Thursday, February 5, 2009

Driving to run

Yesterday afternoon I escaped from my mid-town office for a meeting that took place in a semi-rural New Jersey town about 50 minutes from Manhattan. As we got closer to our destination I noticed a few parks where people could run or bike. A colleague who came with me pointed out one place that is supposed to have great running trails. I really wanted to take a detour and explore that more. I then started wondering whether it ever makes sense to get in your car and drive an hour to run recreationally. It just doesn't seem very green.
Most of my runs start and end in front of my own house. MapMyRun tells users how much gas they save based upon the miles they run. I do occasionally drive two miles to the local high school track because the roads in between are too heavily trafficked for safe running. But that's as far as it goes in terms of my driving to run.

There are many beautiful parks within 20 minutes of my house and we also have beaches with boardwalks that would provide a great view and a forgiving running surface. Maybe an hour is out of scope but 15 minutes is not. I really need to get some trail shoes and start exploring, beginning with the most local options. After all it's supposed to hit 70 degrees by Sunday.


  1. I say drive to run if you must, but going local is a good idea.... Either way, think of all of the dollars you'll save the health care system by being healthy and in shape - that's got to be worth something! I also think running reduces overall consumption of goods, which may cancel out the driving issue to a degree-- I say that, theoretically, a size 4 pair of jeans takes up much less landfill space than a size 16 pair once discarded, right? :-)

    In all seriousness though, good for you for even thinking about it -- lots of people don't!

  2. You're right, there is a trade off between health and sustainability objectives but they can be balanced. I never would have thought about the size 4 vs. 16 comparison in terms of waste but you make a very good point about consumption volumes. The recent article in Runners World that detailed a focus on green manufacturing was interesting, the approach from Nike and others is not only about using less toxic materials but about using less material entirely.


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