Running Routes for the Addicted: Part 2
You don’t realize how hilly State College is until you’ve run all over it. With the spring weather finally here and summer on the horizon it’s time to step off the treadmill or get up off the couch and onto some of these running trails. Here’s part two in our series Running Routes for the Addicted. All these routes start near the corner of Fairmount Ave. and Pugh St. The routes and distances were mapped with the RunKeeper app free on iTunes and Google Play.
The Frat Row 5K
If you’re looking for an intermediate 5K challenge this route is for you. This route features three hills, the first on University drive and the second on Atherton. From Fairmount you’re going to run until you hit Locust lane and hang a left. You won’t be on Locust for long, taking the first right onto E. Foster Avenue. Stay on E. Foster until you turn right on to University drive and prepare for you first hill.
As far as hills on these routes, University Drive is probably a 2-out-of-5 in difficulty. It’s got a steady incline that shouldn’t be too killer on thighs this early in the run. It’s also a fairly quick hill to run. The first mile of 5K is about midway down the back slope of the hill around McCormick avenue.
At the bottom of the hill turn onto Easterly Parkway, where you’ll run for the most of the next mile before the fun part, Atherton. The final mile of The Frat Row 5K starts on the corner of S. Atherton and now Westerly Parkway. Running this part of Atherton is like running two hills. The first hill has a decently steep incline, it’s probably a 4-out-of-5 and a real leg killer. Luckily, you get a brief reprieve as you run passed the Atherton bus stop and Pizza Hut and things level off.
Then comes the 5-out-of-5 hill. It’s a short hill but a real steep incline. Just put your head down and power through, it’s almost over. At the top of the hill turn on to W. Fairmount and just continue down the street until you’re back where you started.
This route starts out the same as the 5K, with you running to the corner of University Drive and Easterly Parkway. However, instead of turning right, head straight up that monster of hill on university. This hill is long and a steady and steep incline all the way, definitely a five in difficulty. The back end of this hill is a pretty steep decline so be careful not to lose control on the way down.
Turning right on S. Atherton at the bottom of the hill will begin mile two. This portion of the route has a very slight incline most of the way, until the next down hill roughly around Pugh Street. The bottom of this hill, on the corner of Westerly Parkway and Atherton can be tricky because of traffic, so watch out.
Once you’ve crossed Westerly Parky follow Atherton until W. Fairmount and run back to the start.
The 5 mile run
What’s good about these routes is that you can determine which one you want during your run. They all start from the same place and head in the same direction. With this five mile route you’re going to follow the same path as the 4 miler. However, instead of crossing Westerly Parkway and onto Atherton, you’re going to turn left and run on Westerly.
Following Westerly Parkway you’ll cross the third mile near State College Area High School. The high school lets out around 3 p.m. so avoid running around that time. This stretch of the route is pretty flat and gives you time to prepare for probably the worst hill in all three routes, Sparks Street. What makes this hill so bad is it comes in after three miles. It’s a long hill, and rather steep. You’re probably going to feel this one in the morning.
After you survive Sparks Street continue on until you come to W. Beaver Avenue. This another long mostly flat stretch to take you to the final portion of the route. Mile four will come near S. Barnard Street. Crossing Atherton maybe tricky with the traffic and the stop lights. Once crossed Atherton run until S. Garner Street and turn right. You’ll be on Garner until Fairmount, where you’ll turn right and run back to where you started.
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About the Author
After losing my father to cancer, I thought there was nothing THON could offer me that I didn’t already know. After four years, I found comfort in the familiar.
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