Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lynchburg dubbed "Runner Friendly"

Carl Coffey ’11 runs along the Blackwater Creek Trail in Lynchburg. The trail is one place that Cross Country Coach Catherine Phillips recommends for running.

Looking for a place to run? You should check out the City of Lynchburg and Randolph College.

The Road Runner’s Club of America has named Lynchburg a “Runner Friendly Community,” confirming what Randolph College runners already knew.

Not only is Lynchburg a great place to run, but the College is situated near some of the city’s best running paths, on road or on trail.
Catherine Phillips, head coach of Randolph’s Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams, named several popular, safe running spots near the College. Here’s a map:

With its wide sidewalks, Rivermont Avenue is a popular running spot from early in the morning until late at night, Phillips said. Riverside Runners, a sports footwear and apparel store near the College, provides a water cooler where runners can refresh themselves.

The Blackwater Creek Bikeway and its associated trails are also good, safe places to run during the day, Phillips said. “You always see other runners, cyclists, walkers, at any time of day, and everyone is friendly and encouraging of others,” she said.

The Blackwater Creek Trail is good for biking, too. Wanda WildCat enjoys a leisurely ride down the trail when she is not training for a run.

After dark, when the bikeway and trails close, Phillips said runners in the area should stick to Rivermont Avenue, Peakland Place or Langhorne Road because they are well lit at night and have sidewalks, she said.

These areas are especially busy in the mornings now—sometimes as early as 5:30 a.m.—as people prepare for Lynchburg’s premiere race, the Virginia 10 Miler, which takes place September 24. Phillips said the cross country teams usually participate in the race, but this year they will be away competing in the Roanoke College Invitational meet. However, several faculty and staff members usually run the race, she said.

While we’re talking about running, check out this article about people who have run every day for 40 years. Now that is dedication.