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Getting the most out of your run with the scenic route

The Kinkead Pavilion at the Krannert Art Museum on October 14, 2015. The museum is currently looking for a Director.

The Kinkead Pavilion at the Krannert Art Museum on October 14, 2015. The museum is currently looking for a Director.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Kinkead Pavilion at the Krannert Art Museum on October 14, 2015. The museum is currently looking for a Director.

Lily Katz, Assistant Photo Editor

Early morning in late August – the sun lethargically stretched from the silhouetted horizon and passive-aggressively nudged me to break out those running shoes and explore campus. Speaking candidly, sweat tends to run faster than I do, but I took advantage of a leisurely pace by expending more time and less energy to explore the CU-area as an incoming freshman.

Being the ravioli of a human being that I was freshmen year – seemingly put together on the outside and haphazardly filled with discombobulating anxiety on the inside – I decided that running would be the best way to learn the campus and adjoining towns whilst simultaneously calming my nerves.

Quickly, I realized that the area had a lot to offer in terms of modestly beautiful things to see. By running southeast of LAR in Urbana, you’ll run into the arboretum off of Lincoln Ave.; the layout and foliage is absolutely gorgeous in the fall and spring. It didn’t take long before that scenic line had pushed its way up my list of favorite trails. The varying terrain and incline made for a lovely challenge, which acted as a replacement for my morning joe.

Another engaging trip through consisted of running into the heart of Urbana and even past it, to better familiarize with the area. Oftentimes, I left my dorm and headed north on Lincoln Ave. to One Apartments. Then, I’d loop back through Urbana’s contemporary downtown district to get a better picture the area which was – and still is – conducive to art aficionados, vegans, and coffee-lovers’ lifestyles alike.

As far as Champaign is concerned, I took my time to run through the downtown area which houses a plethora of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and trinket shops that I went back to visit. However, one of my favorite routes was running up on Healey St. and through Scott Park. With a pond and a bridge, there wasn’t much else this first-year who found herself surrounded by cornfields could ask for. Earnestly speaking, running through Scott Park during golden hour continues to crown itself as one of my preferred paths.

Of course, a great general route is anywhere on campus. Overwhelming at first, the area rarely became stale and it was an excellent way to make our sizeable campus a little more manageable. A few notable things to look out for is the apartment on Green St. with a “xx.5” address, the Engineering Quad and north half of campus for those who want to appreciate great modern architecture and the Krannert Art Museum to get an off-campus feel while still staying on-campus. Also, bonus points for figuring out where the McKinley Health Center is. I realized on the way to the Arboretum that it is actually not the Church located west of Kam’s.

All in all, running was an enjoyable way for me to construct a mental map of the towns which would become my home for the next three and a half years. Hopefully, you’ll find reap the same benefits of staying mentally and physically healthy, while concurrently learning the wonderful differences between Champaign and Urbana, and getting a feel for what the campus has to offer.

Lily is a senior in LAS

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