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What kind of runner are you? With Columbia’s woodsy trails, scenic routes and concrete paths, Columbia has all kinds of trails for each type of runner to find their “om.” Here are a few.
For the Wide-Open-Spaces Runner: The MKT Trail
Whether you blast your iPod or tune in to the natural sounds of the woods, the MKT Trail is sprawling and offers runners (and bikers!) a relaxing path with just enough width and a terrain that’s friendly on the joints. It’s not too hilly, which is ideal for long base runs. If you’re into a challenge, however, you can branch off the trail and test your body on one of many hills just off the trail.
For the Cross-Trainer: Running sets of stairs at the 5th and Walnut Garage
Sounds crazy, but it works. I tried this one not long after the garage opened, and the challenge is well worth it. Do however many sets you can of these while running up the stairs (better to fall up than down, especially if you’re clumsy like I am). Start out with four, see how you do on those, and challenge yourself to more. After each set of stairs, enjoy the view from the top and take the elevator or walk to the bottom and repeat. It’s a bit rigorous, but a great change of pace from the typical long run.
For the In-Town Runner: West from Broadway and Providence (on Broadway)
Sure, it’s simple, but I’m all about good scenery, and W. Broadway has it. Lots of trees, quaint/beautiful houses and a couple of gradual inclines for the slightest challenge. If you turn in the right spot, you’ll be by the cemetery near the Columbia Public Library. Word to the wise: don’t trespass! There’s enough of a path to run down to the entrance and soak up the downtown view by being just outside of it.
As a former cross country runner and an avid runner (when I have time to venture out), these are some of my favorite spots for different occasions, be it a challenging workout or a simple run to clear my head. What are some of your favorite spots?
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