Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why I Love Running in St. Louis

The iconic Gateway Arch anchors the St. Louis skyline.

I'm a native St. Louisan, and though I left for 6 years of college and graduate school, my heart has always been in this city.  Especially at this time of year with the Cardinals playing post-season baseball, it's hard not to get swept up in civic pride.  So it feels like a good time to expound upon the reasons I love living and running here in the Gateway to the West:

  • Friendly running community: St. Louisans are generally friendly folks (unless you start belittling their beloved Cardinals), and the runners here are no different.  I always wave at other runners I encounter and can usually count on one finger the number of people who do not return my greeting.
  • Terrific retail support:  Big River Running company, an anchor in the St. Louis running community, has been honored as one of the best running stores in the country.  Their customer service is second to none with a knowledgeable staff who are happy to support back-of-the-packers and elites alike.  They sponsor weekly group runs, training programs for both beginning and experienced runners, educational clinics, and more.
  • Great trail network:  The Great Rivers Greenway has been at work for decades creating an interconnected web of paved trails throughout the metropolitan area.  Our neighborhood is near several trails, which Emily and I love to explore on our long runs.  Additionally, many runner-friendly parks, such as Forest Park and Castlewood State Park, feature grassy trails for those seeking an off-road expeience.
  • Good local organizations:  Organizations like GO! St. Louis and the St. Louis Track Club go to great lengths to support local runners.  They host various race distances throughout the year, ranging from 1-mile kids runs to 5k/10k to half and full marathons.  They also provide arenas for runners to network and support each other's endeavors.
  • Wonderful weather - sometimes:  Local St. Louisans always like to comment on the weather, especially this oft-repeated gem: "You don't like the weather?  Just wait an hour; it'll change."  Though slightly exaggerated, that statement holds a fair amount of truth.  We experience the full range of weather around here, with bitterly cold and icy winters and hot, muggy summers.  But in between, we delight in beautiful spring and fall running seasons.  After coming off either extreme season, I feel like I can fly during the mild months.  It makes the humid/icy/scorching/frigid weather all worth it - sorta ;)

What do you like best about running in your area?


  1. My husband has to go to ST Louis all the time for work but I've never been there. Sounds like a nice place to live and run. have a great weekend :)

    1. It's a great place - in my humble and totally unbiased opinion ;) Enjoy your weekend!