(Image by 272447 from Pixabay)
“He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him”.
Shared my running tourist moniker with a group I was networking with last week and was surprised they never heard it before. I am sure I cannot be the first to use it to describe going to other locations for race adventures but thought maybe I should try to copyright the term. Nope, just Googled it and others use the same term to highlight their running adventures too. 😊
Decided it was time to look at the running tourism I see daily in my current home of Tallahassee, Florida. Sometimes we take things close by for granted and never truly engage/enjoy them as much as the fun travel destinations (Nashville, New Orleans, Philly, etc.). Please note, I get out and about as much as the next person in Tallahassee but never documented much in the Walk into the Future blog.
I have referred to the many trails and places I train to prepare for my races. Tallahassee is known for the multiple parks, trails, and greenways available to explore. The terrain goes from very flat surfaces to high degree inclines which are perfect to help prepare for races around the country. My early running years in Tallahassee were mostly contained to Lafayette Heritage Park and the Alfred Greenway.
Looking back believe I stayed with these running environments because they were close by. I simply walked across the street to get on the paved trail that took me into Lafayette Heritage Park—the Alfred Greenway is on the opposite side of the park. Both venues provided a good foundation to running for me and looking back did not provide a huge challenge to navigate. I still utilize both trails when I am out to just stretch my legs.
Tom Brown Park provides additional trails (paved and unpaved) to log training miles. I normally run through the park as part of a loop I can take to get additional miles in. My 5 – 8 mile runs all include some portion of Tom Brown park. Like the fact I do not have to carry water through the park since they have multiple water fountains and restrooms available. Great place to watch people and see all the happy dogs with family in the dog park. The dogs always seem to want to run with me for some odd reason! 😊
Graduated my long runs out to the St. Marks Trail. The St. Marks Trail was an old railroad route from Tallahassee down to the gulf coast. It is a place to see bikers, hikers and runners all utilizing the marked trail every day of the year. I like the fact the trail has mile markers which makes it easy to log my runs—no guessing when I want to get a 12-mile run in. The St. Marks trail has well maintained restrooms and a few water fountains, so these are perks I enjoy while out for my runs.
There are other places to run in Tallahassee, but these are the areas I utilize when I am writing about my training program.
Tallahassee does not have a huge downtown area but provides a few unique experiences. Was introduced to the museum scene by a friend who is native to Tallahassee. The Florida Museum of History is a must see if you visit. You can trace Florida’s history from the 1600s up to World War II. The artifacts and stories of how Florida developed are interesting and worth the trip.
The Capital building is a great place to visit and get a bird’s eye view of Tallahassee. The 22nd floor has a panoramic observation deck which lets you view the city from the highest vantage point. It is also a great way to exercise if you decide to walk up and not take the elevator.
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille and Andrew’s Downtown are two good places to get a meal and drinks when visiting downtown. This is a college town so there are multiple watering holes to visit close by.
My favorite place to hang out, drink beer and eat just happens to be a local dive bar, Corner Pockets. I would never go to Corner Pockets when I first moved to Tallahassee because I thought it was a pool hall. They only have two pool tables and they are in the corner, but it is more sports bar than pool hall. They have the coldest beer in town and some of the best bar food you can find anywhere. Prices are good and the staff is friendly. Corner Pocket attracts sports fans, so you must arrive early on game days to ensure you get a seat—standing is allowed but I like to sit at the bar and watch multiple TVs.
Again, there are other spots in Tallahassee, but I am sharing where I hang out. 😊
FSU / FAMU
This is a college town and FSU and FAMU are the large schools here. The students provide a huge population boost during the academic year. The sports fans/alums who come back for sporting events also provide unique experiences since traffic doubles when the home teams are in town. This creates a more festive environment and celebrations across neighborhoods.
I am a Gator fan so do not partake in much of this until the Gators come to town! 😊
So, there you have it—these are a few ways the running tourist enjoys life when not on the road.
What are your favorite venues in your area? How often do you get out to enjoy them?
“Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator”.
Please note, wrote this article before I left Tallahassee for Fort Pierce. Still wanted to share.