In San Diego one can't use the excuses for not exercising regularly that one can in other U.S. urban areas (that the weather is too bad or that there is no place for exercise). Here, there is no reason for one to remain an armchair athlete, not in our “city in motion”. Our taxes are supporting a wide variety of excellent facilities. Now that the tourists have left, these places should be practically deserted for the next few months.
All you need is some light weight clothes, a good pair of running shoes, a little desire, and somewhere to run, •
To find out the whereabouts of a surfer's secret place you have to use the ultimate in cunning and,if that should fail, medieval torture. Runners, however, are most eager to share pleasant places to jog for several reasons: “You don't feel so strange if you are part of a crowd,” “misery loves company” (for those w ho are really pushing themselves), “provides more targets and thus cuts down the chances of dog bite.” With these thoughts in mind I will present the following short list of super places to run:
- Point l.oma Lighthouse Run. 10 kilometers or 6.25 miles, accurate. Start at Catalina Boulevard at DuPont Street, take Catalina south, loop around the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and return to the start. As you must cross through Government property you should check to be sure that the gate is open before starting the run: it's usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Watch out for motorists; the view on both sides of the road is so spectacular that a driver's attention may be distracted.
- C om air Run or Last Mission Ba> Loop. 8.2 miles, approximate. Start at the south end of Crown Point Shores Park parking lot. lake Crown Point Drive south to Ingraham, Ingraham south over both bridges, left at Sea World turnoff, skirt Sea World's parking lots, east on Sea World Drive, north on East Mission Bay Drive, skirt the outside fence of the Mission Bay par three course, west on Grant up the small rise, left on Morrell, Morrell south to Crown Point Drive and return to start. The Convair Recreation Association has measured and marked the course with yellow letters “CRA” and there are mile markers. Restrooms and fountains are available at the start and along the East Mission Bay section of the tun.
- Mission Beach. Years ago some civic-minded soul inscribed the notation on the end of the sea wall in front of 2656 Ocean Front Walk in South Mission. “2.6 miles to pier.” Since no one has crossed it out or defaced it, it must be fairly accurate. From my eyeballing it, the distance from the Jetty to Crystal Pier would be about 0.1 farther than 2.7 miles. Restrooms, fountains and cold showers arc available at both ends of the run. Both the beach itself and the “board walk” are very popular places to run. Joggers are out at all times of the day and every evening. Runners should watch out for dogs
Did you know it is 2.6 miles from 2656 Ocean Front Walk in South Mission Beach to the Coastal Pier? Well it is. But you should watch out for the dogs and the dog droppings.
and dog droppings as the municipal dog control ordinances are obviously flaunted along the beach.
At times in the early evening there is so much weed being smoked along the sea wall that a jogger would have trouble beating a bust for H & S 11365, “being in a place where...”.
- Mount Soledad. 5.4 miles round trip. Start at Kate Sessions Park, go north on Soledad Road, continue north on Soledad Mountain Road up to the top of the “mountain,” loop around the Cross and return to the start. Restrooms and fountains are available at the bottom. Elevation is 278 feet above sea level at the start and 808 at the finish. (The run requires a fair amount of effort and probably should not be attempted by anyone suffering from cardiac distress.)
- San Clemente Canyon. There is a parking area near the intersection of Regents Road and San Clemente Freeway (State Highway 52.) A trail runs east and west from this parking area. It is approximately
one mile west from the start to Interstate 5 and three miles from the start to the eastern end of the canyon trail at Interstate 805 and the NAS Miramar boundary. The really dedicated runner can extend the run by crossing the Miramar boundary and continuing on the trail up to its end at a pond. The whole run is on dirt and rock trails in and out of the wooded areas in the canyon: a nice way to get away from it all. Restrooms are available at the start. Watch out for fledgling moto-crossers; sometimes the temptation grows too strong and they take to these trails illegally.
- Balboa Park. The park contains many miles of trails over every type of surface imaginable. Joggers are all over the park at all times of the day with the heaviest traffic during the noon hour and after work. The best guide to the trails, distances, and degrees of difficulty is to ask another jogger. Everyone will have his own favorite workout in the park. Showers and locker room facilities are available. Valuables are best left at home or locked in your trunk.
- East Mission Bay Park. 3.25 miles round-trip. This run is on the concrete walk which extends from the public parking lot just south of the Hilton Inn north to the boundary of De An/a Trailer Park. If you would rather run on grass, all but a few feet of the course can be run on the well-manicured lawn right next to the walk. Mileage increments are marked on the walk but may be somewhat confusing. Lots of restrooms, fountains, and cold water shower facilities are available along the route.
- Shelter Island. It's approximately 2.3 miles, round-trip; from the circle in front of the Bali Hai to the Coast Guard flag-pole and back This run can also be made on the grass.
- West Mission Bay. The shortest way possible on the loop around the west portion of Mission Bay (sometimes called Sail Bay) is 5.4 miles. The route includes parts of Bayside Walk, the New Ventura Bridge, both bridges on Ingraham, parts of Riviera Drive and Pacific Beach Drive, and several obvious short-cuts. This is a real thinkinc