In case you missed it, The Road Runners Club of America acknowledged Spokane as the Outstanding Runner Friendly Community of the Year.
That Spokane is at the top of the charts for running is probably known more by running fans who live outside of Spokane than those of us who live here. I mentioned four years ago that, at Nike Nationals in Portland, the sports announcer noted how Spokane continually qualifies more runners for Nationals than any other city - from anywhere. He called Spokane the "Rift Valley of Running." In a cross-country running magazine, an article suggested that if you have a high school girl who wants to do well in x-country, she should go to high school in upstate New York. If you have a boy, he should go to high school in Spokane, Washington. Pretty amazing.
In some other parts of the country, one never has to worry about ice when out for a run. Here in Spokane, it's a worry for most of us for a good portion of the year. So much so, that many stay indoors to use treadmills once winter hits. Yuck. I have to admit, that when Ike (my son who runs for WWU) is home for Christmas break, he never worries about the ice much. He just keeps running as normal. And he never falls down!
I hate treadmills and I really like being outside. I run year-round, as does Sarah. Running is, for me, more of a mental health thing than a physical health thing - especially in the winter and spring.
Today, was a very slippery day with freezing fog coating everything. But, as usual, I stayed upright and slipped very little due to my Due North carbide spikey galoshes. I've had these things for at least five years (if I wasn't so lazy, I would do a search of my blog to verify that). I bought replacement carbide tips, thinking they would wear out or become detached at some point. They never have. They beat YakTrax on the ice by a long shot. In the snow, they do well too.
I run with these things probably three months out of the year. I can't recommend them enough. They are a lot cheaper than a treadmill and a lot more fun.
Cars skid past stop signs into traffic, as you deftly maneuver around the smoldering wreckage. Small children and squirrels look at you with amazement in their unblinking eyes. An ambulance seems to be shadowing you. You can hear the collective "DUMBASS!" grumbled by creeping motorists, as you seem to be making better time than them. Without a doubt, you are having a better time than them.
SPOKANE IS #1!