As if it’s not hard enough for those Boston marathon registrants to get out and run on a cold day to get their steps in – Boston has gotten about two feet of snow over four days. Combine the lack of motivation to combat leg soreness with the wind ripping apart your face, I don’t blame anyone for making excuses to sit on the couch a little longer recently and avoid those 16/17 mile days that a Boston Marathon training plan expects out of you at this stage in the process. Motivation is coming at a PREMIUM for marathoners this week.
I’ve compiled the most scenic 3-mile routes that are complimented best with snow. These are best to break up the longer distances you might be stuck putting in on the treadmill until further notice, without too much risk of icy patches and frostbite.
It doesn’t take a career runner to realize if you run on the main arteries of the city, your sidewalks, streets and other stepping stones are going to be cleared to the max. Taking the train over to Arlington and looping around the Public Garden, down through Beacon and over the Commonwealth is as ‘main street’ as it gets. Aside from clear paths, the Garden always looks pristine with a fresh coat of snow. Although this route does put you a few blocks from the Charles, there’s enough architecture to keep the brutal, off-water winds from becoming too much of an obstacle.
Also, the route opens up so many doors to expand and add on a mile or so to see the historic Boston Public Library, the Theater District and Boston Park Plaza hotel.
Charlestown & Bunker Hill
An area of the city a little less reliant on the train (but, still, a heavy use of buses), Charlestown’s streets are commonly clear when it comes to post-snow systems passing through. Also, many residents spent the weekend digging out their street-only parking accomodations and sidewalks (per city regulations) leaving you plenty of space to step.
This particular route brings you right around the Bunker Hill Monument. The park offers some little pathways here and there around the statue, so if you want to get a few
more steps in you can zig-and-zag depending on how well they’ve salted the paths. You do have to go over the Charlestown Bridge twice for this route if you get off the train over at North Station, or another alternative would be to get off at the Community College train stop and go up and back for a shorter route.
Boston College & the Reservoir
If you haven’t noticed by now, it’s hard to avoid running on the water when you’re in the city of Boston. But, if you can’t avoid water, I highly recommend this route. Be sure to dress warm, as it is a little breezy with a wind-tunnel formed between the tree-lined landscape and the walls of BC’s Alumni Stadium nearby. However, this is one of my favorite routes both in Summer and Winter. It’s a common running and walking path, so you can be sure it’s been cleared of any icy-obstacles. It also puts you right along the borders of the historic Boston College, where the architecture and scenic wintry views look as if they were plucked from a postcard or BC recruitment catalog without even trying.
For this loop, you’d want to take the train all the way down to Cleveland Circle, run the route and pick the train back up on the same Green Line train at Brandon Hall.
Reminder: It’s still cold! Be sure to wear appropriate running gear – here are some recommendations.
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Maps Credit: Map My Run