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RRCA Names Spokane, WA 2014 Outstanding Runner Friendly Community of the Year
Arlington, VA - The RRCA is pleased to announce that Spokane, Washington has been named its 2014 Outstanding Runner Friendly Community. While several strong candidates emerged from the field of eight designated Runner Friendly Communities this year, Spokane’s outstanding credentials and ability to meet the award’s criteria made it the clear choice to award the as the outstanding community.
The RRCA will honor the City of Spokane with a commemorative award at the upcoming 57th Annual RRCA National Convention that will be held April 22-26, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa (2012 Outstanding Runner Friendly Community).
The City of Spokane is located on the Spokane River in Eastern Washington and is 92 miles south of the Canadian border. With a population of 208,916, Spokane is the second largest city in the State of Washington. The Spokane area offers an abundance of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in outlying natural areas that cater to runners.
“On behalf of the Bloomsday Road Runners Club, the City of Spokane Washington is honored to be selected as the 2014 RRCA Outstanding Runner Friendly Community,” said Paul Gill, treasurer of the Bloomsday Road Runners Club. “The City of Spokane’s motto is ‘Near Nature Near Perfect’. This also reflects our multitude of trails and running paths, that are in compasses by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. We hope you have the opportunity to join us in running in our community in the future.”
Spokane has a system of over 87 parks totaling 4,100 acres. Riverfront Park, created after Expo ‘74, is 100 acres in downtown Spokane. The park is a popular site for runners that includes the The Joy of Running Together sculpture by David Govedare installed in 1984. This steel sculpture depicts runners of all kinds and celebrates the Spokane tradition of Bloomsday. Each May, Spokane plays host to the Lilac Bloomsday Run, one of the largest road races in the country, regularly attracting 50,000 participants annually. In 2014, the race served as the RRCA’s National 12 K Championship.
A more active way to see natural sites in the Spokane area includes travelling the Spokane River Centennial Trail, which features over 37 miles of paved trails running along the Spokane River from Sontag Park in west Spokane to the east shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. This trail continues on for 24 miles as the North Idaho Centennial Trail in Idaho.
The goal of the RRCA’s Runner Friendly Community program is to shine a national spotlight on communities that standout as runner-friendly and provide incentives and ideas for communities to work towards becoming runner friendly communities. Runner Friendly Communities can also 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.