Having started my running career on shoulder-less rural Pennsylvania roads, I only encountered the occasional stray dog – never any runners. An approaching car often required me to jump off the road and usually into a ditch. I was frequently the subject of a catcall or a horn – the kind meant to send the message “the road is for cars, not for runners”. I thought this was just the way it was – I had no idea there were better places to run! Places filled with active people! Places like Apex, where there are sidewalks, streetlights, greenways, and parks.
One of our go-to starting points for runs is Hunter Street Park. Here, there is a half-mile “track” circling athletic fields. Happy Running folks frequently use this for Holly’s speed workouts, but there are also many route options. Want fast, flat mile repeats? Head to the Villages of Apex. Want hills? Run through Haddon Hall. Want some longer miles? There are plenty of options for that too. One of our favorites is a variation of this: run down Salem to Chatham and work our way back to the Peakway. We often add mileage by circling through adjacent neighborhoods like Shepherds Vineyard and The Villages.
Hunter Street Park has restrooms and water fountains that are functional most of the year, although the restrooms aren’t usually open at the early hour we run. Never worry though – with all the new construction in Apex, there are plenty of porta potty options for when nature calls.
Perhaps what I love most about running from Hunter Street Park is how many people are out every morning. On Thursday mornings, there is a F3 men’s workout group, a similar group of women, and every day there are quite a few runners, walkers, and even skateboarders at the skate park.
This is oh so different from where I started running and I am incredibly grateful that I live in an area with so many active people and so many fantastic places to run!