Thursday, November 24, 2011

New running loop in Birmingham, AL

I busted our early on Thanksgiving Day and laid out a new running loop in Birmingham.  Weather was sunny and 50 and in the perfection zone for fall running.

I'm not quite techie enough for "map my run" or similar social network sharing sites, so here's the next best thing:  Put your finger on English Village on the map at right and follow along.

I went out of English Village on 21st Avenue, which merges onto Fairway Drive. I hung a right onto Somerset Circle, which took me to Lane Park Road, then south to the entrance to the botanical gardens.  It's a nice run inside the gardens, many paths meandering around nature settings.  I used as much real estate as I could, culminating with the Asian gardens and the adjoining footpaths.

Came out of the park around 35 minutes and continued south on Lane Park. That turned into Cahaba Road going south and in a bit I picked up trail to the west along Mountain Brook Parkway.  This is a neat section with two small water crossings.  The trail section runs along both Mountain Brook and then Overbrook Road.  That section ends at Beechwood Road, where I took a left (to the north) up a sharp hill, then east on Old Leeds Road, which merges into Montrose Road.

I veered right into Crestline Village and that dead-ended into Euclid Avenue.  There, I had an option to head west onto Country Club Road (some tight traffic here with no sidewalks) and before long I was back onto Fairway Road and the start point.  One hour, 34 minutes had elapsed, so with a bit of time incorporated for map gazing, it's a 90 minute loop.

I'm funny about laying out new loops.  It's more about getting the exploring out of the way, so I can roll into a familiar run each morning and be comfortable about the turns.  But today will go down as the formation of yet another master man adventure course.  I have laid out loops in all parts of the world and it never gets old.  Finding the route you will run is a very engaging hobby.

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