This weekend I was in Richmond, VA. As always I followed my own runner’s rule and used it as an opportunity to explore the city on foot. It was even better because I got to go with my favorite running buddy, Tom!
He took me on one of his usual runs through downtown Richmond. Now that I have gone with him according to Steve’s Rule 1.58 we will officially call this route the Belle Isle Figure 8. For those unfamiliar with rule 1.58: “A route is a route when it becomes a route: If this sounds like circular logic, that’s because it is….Anyone who has run for any length of time knows what I am talking about. A real running route, or “loop,” is greater than the sum of its parts. A route has a history, a personality, a name. A route can be short and sweet or long and ugly, urban or rural, hilly or flat or rolling. A good route wears a groove into your collective psyche.
So: How do you know when a route truly becomes a route? When two or more runners in your group can refer to it by name without confusion or further description.
When someone can suggest doing the Susan Seven, backward; or the Bait Shop Loop; or simply, Fifth Street, and everyone else knows just what that means…..CONGRATULATIONS. You have a route.”
Along this route are some pretty cool things.
The route starts by running down the Richmond Canals of the James river.
You turn right then left to catch the city graffiti.
Then cross a bridge across the James River to hit Belle Isle. The Island itself is about 2 miles in radius with all kinds of trails and old debilitated buildings to play in.
You can also plan to end the route early and lay with the tanners near the river rapids if you so choose.
So the next time you visit a friend do them a favor and let them take you for their favorite run. Then it can become an official route.