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.
Tallahassee is the largest city in northwest Florida, with a population of over 181,000 within the city limits, and over 375,000 within the metro area. The capital of Florida, the city is home to multiple government entities, as well as several trade and professional associations. The presence of Florida State University in Tallahassee very much influences the community’s identity. One of the largest public research universities in the country, Florida State has over 40,000 students enrolled and employs close to 9,000 people.
Since 2009, the City of Tallahassee has received both a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists and a Silver Walk Friendly Community designation from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). Tallahassee meets quality sidewalk design standards and has ordinances in place to ensure a safe and comfortable pedestrian environment. Even after receiving these recognitions, city officials continue efforts to make Tallahassee more pedestrian friendly.
The city boasts many miles of trails including the paved St. Marks Trail which is 11.74 miles and travels through Wakulla County all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. If you add the Capital Circle Trail that intersects the St. Marks Trail, it totals nearly 18 miles. If the entire St. Marks Trail, from Gamble Street to the trailhead in the City of St. Marks, was calculated, it would be over 20 miles. For unpaved trails, the shared-use trail at Phipps Park comes out at over 12 miles.
RRCA member, the Gulf Winds Track Club, works with both private and public organizations to put on races in Tallahassee almost every weekend of the year. The local government is highly supportive of the club and ensures an efficient permitting process and provides law enforcement support at events. Multiple running groups meet weekly around the city to focus on long runs, speed training, and other training opportunities that help runners excel.
“The City of Tallahassee prides itself on providing the infrastructure and support our city needs to keep racking up the miles,” outlined Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee, in his letter of recommendation. “With a host of parks and trails, there’s plenty of room to go the distance.”
Community leaders providing support and letters of recommendation include: Bryan Desloge - District IV Commissioner, Andrew Gillum - Mayor of Tallahassee, Tony Guillen - Gulf Winds Track Club President, Jonathan Manry - Co-owner Captial City Runners, and Elizabeth Rosario - Race Director of the Tallahassee Marathon and Half Marathon.