Where to Run
Living in Florida has brought out in me a new passion for outdoor fitness, my favorite of which is running. Sure, there is a lot you can do outside here: kayaking, strolls on the beach, bayside boot camp workout classes, but I love the simplicity of running. I get outside, I get a great workout, I listen to the sounds of Florida, check out the vegetation and birds… I just love it. I’ve mapped out a couple of my favorite runs below, along with distances. Leave a comment with some of your favorite places to run!
Ringling Bridge– A favorite among our local walkers, joggers, and runners has got to be the Ringling Bridge-St. Armand’s area. Here are a couple different runs/walks and the distances. I’m starting my mileage tracking at the city-side base of the Ringling Bridge, parking in the lot under the bridge.
- Over Ringling Bridge, left on Washington, left on Blvd. of the Presidents to Lido Park, then follow Lido Beach either on Ben Franklin or in the sand, and take John Ringling Blvd back over the bridge. Distance = ~6.25 miles
- Over Ringling Bridge, around St. Armand’s Circle exterior, taking Washington the whole way around the circle, then back. Distance = ~5.25 miles
- Over Ringling Bridge, around St. Armand’s Circle interior (Watch for other pedestrians! This lap takes you around the main circle.) Distance = ~4.5 miles
- Over the bridge and back: Just going over this bridge once is about ¾ of a mile, so to get back to your car, you’re going a mile and half. Distance = ~1.5 miles
Siesta Key – Of course the number one beach in the country is going to be on our list. This is my favorite run for after work, when I need to remember how enjoyable it is to live here.
- Public parking lot to wall at the south end of the beach and back. Distance = ~3.5 miles
- Public parking lot to wall at the south end of the beach, to the north end of the public beach, and back to the parking lot. Distance = ~5 miles
- Public parking lot to the south end of the beach, to the north-most end of the beach, and back to the parking lot. Distance = ~6 miles
- Public parking lot around the key: Beach Rd. to Ocean Blvd. to Higel Ave. to Midnight Pass and back to Beach Rd. Distance = ~4.4 miles
Oscar Scherer State Park – My favorite thing about Oscar Scherer is that they have already done all this work for me. They have 4 marked trails that are great for a jog, a hike, or a nice nature walk. Their trails are marked in 1.5, 2, 3, and 5 mile lengths. I enjoy going here when I want to get away from the traffic but am not up for running in the sand. The trails take you through beautiful Florida vegetation, and I usually see some discussion-worthy Florida wildlife too, like cranes and snakes. Just pick up a map on your way in, and all the trails are neatly marked off for you already.
Molly Russo, Sarasota Lifestyle Guru