By Kelly McKee
As I ran through Greensboro, I saw the city for the first time. I have been driving on the same streets for years, but until I traveled on foot, I didn’t discover the nature of our city or the diversity of its people. Running a 15-mile route in Greensboro takes me through many neighborhoods and up and down a lot of hills. Anyone who runs knows that Greensboro is hilly, but somehow, I never noticed the hills when driving in my car. Every run holds a new discovery: a squirrel motif carved into shutters on a Fisher Park home, a brightly colored macaw on a back porch, faces carved into a tree, the entrance to Green Hill Cemetery tucked away on a quiet residential street, a beautiful pedestrian bridge on UNCG’s campus at daybreak. On foot, the city offers more surprises with every passing mile.
I notice my surroundings more when I am alone, but my groups runs have shown me just how diverse the Greensboro population is. I run with men and women from countries all over the world—Columbia, Venezuela, India, Mexico, Montreal. All of these runners now call Greensboro home, and we are learning turn-by-turn directions together to piece together the long runs.
Few people I know run long distances without utilizing the A&Y Greenway. During the fall, I love to go out on the greenway on Saturday mornings. As my grandmother used to say, it feels like “old home week.” Runners of all levels and training distances gather to run the greenway from different starts. Regardless of a runner’s training group or if they like to train solo, the greenway factors into training along the way and is a nice break from all those hills throughout the city. I cannot wait until I can run on the Downtown Greenway around the city and pick up the connector to the A&Y Greenway all the way to the current Summerfield terminus. I can only imagine all the sights and people to encounter on that route. Definitely the smell of bacon coming from the back of Herbie’s—that much is a given.