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Bored with the lakes

Madeline Buckley | Friday, November 6, 2009

Notre Dame is full of runners — a fact made even more apparent as the November weather has not deterred the joggers from running outside in Nike running tights and Under Armor.

But during a recent conversation, a friend who runs almost every day said she does not feel safe running off campus. This surprised me because campus is not large, and I am curious about how many runners at Notre Dame feel the same way as my friend.

As much I as love the two-mile, figure eight run around the two lakes, the repetitiveness is dizzying after awhile, and this short route gets boring quickly during a long run. My other usual running routes on campus have become routine as well.

So I generally do the bulk of my runs off campus because it offers a greater variety of routes, instead of running past Carroll Hall, Moreau Seminary and the beach on St. Joe Lake over and over again.

And I always feel safe doing this.

Of course, I would never venture off-campus on a run by myself after dark, and I would recommend looking at a map if the neighborhoods around campus are unfamiliar.

But aside from the occasional, terrifyingly-large dog in someone’s yard, I never feel uneasy running through the neighborhoods surrounding campus.

In fact, I have come to prefer running off-campus. I run past some beautiful houses and through some beautiful neighborhoods. Getting away from campus, even if just for a five-mile run, is refreshing.

My current favorite route — and I encourage any runners out there to try it — is about 4.5 to five miles, depending on the starting point on campus.

I head from Breen Phillips Hall to Main Circle and continue south down Notre Dame Ave. from there. I run about two miles on Notre Dame Ave., through the Northeast Neighborhood and near downtown South Bend.

When I hit Wayne St., I head west toward Howard Park, and then pick up the East Race trail at Howard Park. I then take the East Race path north back to Notre Dame.

The trail ends near St. Joseph High School, right by the University.

For any runner bored with the lake paths, I highly recommend using the East Race trail along the St. Joseph River. Pick up the trail on Angela Blvd. and go south into downtown South Bend and then turn around and run back.

Or run downtown and pick it up the path near Niles Ave. and Colfax Ave. to go north back to campus.

Maybe I am completely off-base in assuming most Notre Dame runners stick to campus routes, but if I am not, try running off campus (safely of course).

Add some variety to a daily jog and learn your way around South Bend neighborhoods at the same time.

See you on the trails.