Earlier this month, the RRCA announced its Fall 2016 Runner Friendly Communities. To better celebrate the communities that have been selected, and to encourage other communities to apply, we're spotlighting them with profiles of what made them worthy of this designation.
Annapolis is the capital city for the State of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Ann Arundel County with a population of 38,400 residents. It is home to the United States Naval Academy, which was established in 1845. Annapolis is situated on the Chesapeake Bay between the major metropolitan cities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, and proximity to these cities have positive impact on life in the region.
The U.S. Naval Academy is a hub of running-related activities in Annapolis. It is open to the public from dawn to dusk, and many runners take advantage of the "Academy Loop," which provides beautiful scenery along the Severn River, wide sidewalks, bathrooms, and water fountains. The Naval Academy bridge, with its wide sidewalks and street lighting, is perfect for hill training and is always used by area runners and midshipman.
The Annapolis Striders, the largest RRCA member running club in the city, organize a number of races, including the highly popular Annapolis 10 Miler. Permitting for that race represents the commitment of many local government entities to running, as permits must be obtained from the city, state, and county for various portions of the course. All three are easy to work with, and recognize the value the race brings to the community.
The Annapolis Striders have installed water fountains along the B & A Trail, which are maintained by the Department of Recreation and Parks. The club has used the park and trail network for over a decade for marathon and half marathon training programs. The trails are safe, well-maintained and free of traffic. The past-president of the Annapolis Striders worked tirelessly to have 1/4 mile markers installed along the trails so runners could do speed work without having to find an open track.
Businesses in the city reflect the community’s commitment to running and fitness. A number of coffee shops, including Starbucks, City Dock Coffee and Hard Bean all welcome runners with ice water, restrooms and a place to congregate. City Dock Coffee is locally owned, and for years, has provided free coffee to the 400+ runners who show up for the New Year’s Day fun run.
“The network of runners in Annapolis is huge,” wrote Jenny Seth, owner of Annapolis Running Shop, in her letter of recommendation. “With groups that run just about every day, Annapolis is one of the friendliest running towns anywhere.”
Community leaders providing support and letters of recommendation include: Rick Anthony - Director Ann Arundel County Parks and Recreation Department, Jinlene Chan - Health Officer Ann Arundel County Department of Health, Jenny Seth - Owner Annapolis Running Shop.