Three Winter Running Routes
by Hannah O'Leary
The time of year that we can see our breath and sometimes can’t feel our fingertips. Headlamps, gloves, reflective vests, tights, long sleeves, hat—a few necessities of a winter running. A fairly car-free winter running route for darker days is also essential, here are a few local favorites.
1. OSU Campus
Let’s get lost in loops weaving between brick buildings, on relatively well-lit sidewalks. If you have a GPS watch, take a planning break, let it do the running math and calculate your distance. If not, run for time and disregard the need to calculate mileage. Follow your feet and see where they take you.
Start with circles around the track at Student Legacy Park, you might run past ROTC students warming up, or students playing soccer. Next head north on 26th street, up a small hill passing Weatherford on your left, the MU on your right. Turn right on Monroe street; feel your cadence intuitively increase as you run down barely noticeable decline towards 15th street. Admire Kearney Hall to your right, keep going, turn left at the Elm Walk near Benton Hall, do a short out and back through the arbor lined corridor. Shorten your stride running up the hill heading west, pass Benton Hall on your right. Circle the Library and Memorial Union Quads, then crisscross them doing quick pickups down each of the sidewalks that slice the quads into small wedges of lawn.
Parking is monitored from 7:00 am-5:00 pm, so if you’re there during the day take a moment to fill a parking meter. On icy and snowy days, you’ll find the sidewalks on the north-side of Campus Way clear, warmed underneath from the steam tunnels.
Why not run repeats from Kearney hall (15th and Campus way) to Agricultural Life Sciences?
Start where you will, run where you’d like, this is your run.
2. Covered Bridge to Walnut Bike Path
Let’s link together a longer route. Start on the east end of the Covered bridge/campus way bike path. Be sure to grab a headlamp before heading out the door in the morning or early evenings, this route is unlit and dark.
The path is paved, smooth, and perfect for a tempo jaunt, or some easy recovery miles. Run through the covered bridge, listening to the sound of your footsteps on the wooden planks. Run west, up a slight incline. You might see a parade of corgis and their owners out for a walk—say good morning, good afternoon, or good evening—it is one. Cross 53rd street at the traffic signal, turn right and continue along the bike path towards the Walnut.
Keep running on Walnut and choose your own adventure back through town—or turn around
and retrace your footsteps. Enjoy the sensation of a few slightly downhill miles. You might see
other runners, a few bike commuters, livestock on the college farm fields, and weather
dependent a great view of sunrise or sunset.
3. Track Tuesday/Track Wednesday
Join us, Heart of the Valley Runners, 5:30 AM, Corvallis High School track—be there or be square. Not a morning runner? There is a Wednesday evening option, 6:00 pm, at the OSU Track.
Start with the group warm up—a few slower laps looping around the track, followed by leg swings, high knees, karaoke, and other calisthenics. The track lights are on, so feel free to leave your headlamp at home. Eventually, Gerhard for the morning crew, and Kaleb for the night owls, will share the workout with the group. It helps if we listen. Mile repeats? Ladders? 12x400M? How long is the recovery? Minutes, or meters? Track math is hard, but a group makes it manageable. No planning necessary for this speed work weekly routine, just show up ready to do the work.
Yes, I know you’re wondering, if not now, you will at some point, restrooms are unlocked and available. What if you’re tapering, recovering from a recent race, getting over a cold or injury? Warm up with us and then do a workout of your choosing. Finish your last repeat, celebrate with high fives and cool down clockwise. Are you in? See you Tuesday? What about Wednesday?