Do you really know your town or city?
It’s surprising how often people live in a place that they never really see or know it. You may know the bars, restaurants etc…but do you know the geography of your town?
I can’t count how many times that we drive or walk somewhere and I think “I’ve run that”. Or I think “I want to run that.” I believe that the best way to get to know where you live is to run it. You discover new restaurants, old one’s you’ve never paid attention to, new awesome place to eat or drink, beautiful homes, antique stores, beautiful yards and incredible architecture. I know where sweet dogs live, I know where bad dogs might be.
I know where all main streets are and where they lead. I know how many miles to here and there. I know where inclines and bad sidewalks are.
I love the smell of coffee and donuts as I pass a favorite coffee shop or breakfast cooking from people’s homes that line the streets that I run.
St. Louis was founded in 1764 and named after King Louis IX of France. It is most noted by its red-brick buildings which is part of its appeal and beauty. It’s the home of the Gateway Arch, Anheuser Busch, St. Louis Cardinals, 1904 World’s Fair and 1904 Summer Olympics, Forest Park (which is bigger than Central Park in NYC), St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Rams. The Mississippi River borders the east part of the city.
St. Louis was sold to France in 1800 and to the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. It has free major Art and History Museums, a free Science Center and Planetarium, a free Zoo and the MUNY which is an outdoor performance art arena.
If I run the perimeter of Forest Park, it is 6.8 miles around and I know because I run it several times a month. If I run downtown to the Arch and back…that’s 8.2 miles. I have run 3 half marathons in the town that take you through different cultural sections of the city.
Soulard may be my favorite area to run, party, eat and sight see. It is the most notable French part of the city. It also hosts the 2nd biggest Mardi Gras in the US. It is an area of red brick building with balconies like in New Orleans. Anheuser Busch is a huge part of that area of the city. I have grown to love the smell of beer brewing and the strong hops smell when I run through the streets of that go right through the big beer manufacturer. It also houses many of the Clydesdales which you see on one of my running routes.
St. Louis is culturally diverse and the many ethnic restaurants reflect that. I find a new place to put on my “to eat” list with every run that I do.
I also see the uglier side of the city when I run. Many areas are lined with what used to be beautiful old brick structures that are boarded up and many times in disrepair. I know where the crack houses may be. I see homeless people sleeping in the streets or in a doorway of a dilapidated building.
St. Louis is not only a baseball and beer city but a running city. It has many theme races in various parts of the city. I love doing those races because I like party atmospheres and camaraderie with runners and partiers. It’s also how I get to run the city.
I run through areas sometimes that I probably should not run. It’s often that you may see a drug deal or prostitution taking place. There are many dangerous areas of St. Louis and as time goes on, I know what areas to avoid…but sometimes a great area will quickly turn into an area that you need to run your PR getting out of. I usually run with Kevin or Peyton and Eli so I feel a bit safer but still I try to avoid those areas at all cost. But there is a part of me that likes seeing that part of a the city also even though that seems dangerous.
I had a nice and easy 7 mile run this morning in Forest Park. It was cool and sunny and my legs and lungs held up nicely. I could have run it again but Kevin pisses and moans if I run too fast or too long 🙂 and he does hold me back a bit but I like running with him. I am going to have to start going on my own because I do want to push myself more…and if I am going to be ready for the marathon in Oct, he’s gotta go! :0) Or at least run separately.
~Run Your City~