You may have read the last guest column written by Matt Jenne who has become a runner as well, thanks in large part to the Greenway. I don’t know how many others are out there, but I am sure there are more.
Several of the guys I run with on a regular basis can also vouch for the motivational aspect of having the Greenway available.
The convenience of meeting at the old First Tennessee Bank parking area or the Mohawk Drive trailhead eases the decision of where to meet for each run. With the four miles of Greenway, the Mohawk Trailhead is at one end, while First Tennessee is smack dab in the middle. It makes it easy to calculate the distance of our runs even if we don’t have our GPS devices on us.
We usually run between three and six miles on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Saturday mornings are reserved for the longer, slower runs. These will be anywhere from eight to 10 miles depending on where any of us are in training for our next races.
Speaking of training, several of us ran last weekend, all headed in different directions. Matt Ryerson is training for his first full marathon in January where he will be running the four parks of Disney World. But on Nov. 18, he ran a "warm-up" half marathon in Oak Ridge, the Secret City Half with another of my running friends, Tim Spires.
Traveling west, Bill Estes ran in Tulsa, Okla., at the Route 66 Half Marathon. Bill and I participated in this race last year, but it was even more special for Bill this year as his son, William, ran his first half. Then heading east, Fred Garmon and I ran the Thunder Road Half Marathon in Charlotte, N.C.
Next month five of us (so far) have signed up for the “Santa Hustle” half marathon on Dec. 9 in Sevierville.
For a fee of $55, the event website promises us a Santa-themed T-shirt, along with a hat and even a Santa beard which they encourage everyone to wear during the race (um ... I don’t think so). They also promise milk and cookies, and Christmas music all along the 13.1-mile route. Sounds like a recipe for an upset stomach!
Of course, all of us could be runners without the Greenway. We could do our training on treadmills, sidewalks, city streets and rural roads. But because we have our Greenway, we don’t have to run on treadmills, sidewalks, streets and roads.
When we stay on the Greenway we don’t have to worry about cars, crossing busy thoroughfares, tripping on cracks in sidewalks, evading vicious dogs or running blind down unlit back roads.
Lately, so many people have told me how much they appreciate our Greenway. It is truly a treasured asset and I, for one, don’t take it for granted.
Thanks, Cleveland and Bradley County!