Penn State’s Best On-Campus Running Routes
Slowly but surely, Happy Valley’s weather is actually starting to feel a bit more like spring. With that in mind, you’ll likely start to see more people getting out and going for runs on and around campus.
Even without the weather cooperating, however, plenty of Penn State students still manage to find ways to clock some miles in between classes. Here are some picks for Penn State’s best running spots:
Rec Hall To The ‘We Are’ Sculpture
It’s essentially one mile from the front steps of Rec Hall to the We Are sculpture that sits just past the IM Building, so this is a super easy run to track. For more advanced runners, this can be a good way to get a measurement of your overall speed, but those who are just trying to get into running can go there and back for a quick two-miler.
Make sure to time this run well with classes starting or getting out, as you could run into quite a bit of foot traffic on Curtin Road. Meanwhile, the Curtin and Bigler intersection can get pretty tough to navigate with plenty of East Halls-bound freshmen. Aside from these possible issues, this is a perfectly simple route that offers a solid run.
From Your Dorm/Apartment To Beaver Stadium
This route is perfect because it offers some great sights, an uphill battle, and is modifiable. Since I live at Penn Tower on Beaver Ave., my run on this loop isn’t too long, but it’s still fairly challenging.
Usually, I cut up the HUB Lawn, take a left on Pollock, turn right, go up Burrowes, and then take Curtin all the way to Beaver Stadium. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll take in a few moments to take in the stadium (read: see if I can sneak in) before I head back down towards Penn Tower.
This loop works for just about anyone who lives in South or West Halls or in an apartment building fairly close to campus. It’ll offer an uphill challenge for just about anyone, and a nice reward in hanging out in the shadow of the best environment in college sports.
Full Campus Loop
This one is pretty self-explanatory: Pick a starting point and hit a loop around all of campus.
To simplify this a bit, let’s just say you’re starting at the Allen Street Gates. Continue down West College Ave., take a right onto Atherton Street, then make another right onto either Park Avenue or Curtin Road. From there, you can continue to make your way across campus before going right back down Bigler and finishing the loop back to the original spot.
Give or take, this run will take you at least three miles and force you to battle a pretty brutal uphill incline at one point or another. Meanwhile, you’ll get to see all the highlights of Penn State’s campus as you loop around it.
Speaking from personal experience, you might also be more hesitant to stop and walk on such a public route. A lot of people are going to see you, don’t quit now!
IM Building Track
The weather is starting to get warmer, but as we know all too well, that doesn’t mean we’ll be without a couple more randomly frigid days. If that is the case on a day you’re trying to get a run in, Penn State obviously has several indoor options.
While treadmills at Rec Hall and the White Building are available, the track at the IM Building is the best way to get a run in inside. Treadmills are boring, and there’s a strong chance you’ll have to wait a bit at one of the gyms before one becomes available.
To avoid all of that, just hit some laps at the IM Building. Approximately six laps on the track equals out to one mile, and you can even look down at the basketball or racquetball courts down below you to keep yourself occupied.
Running inside isn’t always ideal, but the substantial track at IM is the best option you’ll get on a day that’s just too cold.
Interval Running On Burrowes Road
This one is honestly pretty brutal, but it’s a super efficient workout.
Quite simply, start at the bottom of Burrowes (at the intersection of College Ave.) and run up all the way to Rec Hall. Once you’re up there, turn around and either walk or slowly jog back down the hill.
You could either set a timer and see how many times you can do this routine in a window or pick a certain amount of reps and hold yourself to it. From personal experience, five reps of going up and down are enough to knock me out.
BJC Concourse During THON
A bit crowded? Sure. But this sounds like a perfect course for a 5K.
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions grinded through some ugly weather to advance to 5-0 on the season.