Wednesday, June 20, 2018

There Is a Method To His Madness: Creating a RunTheBoro Route

If you've been participating in the recent RunTheBoro Saturday runs, you may have wondered (and some of you have even asked me) why are there so many turns in the runs? Why so many hills? Why did we go in this neighborhood or that neighborhood. How do he make the routes?

These are all excellent questions. Along with lots of coffee and lots of time, I do have some guiding principles when I create the RunTheBoro routes.
  • Sharing History
  • Exploring Neighborhoods
  • Sharing Art and Culture
  • Fellowship

Hills and turns may definitely be in the run, but they are not top of mind when creating the routes. My main goal is for participants to come away from a run learning something new about their city. We are so busy with our lives that we often don't venture out of our little bubble. I want to get RunTheBoro participants out of their bubbles, explore neighborhoods they've never been to, and learn about Greensboro's rich history.

One of the coolest and most rewarding parts of RunTheBoro is hearing longtime residents, say to me, "I never knew that about Greensboro." "I didn't know that existed." "I didn't know that road went there." "So that's where that's at." "I've lived here all my life and never knew some of this stuff."

Some runs are more aesthetically pleasing than others, but if there is one thing I've learned, beauty takes many different shapes and forms. There is shiny new beauty, there is gently worn beauty, there is thread-bare beauty, there is historical beauty, and there is artistic beauty. You'll find all of the above in the RunTheBoro runs. I want runners to explore neighborhoods they might otherwise never have a reason to visit. One hidden treasure that I shared about in a recent run is the Grove Street People's Market that is open 6-8pm on Thursday evenings in the spring and summer. After mentioning it in one of the RunTheBoro Newsletters, several of the RunTheBoro runners went and checked it out. That's what RunTheBoro is all about...connecting with runners and runners connecting with the community. 

Some routes do have a lot of twists and turns and in a normal run, that might not be ideal, but in a RunTheBoro run it's a necessity. History may seem like a straight line, but in reality, there are interwoven twists and turns that make up our rich past. Our Saturday runs reflect that richness.

History isn't flat either.  We've all experienced rough climbs, much-needed plateaus, and swift descents in our lives. Those ups and downs make up our complex past which is also reflected in many of our runs.

RunTheBoro runs are not about pace. Far from it. They are about discovery.