Running in the city of Austin is like no other place in the U.S. You’ll enjoy running a metro area that is able to offer you both city and scenic environments. Visit us and you’ll fall in love. Run with us and you’ll call it home. Those that choose to make Austin their permanent residence are privy to the iconic and most enjoyable routes the city can offer. As local resident runners, Alice & Jenn have teamed up to share some SXSW wisdom and their favorite route to run during this exciting time of year here in Austin. Let’s introduce ourselves….
I’m a mother runner in the truest sense. I didn’t start running until after I had my daughter because it seemed like the easiest and most cost effective way to shed the baby weight. As it turns out running became the thing that kept me sane during my life transition as well as gave me a surefire way to connect with a fit and supportive community. And Austin- as you may have noticed- is a pretty darn fit community!
For me- living in Austin and running are inextricably linked. If I decided I wasn’t going to run anymore, we would probably have to move (Not really… but really). This is a city of insanely active people and- most importantly- a city of runners.
I’m what I like to call an “up and coming runner.” My running journey began just a few short years ago and I am continually learning more about myself through my training. I don’t fancy myself as a natural. There are still days I have to fight for each mile but I’m always glad I did. I have developed a love for running in new places and try to plan at least one run in every city I visit. When we moved to Austin, one of the things I was most excited about was the active community it provided and the gorgeous places to run. I promise, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to run this city!
So, Who’s Ready to Run Austin?
Being that this is a runner friendly city, running the streets if fairly common and acceptable (just be sure to follow traffic laws- APD is getting a little heavy handed about jaywalking) and the small size of downtown allows you to easily craft routes that can include green trail with a loop around the Capitol which is awfully cool. With that said, if you’re in town for SXSW I would advise against road running because 1) out-of-town drivers aren’t always are runner and cyclist friendly as your average Austinite 2) you would need to run super duper early to avoid the masses of hipsters and millennials hanging out in lines for shows (and if you’re in town for SXSW there is a good chance you may have stayed up a little later than usual) and 3) you could probably use a change of scenery away from the pavement of downtown streets.
Our favorite suggested running route for visitors is always Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake. You get a great mixed view of downtown Austin and the green spaces with so love in our city, you can drop on the trail from multiple locations, and it can accommodate a range of different distances (from 3 to 10 miles) without having to repeat terrain. Depending on your distance and starting point, you can run beneath the famed Congress Avenue bat bridge (which still terrifies me at dawn and dusk even though it shouldn’t). The Trail Foundation recently completed a phenomenal stretch of boardwalk in the southeast portion that lets you run over the lake. Icing on the cake? Butler Trail is studded with water fountains and well cared for public restrooms making it possible to head out for a run without having to hyper-plan. And if you’re wrapping up your run after 8 am (7 am on the weekends), you can even plan your route so you can wrap up at Alta’s Café for a fabulous coffee and a relaxed view of Lady Bird Lake (And yes, y’all… we know it’s really the Colorado River. Just please don’t try to correct us!)
Welcome to Austin. Please run here!