A Queen Mary 2 Runaround


The past few days we’ve been floating along on a rather large boat. Technically more of an ocean liner, but still, it did float. The Queen Mary 2. Yes, a long lost but still rather close relative of the Titanic. Thankfully, this post is proof that we didn’t have any Titanic-like moments.

While I’ll get to the rest of the weekend/journey in a separate post, I wanted to briefly cover my runaround. As this time, it was an actual runaround. I ran around and around and around. And then when I couldn’t run around any longer, I ran inside. Thus making it a runaround twofer!

The run on the table for this evening was a 15-minute warm-up & build, followed by some intervals, before a cool-down. I decided that the best course of action would be to do the 15-minute warm-up and build outside, then going inside to the treadmills for the intervals. The reason being I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be to run the outside loops from a people-in-the-way standpoint. Running on cruise ships in the past I’ve learned it can be a mixed bag. Sometimes you luck out, and sometimes you’ve got people wandering around eating hot dogs and double-fisting alcoholic drinks the size of baseball bats.

Of course, first up you need to make it past the doors leading out to the deck.


I started my run just about 7PM. We’ve learned it’s best to go either early or late. Given the demographic on the Queen Mary 2 is typically of older vintage, we figured going at 7PM would put it at most others people’s dinner time.


And we definitely guessed correctly. When I stepped out, there wasn’t much of anyone out there:


I set my watch to utilize the footpod for pace. This means the watch will show me my pace using the footpod as opposed to GPS. With GPS, the pace would show essentially the ships speed.


Then, off I went!

Each loop is slightly more than 1/3rd of a mile, which is actually quite big when you think about it – it’s larger than a standard track.


They limit your running or “power walking” (yes, it’s in the binder in our room) to 8AM till 8PM. This is because there are actually rooms below you.


As I began my first loop I passed the first of two turns – one at the bow (front), and one at the stern (back).


I’d pass through a tunnel crossing the entire width of the ship, just in front of the gym actually.


Then I’d round towards the edge, coming into the setting sunlight:


Once on this side I’d be running towards the back – so not only did I have the sun, I also had a bit of a tailwind. It was great!


Looking at the railings, there were plenty of little life rings around. I assure you, if you fell over, those life rings would be useless by time they stopped the ship.


On the other hand, the little boats above you served as a constant reminder of a situation you’d like to avoid:



Here’s the view from above of those boats:


I’d then approach the rear of the ship. This was the only part of my route where a few people hung out. It backed up against some restaurants. You can see the typical attire worn on the ship:


And here we go, looking out to sea behind the ship as I made my way across it:


Then it was back into the shade again.


In this area towards the back of the ship you’d actually run past some dinner tables. I was kind looking in scoping out what I’d soon be eating.


As I got closer to the front a few laps later I’d finally see the only other set of runners I’d ever see out there.


Yes, of course I passed them. Obviously.

Speaking of speeds, it should be noted that while the FR610 was using the footpod for display pace, I had left the GPS on – mostly just to be able to explain a key point. The FR610 will still use the GPS for distance, even though pace is being shown from the footpod. Additionally, it’ll actually record via the GPS pace as well.

Outside, I’d make one more loop into the sun grabbing a selfie before heading in:


Then it was back up to the front, where just under the bridge I’d head in the doors towards the gym:



I’d say that the gym appeared to be the least-used part of the ship. While I took the below two photos earlier in the day, it wasn’t any busier when we were there. Just one other person.


I did like the painting behind the treadmills. It shows a long line of runners running from London to New York City. Given the Queen Mary 2 is designed to simply go back and forth between the UK and NYC, this was a nice touch.


On the treadmill, I knocked out my intervals pretty quickly. I had actually started a new workout for these, and this time left the GPS off and just did them as I normally would on a treadmill.

Perhaps the coolest part of the treadmill with this little speed handle. I’ve run on a LOT of treadmills, and I’ve never seen this before.


At 8PM as I was finishing up my workout we were kicked out. Apparently the gym closes then. Yikes.


So, we went outside and enjoyed a cool-down walking lap on the deck at sunset.


With that, runaround complete – and feasting begins! Well, that was the theory anyway. More later…

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Nathan

    You’re a ripper Ray.

  2. Gene

    Nice! Thanks for the info!

  3. Doug

    So, if you have a GPS map of the run what does it look like? Presumably a bunch of interlinking oval’s edging across the ocean? And then are they in a straight line or turning port or starboard? It’s edge of the seat stuff!

    • Scott

      The link in the third paragraph about prior cruise ship runs has GPS tracks in it. I also figured it would be linked ovals, but the ship is going much faster than I thought. Like it is moving the whole length of the oval, in the time it takes Ray to run from one end to the other, so it’s just a wavy line and no oval-ness is left. Like pulling a slinky straight.

    • Luis

      I was on the dawn pacific last november, this was my gps link to connect.garmin.com, the boat is traveling at 24m/h (40km/h) the gps will record a straight line, in one direction you will have a faster speed and the other slower similar to doing intervals(fartleg) on a straight road, to get a looping oval effect your physical speed must be great than the boat when you are running towards the back.

  4. Alice

    Nice! I saw Queen Mary 2 in Barcelona, when it was “parked” just outside my windows for a short while (having worked at the offices of the WTC in the port). Can’t wait to see the pics from the rest of your time aboard this iconic “ladyship” :) It seems people are dressed in warm clothes, so I’m guessing you’re not cruising the Mediterranean, are you?

  5. Kyle Polansky

    I have been on 1 cruise ship before I started running much, but either way, it was a terrible experience. I guess it was all my poor timing. My ship had a 2 lane track, but at the time I went, there were more obstacles than open space. When people didn’t have their chairs folded into the outer lane on one side and the inner lane on the other side (already leaving a very small area to squeeze past), there were many waiters serving drinks, crews with large equipment cleaning windows, and a ton of people just casually walking on top of the painted track. I completed about 2 laps and headed down to the treadmill.

  6. jjanerney

    can you upload this to strava, the GPS path would have a very interesting shape. Out of curiosity.

    • I had planned to upload the activities, but ran into a minor snag where I managed to totally hose up the file (seriously, I’ve done this one other time ever…and this be the only time it happens again. Go figure.).

  7. David

    You guys are such DC Rainmaker amateurs! Ray already documented the look of a GPS track on deck years ago: link to dcrainmaker.com

  8. Ian

    Closes 8pm what time zone??

  9. Terence Young

    Wow looks like you all had a blast!! The run looks like a lot of fun. I’ve never been on a cruise but when I do go on one I’m plan on still getting my run on. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Train Healthy Be Wealthy

  10. Awesome post! I suppose you’ll address this in your next post detailing more than just the runaround but did you decide to this based on cost or just worked out that way? Looking at ticket costs it “appears” comparable but I’m sure you have enough reward miles you can just travel as you please.

  11. Harrison

    I found myself on a cruise once for a vacation. It was a great experience for culture and food, but the running on the deck lap course was interesting. The wind difference from making one turn is crazy. It’s one of the few things I can recall. I also believe our track was about 300m long, which meant I spent a lot of time turning.

  12. Are you on the Queen Mary 2 now?? I saw the ship in Hamburg / Germany on Saturday… so I just wondered if the runner on deck was you. ;-)

  13. Maria

    Nice pics…hey who is minding the store!!

  14. Roland LF

    Awesome post.
    I was wondering if the travellers on the Queen Mary 2 were all aged, or if you also encountered young people.

    • For the most part. We noticed a few younger folks (college aged), perhaps attached to parents, as they were mostly hanging by the pool and didn’t appear to be coupled.

      We may have seen a handful of other people in the 30’s, but none that popped into mind.

      On our longer Dubai-Singapore cruise last November, there was approximately one other couple our age. We came BFF’s (and actually, they live nearby here in Europe). We pretty much figured that’d be the case going in, given that was a re-positioning cruise as part of a longer 42+ day itin from northern Europe to Sydney. Still, we had a good time there. :)

      Finally, on our honeymoon cruise, it was a much more even distribution. That was peak-summer cruise in Europe, so there was everyone from families to plenty of honeymoon folks like us to older folks.

      Ultimately, each cruise ship and line caters to different crowds. And the specific itin caters to different crowds as well, also influenced heavily by time of year.

  15. Weird, I never thought to run around the cruise ship. I was mostly caught up with how many other weird things there were to do?

  16. bet

    The cruise ship Queen Mary remains a classic to this day. War and the survival of the future generations to admire the beauty of this ship. Although the luxury cruise ship Queen Mary in the present but still a beautiful prominent than other ships. Thank you for your site.

  17. Johan

    I used to work ons ships as fitness instructor for over 9 years. I had the privilege to work on Cunard too. The Queen Vic’s gym is much busier, sometimes with no available treadmills. And the view is way nicer as the treadmills are by the front windows where you see a bit of the bow and the rest is ocean. This brought back great memories.