The best places to lace 'em up

By PHILIP EIL  |  September 27, 2011


YOU DON'T HAVE TO RUN ALONE

Running is a solitary sport, but it doesn't have to be lonely. That's why there's the RHODE ISLAND ROAD RUNNERS, whose membership perks include weekly emails about upcoming races, guest lectures by medical experts, and access to the state's largest runners' network, with over 200 members. Upperclassmen, take note of their Thursday Pub Series: a five-mile run that ends at a different watering hole each week.

If you're looking for a younger crowd, the BROWN RUNNING CLUB is always on the hunt for new members from Brown and other local colleges. Or, if you just want for some company, head to Rhode Runner at 6 pm on Wednesday evenings, where there are groups departing on runs of various speeds and distances.


RHODE TRIPPIN'

You have your schedule, you have your gear, and you have your running pals. Now where do you run? For Salve Regina students, Rhode Island's most spoiled runners, the choices are laughably picturesque. "Should I run past the grazing sheep and bobbing sailboats at Fort Adams State Park? Or should I sprint past the Breakers, the Elms, and the other mansions on Belle-vue? Maybe I'll just settle for a jog on the Cliff Walk."

The options for the rest of us aren't bad, either. Anyone with access to a car has access to the trails at LINCOLN WOODS, BURLINGAME, GODDARD, and the other state parks. No gas is necessary to hop on the two runner-friendly bike paths — the EAST BAY BIKE PATH and the WOONASQUATUCKET RIVER GREENWAY — connecting Providence to points north and south. For those of you tired of wheezing your way up College Hill, try the mellower slopes of BLACKSTONE BOULEVARD, where a 1.6-mile gravel path winds past some of the city's most impressive homes. The trails in the 45-acre BLACKSTONE PARK also offer a taste of wilderness in the city and spectacular views of the Seekonk River.

Of course, any training run must eventually end at the corner of Francis and Gaspee streets in Providence. This is the address of the RHODE ISLAND STATE HOUSE, where locals go for a taste of "Rocky" glory. After you sprint up the brick path and climb the marble steps to the foot of our legislative palace, take a look up at the shirtless, golden dude who stands atop the dome. Life is pretty good for the Independent Man, with two exceptions: he's nailed to the top of a building and holding an anchor in his hand.

You, on the other hand, are free to run.

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