The Road Runners Club of America (an NCPPA member), the oldest and largest distance running organization in the United States, is pleased to announce the second round of selections for the Runner Friendly CommunityÒ designation: Allen Park, MI; Carson City, NV; Decatur, IL; Knoxville, TN; Lawrence, KS; Lynchburg, VA; Missoula, MT; Reading, PA; Salem, MA; and The Woodlands, TX.
These communities have shown that they meet the program’s criteria, which includes community infrastructure, community support, and local government support for running. Each community has an infrastructure that can foster physical activity in a safe environment; a proven track record that organizations and businesses work together to promote running as a healthy exercise and sport; and there are positive relationships between the running community and local government.
The goals of the Runner Friendly Community program are to shine a national spotlight on communities that standout as runner-friendly and to provide incentives and ideas for communities to work towards becoming runner friendly communities. Runner friendly communities can increase the quality of life, improve physical activity for residents as outlined in the National Physical Activity Plan, and provide for increased economic impact for the community.
“In 2010, after the Missoula Marathon won the award for the Best Overall Marathon in the country from Runner’s World magazine, the event doubled in size, bringing thousands of runners, walkers, and spectators to the community,” said John Engen, Mayor of Missoula, MT. “The University of Montana’s Business School did a study on the economic impact of the event and found that it pumped $1.3 million into the economy.”
While runners do not require a lot of expensive equipment, there are several ways that local communities can invest to ensure that running is safe, affordable, accessible, and enjoyable for anyone that wants to run.
“Carson City currently has an extensive network of trails and paved paths with no motorized vehicle access that allow for quiet and safe running experiences,” said Janice Brod, Carson City Park and Recreation Commissioner. “Running is not only an inexpensive way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but an activity available to people of all ages and abilities.”
About RRCA: The mission of the RRCA is to promote the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country and to support the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages in life. Through the RRCA, we provide a national infrastructure for the development of adult and youth running clubs and events that have boomed into a robust sporting activity.