Wednesday, November 16, 2011

9 Great Places to Train in Atlanta - #8 Running in Atlanta Memorial Park!

Two weeks ago, running at the Active Oval at Piedmont Park was the focus of my blog.  Today, I want to let everyone know about Atlanta Memorial Park.  Most of us refer to it as simply, “Memorial Park”.  This is a location I keep in my back pocket for days when I need to do a Tempo run, but am feeling a bit unmotivated.  Why?  Because once I pull this park out of my pocket, I remember how beautiful and doable it is. 

I love doing Tempo runs at this park because it is actually a fairly flat course.  The course I’m referring to consists of Woodward Way, Northside Drive, Wesley Drive, Howell Mill Road, Peachtree Battle Avenue, back to Woodward Way, which equals 1.8 miles.  I like to park for free on Woodward Way near Peachtree Battle.

My Tempo workout at Memorial Park consists of running the first loop easy, the second loop in Zone 4 and the third loop easy for a nice 5.4 mile workout.  To me, this is a very doable Tempo run especially when I’m not feeling like getting out there!

After a bit of research, I discovered that Memorial Park once saw part of the bloody 1864 Civil War Battle of Peachtree Creek, as Confederate forces tried to keep the Union troops from closing in on Atlanta. Historic markers are located throughout the park for you to enjoy. 

The park land was a gift to Atlanta in 1929 from former Sen. Hoke Smith, J.W. Bedell and the Howell family, for whose ancestors Howell Mill Road was named. Development of the park began in 1933 which coincided with the bicentennial of the founding of the state of Georgia in 1733. Its original design envisioned it as a memorial forest, and many of the specimen trees originally planted still provide shade for the park.

Right now, the trees are gorgeous with the different shades of the leaves.  You better hurry if you want to experience this park in the Fall because Winter is drawing near!  Whatever the season in Atlanta, Memorial Park is an excellent place for a run!

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