A Huge Weekend Runcheap Thank You To…. San Antonio, Florida
This will be a quick one as I want to go hang with my Mother to thank her for all she has done for me.
Thank You San Antonio, Florida!
Thank you for letting me run your hills hassle free!
Thank you for demonstrating courtesy and unspoken friendliness to runners!
Once every couple of months I head up to San Antonio, Florida park my car at St. Leo University and hit an 8 mile “danger loop” as I call it. 15 minutes north of where I live in Wesley Chapel, this small town (about 30 minutes north Tampa) is the closest location for any flat and fast Florida who wants to do hills. There are options further north, but for me this is the closest, the most convenient and the best available.
If you head out to San Antonio you can run the 8 mile loop I discovered, or find one of the big hills “Abbey Hill” (My nickname) or “Happy Hill” (thats the actual name of the road). Later in the year they host a race that sells out quite frequently called the Rattlesnake Run. It is a difficult 5 miler and very popular- I have been told it that it has been acknowledged as one of the best races in the area. The point is that there are few hillwork options and close to me, so it is very nice to have this location
However I would never run this route if the people there werent so accommodating. Most of my 8 mile loop is on a course which has no shoulder on the road to run on and unrunnable grass or vegetation on the side of the road. You have to run most of it on that white line or directly on the road itself. I must have been passed by like 50 or 60 cars today even though it is not a busy route. Not once did anyone come close to me despite the lack of space. Not once did the cars , which easily swerved well clear of me, give me a rude honk or yell something or slow down to produce a nasty look. Several times I got happy waves. I really do appreciate this. I dont take it for granted that in this community, they are more than happy to share the road with runners and bikers as well. You would be surprised how unwilling drivers in Tampa and Florida in general are to acknowledge other forms of transportation besides a car. You encounter a lot of nastiness. Runners are very familiar with etiquette amongst other runners but cars, motorcycles, trucks are a whole other story. I usually dont trust them, yet oddly on this route- which is more dangerous then others- I feel more comfortable with every run.
If I ever felt like cars or trucks around there were hostile. I wouldnt run this course and would be SOL as far as getting solid hillwork (or I would be relegated to the tready). Instead I get to enjoy a beautiful 8 mile course, stare at some huge livestock, pass by some orange groves, get to conquer some rolling hills, and take in a lovely rural area. I did the loop twice today, and it felt so good to be out there that I did the second time through faster then the first. Im thankful to the good people of this community for being responsible drivers, and for helping out a runner who just wants to use their lovely community to get some solid training in without having to drive a long ways. So a huge runcheap thank you to San Antonio for your pedestrian politeness and street hospitality.
Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day :0