Last fall I touched upon the subtropical climate native to the Bayou City and the optimal conditions offered for outdoor play, year round.
Considering the importance activity and exercise play in the role of stress management, I thought I would touch upon an alternative to the University of Houston’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center— running!
First, where should one run? In addition to the paths in and around the University of Houston campus, some of Houston’s popular running trails include the Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail at Memorial Park (intersection of I-10 and 610, about 8 miles away from the Law Center’s campus) with its 2.93-mile crushed granite and packed-earth jogging trail. If you’re up for it, you can add, approximately, another 7.7 miles (or 3.85 one way) to downtown Houston on the asphalt and concrete trails of Buffalo Bayou Park, but beware of the bats at the bridges intersecting the trails at Waugh and Studemont!
Another popular run is the three miles around the campus of Rice University (located in the Museum district, about 4 miles away from campus). Mostly crushed granite and packed earth provide a nice surface for runners and mature oaks provide shade and shield runners from the sun for the majority of the run.
Finally, if you’re looking for a route that’s a little bit shorter than the above, try the 2-mile Marvin Taylor Trail around the golf course at Hermann Park (located in the Museum District as well and about 3 miles from Campus). Offering a lot of shade from the historic oak trees lining the golf course, runners see both pavement and gravel trails.
Why Run? The Houston running community has plenty of opportunities to put your training to the test. Not only does Houston boast one of the top rated destination marathons in the country in the Chevron Houston Marathon, but a myriad of Boston qualifying options are within close proximity from the Woodlands Marathon to the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon to the largest finisher medal in the country compliments of the Metal Saw Texas Marathon. By my count Houston and the immediate surrounding areas offer upwards of 10 Marathon or Ultra Marathon distance supported runs. This doesn’t begin to include the various 5k and up distances that are offered on a consistent basis throughout the community nor the night/day, mud, color, etc. runs that also present solid options.
Who can you “run” with? Houston has a very active running community! Not only are there several organizations in the Houston area dedicated to running (Houston Area Road Runners Association, Trail Racing Over Texas, to name a few) but students at the University of Houston Law Center can find classmates and colleagues with the same interest through the U.H. Law- Running Group Facebook page.
Best of luck as you find your running path and remember, the first step is always the hardest!