Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Five

Happy Friday, and welcome to the first ever Friday Five! The Friday Five is this: I take a topic (given the blog, the topic'll most likely be running-themed, though I welcome suggestions), and pick my five favorite things related to it. This week's topic is...

Running Routes!

5. The Riverwalk (San Antonio, TX)
From my collection
Yes, I know, it's one of the most touristy spots in San Antonio. But get out there before the shops and restaurants open, and you can easily get lost while checking out one of the city's most well-known spots. (Just ignore the green water. After all, you're going running, not swimming.) Plus, it'll spare you a ride on one of those tacky, guided boat tours.

4. Aliso Creek Trail (Orange County, CA)
I'm sure when I mention Orange County, the first thought that pops into your head is either money, surfers, beaches, or if you're like me, mail-order county. (Let's face it, the entire county looks prepackaged.) Regardless, probably one of the last things that you think of is a trail along a creek that eventually leads to canyons. The trail itself extends from Laguna Niguel to Rancho Santa Margarita, and is over 12 miles long. I've only run about a quarter of it, but because I haven't run it much, it's still novel and exciting. But it reminds me of the Southwest -- short shrubbery, (fairly) dry creek beds, and (typically) warm. After all, it is Southern California. 

3. Hudson River Greenway (New York, NY)
I bet you're wondering why I didn't choose Central Park, right? Don't get me wrong, Central Park is great, but I like running along the water. (After my tenure in NYC, I can probably come up with a separate Top 5 list of routes in NYC.) Running along the west side of Manhattan, the Greenway extends from Battery Park to Inwood (the northernmost neighborhood on the island). From end to end, this means over 10 miles of uninterrupted running! When I lived in NYC, I was fortunate enough to live close to the Greenway, so this was one of my go-to routes. Without the traffic and tourists, you can easily forget that you're in America's most populous city.

2. Wildwood Trail (Portland, OR)
Even though it's one trail, I never seem to run the same route twice. Which is understandable, given that the trail is 30 miles from end to end. The portion that I flock to most is nestled in Washington Park (because this is the portion that's closest to my house), which is also home to the Rose Garden, the Japanese Gardens, and Hoyt Arboretum. Between the trees, creeks, and lack of traffic, this is the one spot I can truly lose myself while running. Of course, I still have to pay attention, because parts of the trail are very narrow, and if it rains, they can be muddy. Fantastic hills as well!

1. Kelly Drive (Philadelphia, PA)
When I lived in Philly, this was my go-to route. As humored as I was by the locals yelling things like, "Don't stumble, 'cause it's a looooong way down!", I prefer to not be distracted. This 8.4 mile loop along the Schuylkill River takes you by such fine attractions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row, and the Canoe Club (which has seen better days, but I'm still partial to it because my college used it as its boathouse). Not to mention that the bridges spanning the river are incredible. You can also catch stunning glimpses of the Philadelphia skyline! A secluded, riverfront run with beautiful architecture and (possibly) seeing crew teams hard at work are my reasons for naming this my favorite running route.

No comments:

Post a Comment