sense, running in Morocco is safe. I think that part of the apprehension a lot of people may have is because the culture and language are so different from what they are used to. The unknown can be scary and being somewhere where you feel so out of place can be intimidating. But the unknown doesn't equal danger.
Now that I have said several times that it is safe, what about the claims that it is not safe. The truth is that everyone is going to have different experiences, some good and some bad. I've heard stories about women having men yell out to them and harass them while running but things like that will happen in NYC's Central Park or in London (I've also had people call out at me in the USA, Spain, Italy and in Morocco), it's not right but it happens everywhere. My experience, the experience of my wife, and many of my friends, who run here, are good ones. We try not to run during rush hour or at the hottest part of the day, nor do we run late at night. We dress respectfully (I do where shorts and so do some of the women i know, others wear 3/4 pants)... (this could be a whole post on its own... and probably will be) and my wife runs with friends. From this blog you can see that I have run in many different places and at different times in Morocco and safety has rarely ever been a problem for me. Morocco's government works hard to make it's country a safe place to visit.
My goal here is not to try and convince you that Morocco is the safest place on Earth to run or that nothing has or ever will happen to a runner. Rather, it is to encourage you to take a chance and not put off one of your passions or hobbies you enjoy while on holiday in Morocco because you heard some stories. Pack your shoes and running kit the next time you plan a trip to Morocco. Be smart about it, run with a friend if you want or one of our coaches, tell someone where you're going and take money for a taxi back (just in case), but enjoy running in one of the most beautiful places on earth and take in the country in a way few foreigners get to see it.
Our running tours offer a great way to get out there for a safe run with someone who knows the area and runs here almost every day. They know the area's best for running and the best sights to see. Also, as you'll be running with someone who lives here there is the added bonus of getting to hear about Morocco from a different perspective. When you book a run with us you will be able to forget some of those worries about running alone and just enjoy your run. You can see the kinds of runs we offer here and you can register here.
Now plan your trip and get out there and run.