Monday, June 30, 2014

Cleveland’s my gym: Kopf Family Reservation

Me, before the race...

Last Saturday I ran my first race ever (that is if you don’t count those “Turkey” races I was forced to run at school that always ended in shame and shortage of breath). It was the Running for hope 5K, and it was organized by Love without boundaries, a charity aiming to aid impoverished children in China. I did OK, finishing at an official time of 29:26 (position 55/135). I did finish more than a minute before that, but I was supposed to rip the number off my shirt and hand it over to the volunteers so I could get my time registered, but I was a bit distracted and didn't turn it in immediately. First I forgot I had to do it, and then I was concerned with leaving holes in the shirt. Oh, Angel… Anyway, it was a fun, well organized, and well attended 5K. The volunteers really did a great job. At the finish line they had water, bananas, and most importantly, they had peanut butter & chocolate cookies, so I was a happy camper (runner). The event was followed by free yoga classes and massages, but I had plans afterwards so I had to skip those. You can see the official pics here.

Me, after the race...

The course itself was in the Kopf Family Reservation, a beautiful park maintained by the Lorain County Metroparks, the City of Avon Lake, Avon Lake Public School District and Avon Lake Public Library. The park features 2 miles of paved trails through wooded areas (plus dirt trails) covered by beautifully green vegetation. There is shade almost everywhere within the reservation, giving much needed relief from the sun on a hot, hot day. Besides running, I’d say this park would be perfect for leisure walks. The terrain is flat and easy, and you can easily adjust how much you would like to walk. As a side note, I was very impressed by the numerous runners I saw running along Lear Road and Electric Boulevard on my way there. Also, I saw bike lanes (a bit narrow, but they were there) and many signs alerting the drivers. The roads are in great condition, and the houses and their lawns seem to be well cared for, making this area beautiful, and great for outdoor fitness.

If you want to go to the Kopf Family Reservation, you can park at the Avon Lake Public Library. In fact, the entrance to the park is on their lot. Although I did not check, I would assume there are restrooms at the library as well. Bring some water, because I don’t think you’d find any unless you go into the library building.

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