Beth Fritzinger | Design Editorathletics
Run this town: Fall in Syracuse offers numerous options for all types of runners
Fall is the ideal season for running, especially in cool but scenic Central New York. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner unveiled the Monday Mile routes this week, and there’s no time like the present to whip yourself into shape. Check out some of the best trails the Syracuse University area has to offer before the winter blows in.
-Compiled by The Daily Orange Feature Staff
When running outside, the strenuous physical activity and endorphins produced by such feats are really only half the fun. Anyone can get blood pumping on a treadmill. The greatest benefit of running outside comes from the beautiful scenes you can plan your route around — way better than watching the Food Network on a miniature TV with 20 or more sweaty students surrounding you.
Syracuse has a lot of lovely areas to run around, but one of the most interesting is to take a trip through the Oakwood Cemetery. It is closer to the Main-Campus side of Comstock Avenue, but an easy run for those jogging from South Campus, as well.
The cemetery has some of the prettiest foliage on the Hill and boasts an interesting group of paths, crisscrossing across a spacious spread of hills that make navigation a fun challenge for any runner. To top it all off, there’s a Civil War memorial located near the center of the cemetery, which will turn any average daily run into a much more intriguing experience. It is a gorgeous setup, and who knows — you might just learn a little something, too.
Most people cringe and groan at the thought of going for a run. But besides the obvious, immediate health benefits — toned legs, better lung capacity — it’s been proven that running builds more blood vessels and improves cognition and memory later in life. Beginner runners shouldn’t feel pressured to run a half marathon right away, though. A short trip around campus will be enough to get your heart rate up.
If you start on College Place, loop around the back side of the Carrier Dome and head back along University Avenue, you’ll feel like you got a decent workout. There are plenty of hills to keep things interesting, and it will be a nice way to take in how beautiful our campus looks during autumn. But if the run gets too easy, add an extra loop down Waverly Avenue or Marshall Street. Not only will this route be good exercise — especially if you incorporate the steps to the Mount for a killer leg workout — it’s a great way to see and be seen around campus. No one has to know you’re only running a mile, as long as you look good doing it.
Thornden Park – Euclid Stairs
Running hills and stairs are not for the faint of heart.
But for those who have heart, will and pumped-up quadriceps, a pleasant run down the block just won’t cut it. Sometimes you just have to lace up your sneakers and spice up your running route with some serious inclines.
For those with this ambitious desire, SU campus has an ample amount of opportunities (they don’t call it the Hill for nothing). One of its more prominent hilly running areas is located at Thornden Park. Taking a run through the park and being sure to hit all of its hillier regions will start your run off right. Your legs will start to feel it immediately.
To make the most of this athletic route, take the Clarendon Street exit out of the park and run down Lancaster Avenue toward Euclid Avenue. Take a left, and less than a block away you will see a towering set of stairs on your right: a formidable opponent for any runner. Finish off your run with a few sets of these and your legs will be absolutely screaming afterwards, but in a good way.
What you make it
Off the beaten path of Euclid Avenue and Westcott Street is another beaten path: Barry Park. But for adventurous runners willing to brave a mile-and-a-half run from campus to the park, Barry Park — a few quick steps off Westcott Street — offers a flat route that ticks most must-haves off a runners checklist. It’s a breezy run from SU, features plenty of eye candy — especially with fall foliage coming into bloom — and most importantly, gives runners a chance to adapt their workouts to suit their needs.
Barry Park’s most scenic feature, a mile-long footpath around a pond, is also the most useful for students tailoring their workouts. No need for a stopwatch and guesswork to estimate how many miles your workout was; the path is a simple but effective way to measure your run. Pushing toward marathon mileage? Just add more laps, rinse and repeat. Getting back in the swing of jogging? Just do one loop. But don’t forget to factor in the three miles you’ll burn running to and from the park and your dorm. The extra mileage aside, Barry Park’s flat course can be exactly what you make it.
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