Renewable Thinking

Run for It! (“It” Being the Environment)
by Alex Osteen -- January 22nd, 2013

I suppose it was only a matter of time, as a Nicholas School student, before I did something sort of crazy in the name of the “environment.” But this past weekend I:

  • Shelled out 40 bucks,
  • woke up early on my precious Saturday  morning,
  • put on shorts to go out in the 30 degree weather, and
  • flung myself recklessly through more than four miles of a perilous single-track trail in a snowy forest in rural North Carolina.

Actually, I ran in the annual benefit Little River Trail Run and had a blast. The Little River Regional Park is a pleasant, unassuming park close to Durham’s Eno River park about 30 minutes north of the city. The park’s hiking trails wind by the gentle Little River and give visitors, in my opinion, a quintessential view of piedmont North Carolina.


As their central fundraising event of the year, the park managers put on a 7k and 10 mile race. This year, despite the blizzard that struck here a couple days before (ha), they had a record 600 people sign up. There were some buff show-offs in attendance, but most people were out to have fun. The mood was overall quite cheery. Also, I was impressed by the number of gray-haired runners there were.


The park managers who hosted the race did a good job of ensuring that the event was as green as possible, as they should. Carpooling was encouraged, there was recycling and composting, and carbon offsets were purchased. Of course, on the other hand, we 600 runners surely did a number on the plants along the trail and probably scared the hell out of the wildlife present. I alone, with my loud and dramatic panting up hills, would have freaked out any animal within a mile. As the tree elves told Gimli, I “breath so loudly [they] could have shot me in the dark.”


So how did I do? I am certainly no serious athlete, but I felt that I had a solid personal time and managed to completely wipe out no more than once. Overall I consider the outing a success. I will ignore the fact that I was beaten by an eleven-year old. Actually, because there weren’t many young runners in the 7k, I won best time in my 20-29 age group and got a free t-shirt and poster out of it.


I like living in the Triangle because of cool events like this and I highly recommend the Little River Trail Run!



1 Comment

  1. Tawnee Milko
    Tawnee Milko
    Jan 23, 2013

    Nice job on the run, Alex! I’ve lived here three years and never heard of this particular run, so I’m surprised SO many people represented – I hope the trail was wide enough for the sheer number of runners! Thanks for sharing; I’ll have to look into it for next year.

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