Don’t use the Whittemore Center being packed as an excuse to skip your workout. With the fall weather finally here, it is the perfect time of year to be running outdoors. So put on your running shoes and try out one of these local routes!
‘The Bagel Challenge’
This 1.5 miles run is known as ‘The Bagel Challenge’ by every Oyster River Alumni. As part of gym class at Oyster River Middle School each student was required to run the Bagel Challenge once a week in the spring. Each time a student would beat their quickest time they would receive a coupon for a free Bagel from the Bagelry (now Bagel Works). This running loop is perfect for beginners (even 5th graders can do it), it takes you down some back roads in Durham and is relatively flat.
‘The Main Street Loop’
This is a 1.8 mile loop that takes you right from downtown Durham, across ‘Frat row’ and back. This is a run designed for beginners, or someone who wants a light jog. Keep in mind that there is a very high chance of being seen while running this loop, making it the perfect oportunity to show off your new Lululemon running gear.
‘The Faculty Loop’
Traditionally the “Faculty Loop” is a 2 mile run in a residential neighborhood. An advantage of this run is that it is not in a crowded area. Also when running this loop you can weave in and out of the streets making your runs shorter or longer depending on your mood. A disadvantage is that most of this loop doesn’t have any sidewalks to run on so you need to be careful of the cars driving by.
‘Durham Point Road’
Durham Point Road is an amazing run; it has a lot of hills making it great for training. After you finish the first half of your run you have to turn around and run back. One of the major benefits of running on Durham Point Road is that you can make your run as long as you want, and increase it each time. The route mapped out in the image above is 5 miles. (2.5 out and back).
‘Mast Road Loop’
The Mast Road Loop is 6 miles, and one of my favorites. It takes you off of campus and through my hometown of Lee (right past the corn field). If you start to get tired (or if 6 miles is too much) cut though on Garrity Road, which isn’t labeled on this map but is located where “Gluke Cemetery” is labeled.
‘Oyster River Run’
This 7.5 mile run, takes you from Durham, to Lee, to Madbury and back to Durham. I named this run the Oyster River Run because you run though all the towns that are in the Oyster River School District. This run has a lot of elevation change, and is challenging. Keep in mind that there is no ‘short cut’ back so when you go for the Oyster River Run, you are committed.
‘The Newmarket Loop’
The Newmarket Loop is 10 miles and the farthest I have ever ran (so far). It takes you on all back roads though Durham, Lee and Newmarket. This loop is very scenic and surprisingly flat making it an easy run.
The College Woods Natural Area is located right behind the Field House in Durham. It is a perfect area for running on a hot/sunny day providing shade your entire run! You can make your run as long (or as short) as you want by using all the different trails. Keep in mind that woods are a lot harder to run in than the road or sidewalk, so if you track your run don’t get discouraged if your times are slower!
Even if you are not a ‘runner’ now is the perfect time of the year to start. Keep in mind that the length of these routes can vary depending on where you start/finish. So stop complaining that there are no open elliptical machines when Durham has all these running routes to offer you.