Winston-Salem has been designated a “Runner Friendly Community” by the Road Runners Club of America, one of three cities to be newly awarded – Arlington, Virginia, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, are the other two newcomers – and one of 70 in the United States. Only one other community in North Carolina, Salisbury, has achieved this distinction.
The goal of the designation is to recognize communities that support the sport of running – through infrastructure, community support, government support and additional support, including youth programs, physical activity plans and marked pathways – and to encourage and inspire other communities to develop their own infrastructure and support. And this isn’t just to benefit runners: Running is an affordable and accessible form of exercise that encourages healthy communities and the sport can also offer significant economic impact.
The Twin City Track Club took the lead in completing the submission, with lots of input from our community, including a wonderful video created by David Daggett. The goal is for applicants to prove that their community works together to meet the criteria to provide for a safe running community. Winston-Salem succeeded in this goal.
One of the things that caught the attention of RRCA was the city’s 25 miles of greenways and trails and 79 parks, and their safety and accessibility, Eddie Wooten noted in his Running Shorts article on the designation.
This designation highlights Winston-Salem’s many investments in creating a city that celebrates nature, art, health and innovation. And hopefully the excitement from this recognition will spark more such investments.
“Since the founding of Twin City Track Club in 1977, we’ve worked hard to support our mission ‘To inspire and support all runners in our community,’” said TCTC President Er Ralston in an article for Yes! Weekly. “Our 600 members celebrate this designation as recognition of our efforts and the corresponding actions by local government, local businesses and other community organizations to support runners.”