By Grant & Becky Batchelor, Special Kids impacter and TEAMM specialist
“Running is boring,” “I don’t know where to run,” “I’m tired of running through my neighborhood.” These excuses can be easily avoided by changing up your running routine and trying a new route! Here are 5 great locations that offer variety and opportunities to change up that boring running routine.
The Greenway extends from Thompson Lane, through Stones River National Battlefield and Old Fort Park all the way to Cason Lane. The paved trail has 11 different trailheads allowing access from all areas in Murfreesboro. The Greenway offers scenic views of Stones River and Lytle Creek and in total is about 24 miles long round-trip, perfect to walk or run at any distance! This is a great way to meet new runners and be invigorated by all of the exercise going on around you. Unfortunately, we must give you a word of caution that the Greenway is not free of danger. Given that it is a foot path that can be secluded at times, you must be aware of your surroundings (including the people around you). You are safest running here in broad daylight and/or with a partner. Also, if you run with music try to only listen in one ear. Despite this word of caution, this is one of our favorite places to run, so give it a shot!
Behind the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic, there is a set of trails that are an extension of the Greenway. These trails are paved, well-lit and offer a variety of distances. The trailhead is located on W. College St. near Garrison Drive and Thompson Lane. You can also park by Gateway Island off of Williams Drive. You can run 2-3 miles around Gateway Island and if you want to extend your run, you can run northeast on College Street and cross over Thompson Lane to pick up the trail systems inside of the Stones River National Battlefield. Part of the Special Kids Race is run on these trails, so it is definitely a great place to train for the race!
Main Street, the Square, and Oaklands Historic Mansion
On a run down Main Street, you will pass beautiful homes, quaint shops, and probably other exercisers! Main Street is a popular place to run for the local running groups. Oaklands Historic Mansion is also a short distance away and has its own set of paths that are available to the public. A great weekend run includes parking at Central Magnet, taking a trip around the square and a slight detour up Maney Street on your way back to check out the Oaklands Mansion. Other parking options include parking on the square, at the Oaklands Mansion or on the campus of MTSU. These roads all have sidewalks and are relatively flat, providing an enjoyable opportunity to run!
MTSU’s campus offers a multitude of paths, roads, and sidewalks to run on. The majority of campus is well-lit for a safe run after sunset and there is a campus Police Department that is always on duty, so running on campus can be a relaxing way to fit in a run if you work past the early sunset of winter. The campus is very running friendly and can give you a dose of nostalgia as you think “back in my day…” There are parking restrictions on campus Monday thru Friday from 7am to 5:30pm (with the exception of some lots being restricted until 6:30pm). So, you are able to park on campus after 5:30pm M-F and anytime during the weekends without a parking pass. See http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/sec3.phpfor further info about parking on campus.
Barfield Crescent Park
Barfield Crescent Park contains over 7 miles of paved and unpaved trails. If you are looking for a peaceful, nature-filled place to run, this is your place! It is located off of Veterans Parkway in the southern area of Murfreesboro. Some of the trails contain hills giving you the chance to challenge yourself if you are willing!
Whether you are going to one of these five great places to run or you are sticking to your neighborhood, it is very helpful to map out your runs on sites like mapmyrun.com, Google maps, gmap-pedometer.com, or strava.com. You can also use apps such as Map My Run, Nike+, Run Keeper, and Fit Bit on your smart phone to do the tracking for you.
Wherever you run, get out there and enjoy it!