Hidden Gems: neighborhood gravel tracks part 1

For the sake of variety, you might prefer to run on a gravel track instead of the same old 400m rubber one at you nearest local High School.  Why gravel you ask?  1-Different surroundings can keep you more mentally fresh 2-The softer surface will take a smaller toll on your joints, 3-It makes you think of Chariots of Fire, Roger Bannister, and all sorts of legendary old school track races that you have seen in ancient black and white photos. (or maybe that’s just me)? I like to envision myself getting stronger by running fast on the looser softer surface.

BEHOLD! The gravel track at Washington Elementary School, we run by it on our Saturday morning runs rather frequently.

BEHOLD! The gravel track at Washington Elementary School, we run by it on our Saturday morning runs rather frequently.

The Washington Elementary School on St Marks Avenue near the intersection of Gallows Hill Rd has a 330m gravel track by my estimation with a GPS watch, don’t quote me on that. While the turns are shorter/sharper, you can sling from the inside edge to the outside edge and diminish the angle slightly.  It’s long enough that it can keep your mind on the feel of the hard pace and not so much on glancing down at the watch constantly.  I did a workout there myself a couple times earlier this yr, intervals ranging from 10k-HM pace. I actually enjoy the added challenge of the sharp turns, as you will often find race courses will have sharp turns too.

Sometimes I don’t mind going in small circles if it on a softer surface, if for nothing else as a short escape from the pavement. Even for just a single mile, it lets my mind wander because I don’t have to be alert to dodging traffic. Join us for a saturday morning run sometime and check it out on the way over to Nomahegan park!

Get that Gravel!
Mike A

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