Running the School: Literally

Staying fit in college is not the easiest thing to do. The Multi-purpose Activity Center is a great, inexpensive way to stay in shape but many people do not like working out in front of others, let alone being forced to go to a gym. Instead of using the MAC, some may like to run outdoors and view nice scenery on the way to their destination. As a former collegiate cross country athlete, I will present you with some insight to great running paths around MU.

The number one thing people love about the University is the close proximity to the beach. A great way to enjoy a beach day while getting exercise would be to run to the shoreline. Running from the library towards the beach and stopping at the end of Cedar Avenue is precisely a mile.

If one were to run to the beach, stay there for a little, and then run back, it would be an enjoyable two mile workout. If one wanted to push themselves further than a one mile mark but still preferred to use the Cedar Avenue route, it is a novel idea to turn left onto Ocean Avenue. Making a right turn at the first street will bring one to the shoreline but would also add an extra .3 miles to the route.

To achieve a longer beach run, continue to the Moss Mile, or even further to the end of the boardwalk running past Pier Village. If the Moss Mile is the route of preference, then one would add an additional mile to the previous Cedar/Ocean Avenue run, and would end at the beginning of the boardwalk. On the other hand, running to the end of the boardwalk would be about 3.1 miles. This would be a more difficult option for an inexperienced runner because the total, if going back to campus the same way, would amount to a little over six miles.

Keeping in mind that the beach is not for everyone and can even become dull, one can choose to run the opposite way on Cedar Avenue heading towards some local parks. Taking a left out of the residential parking lots onto Cedar Avenue and heading towards the intersection at Monmouth Road will send one directly to an option of two different parks. The intersection of Monmouth Road and Wall Street marks about a mile.

There, students will find a park on their right as well as their left. On the right will be Sorrentino Park, where a dirt path has been created around the perimeter just for running purposes. Taking this path will result in a 1.5 mile run without even heading back to campus yet. On the left will be Wall Street Trails. The main path around the Trails is a little over half a mile.

For more experienced runners, a great route to follow would be making a right out of the residential parking lots and heading down Cedar Avenue towards Sorrentino Park. Instead of going straight on Monmouth Road, make a right onto Wall Street and then take the first left, at what will be Locust Avenue. Keep running past the Betty McElmon Elementary School until you see Franklin Parkway. On Franklin Parkway, make a left. Keep running past both Throckmorton Avenue and East Lakewood Avenue. One should see Franklin Lake Park soon after turning onto Franklin Parkway. If able to keep on running, there is a path that wraps around the lake. To head back to campus after completing the lake path continue down Locust Avenue. Make a left at Nelly’s onto Cedar Avenue (towards campus) in order to complete a 4.4 mile run.

If one prefers staying close to campus with a shorter route, running the perimeter of MU would be approximately 2.5 miles. This path would include taking a right down Cedar Avenue when coming out of the residential side of campus and then making a left onto Larchwood Avenue. Go pass the commuter lot until Park Avenue is in view. On Park Avenue, make a left and keep running to the next street, which is Norwood Avenue, where one will make another left. Continue on Norwood Avenue all the way to Cedar Avenue until you see the Guggenheim Library.

New runners should take a less complex path than any previously mentioned. There is an easy one mile route that makes a perfect square around the dorm buildings. This route is rather simple since it is merely making a right at every street until you approach the library, or vice versa making all lefts.

With the summer days over, running outdoors will become easier since the humidity will no longer be a factor. Running outside should also be easier without battling the awful summer heat every step of the route. Thus, there is no reason to stay cramped in the MAC when all these new running paths have been exposed to enjoy.