Where the Sidewalk Ends

Weather: perfect day for a run. Temps in low 60s with a slight breeze from the Northwest. Dew Point in the upper 50s. Couldn’t ask for much better.

Welcome: at exactly 0515, YHC thanked the good Lord for another day, for family, friends and good health. YHC thought about engaging the group of homeless folks for some practice citing the 5 core principles and disclaimer, but ultimately thought the better of it. Some things are best left alone.

The Thang: YHC just wanted to explore the area in the cover of darkness to see what hidden gems might await the curious runner. With access to the bridge and some nice straight-aways, this particular area seems well-suited as a pure running AO.Upon arrival, a nice circular grassy knoll at Rossi Park begged for a Circle of Pain, but not this gloom. At the ding of YHC’s Garmin GPS satellite lock, away I went toward the Green Bridge. The path was wide and the lighting was surprisingly good. The entire Riverwalk area was lit-up well from the 41 bridge, to the marina / library area and across the Green Bridge into Palmetto. The path went directly to the bridge, completely away from any traffic. The bridge’s pedestrian side (west side) was also very wide (probably 7-8ft) and protected by a concrete knee wall. There were more runners / walkers than expected. The bridge rises about 50-60 ft and is close to 7/10-mile long. This offers a good place to do legitimate hill repeats, hill sprints, kenyan hills, and any other dastardly running stuff that can be imagined. Once across the bridge, the pier to the west is flat as can be and looks to be about 1/3-mile long. It would be a good place to run sprint repeats.

To the north in palmetto, the sidewalk is good and everything has a very urban feel. YHC had hoped to do a full loop utilizing the 41 bridge and the Green Bridge, but as the title of this backblast indicates, the sidewalk ends at 7th St W and 41. Unfortunately, the 41 bridge has no pedestrian access — the shoulder on both sides of the bridge appears to be exposed to traffic and very narrow. This was the only bummer of the morning. YHC turned-around and headed back toward the Green Bridge, once back across, YHC made his way past the marina and library, eventually winding back under the Green Bridge and beyond the skatepark, to Caddy’s and then looped alongside the hospital, eventually returning to Rossi Park where the journey began.

After exactly 1-hour, the mission was over. It was great. YHC had the vision of F3 rubbing elbows with a different group of people, more urban, less sub-urban, more raw, less fabricated. This AO would be a true opportunity to reach-out into a different sphere and make an impact. As an added bonus, running near / around the water is something special. The air is clean and the sounds are calming. The Green Bridge AO has lots of running potential and YHC can’t wait to know the area better. YHC looks forward to exploring it again next week!

Announcements:

  1. Camp Wilderness 5k/10k/15k coming up.
  2. SUP and Run 5k in May.

Prayers / Praises:

  1. First Responder’s safety.
  2. Thankful to the Lord for another day, family, friends and good health.

YHC is thankful for the opportunity to lead the charge at the Green Bridge.

“To do what others cannot do, be willing to do what others will not do.”

Gridlock

F3 Suncoast