Winter Running

While all seasons bring their own difficulties to runners, Winter seems to be the one I hear the most complaints about. This is the time of year that many lose the desire to do anything outside, some turn to the DREADMILL while others hit the gym and a few just find the couch.

I purpose that while running in the Winter can be a challenge, it can also be very rewarding. Continue reading Winter Running

Emergency Identification

If there is one thing I’ve learned in both my professional career and in running it’s that nothing is certain and the most unexpected things can happen at the most inconvenient times. Thankfully most of the time it is more of an inconvenience than a life changing event but one can never be sure. Continue reading Emergency Identification

Melton Lake Greenway

For my first official review for places in the Knoxville area I choose a greenway in Oak Ridge: The Melton Lake Greenway.

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Driving from the Knoxville area the first greenway I have tried starts at Solway Park off Edgemoor Road where there is parking for 20 or 30 vehicles. The greenway itself is paved and exits the parking area to the East through woods Hawwith a fairly steady climb into Haw Ridge Park. In this park there is another small parking area about 0.6 miles in. There are also several dirt paths that branch off and are good for trail running, mountain biking or hiking. The side trails are mainly single track and twist and climb for several miles.

At the far side of the park the main greenway finds the lake as it turns Northward and follows the shore line. The straight, fairly flat stretch between mile 1.5 and 2 is a welcome change from the climbs through the park and a chance to catch your breath. Just past the two mile mark is another small parking area that marks the start of small, rolling hills. On a good day you may even be treated to rowing on the lake as the greenway passes the Oak Ridge Rowing Association just north of Emory Valley Road where it intersects with the Emory Valley Greenway. The main path continues to follow the lake shore until you reach Oak Ridge Turnpike for a total one way length of just over 5 miles. If you add the 2 miles one way length of Emory Valley the total paved round trip can be up to 14 miles.

Overall, despite being a reasonably short drive from Knoxville, The Melton Lake Greenway offers a sometimes shaded escape that has a very country feel to it. It has a smooth, paved surface and alternates between hills and shoreline. Throughout the length you can expect to see several walkers, runners and bikers on a pretty day making it a fairly safe place to go and it is long enough to train distances up to a half marathon. There are also several more challenging side trails in Haw Ridge Park just waiting to be explored. I do wonder how much cover there will be during mid summer runs but maybe the proximity of the lake will offer some relief.

Trail Map. Purple is paved. Red is dirt.
Trail Map.
Purple is paved.
Red is dirt.

As a side note I found the staff at the Oak Ridge Visitor’s Center very helpful in providing information about their greenways. They are very proud of the system and even gave me a map of the more central ones. This was the first trail in Oak Ridge and I have since been back to it and tried another one that I will review soon. Based on these two I see myself making the trek on a regular basis as training for the next half marathon intensifies.

Be Resolute

Happy New Year!!! Perhaps because of that simple phrase, more people make promises and dream out loud during this week than at any other time of the year. A new year is a time of new beginnings, out with the old and in with the new mentality. Or maybe after the month of overindulgence that most Continue reading Be Resolute

Phatboy Goes Urban

I find myself in a strange situation while running. As most people who run regularly I am used to running on the shoulders of roads, sidewalks, greenbelts (or greenways) and some trails.  I have run in the woods around Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee and rarely in large cities like Richmond, Dallas and Washington D.C. but now I am transitioning into a mainly urban runner. I know Continue reading Phatboy Goes Urban