From River Park in Brentwood to downtown Franklin is a 10-mile road run, mostly on sidewalks and through neighborhoods. If you turn round in Franklin and return to River Park -- or vice versa -- this is a 20-mile running route. Because the run goes through multiple neighborhoods, points of interest and potential meeting points, it's an option for runners to join your group for shorter sections of the 20-mile run if they're looking for shorter distances. Note that this run is from the River Park in Brentwood, to the south of Nashville's downtown. It does not start from the Riverfront Park in central Nashville!
What Makes It Great
This is a great route as the long run on a typical marathon training schedule -- most training plans for 26.2 include a maximum long run of 20 miles in the weeks before your race. There are plenty of rolling hills throughout the route, but there are not major steep ascents or descents. From the northern end of River Park -- at Route 253 and the northern end of the park by the Brentwood YMCA and Brentwood Library -- take Knox Valley Drive southbound.
This road becomes Gordon Petty Drive, a neighborhood area without sidewalks but without significant vehicular traffic. Gordon Petty Drive ends at Moore's Lane, where you turn right downhill and use the pedestrian crossing lights. Turn left off Moore's Lane onto Carothers Parkway. Staying on Carothers, you cross Cool Springs Boulevard then E. McEwen Drive; turn right when you reach Liberty Pike. Follow Liberty through to Franklin Road, and turn left. This road takes you into downtown Franklin and the historical Main Street. Continue as far as 11th Avenue, which is the turnaround point of the run.
Who is Going to Love It
Serious road-runners looking for a long run will appreciate this route and distance. The route is flexible in that runners can join at different points to combine shorter out-and-back distances or point-to-point runs. Running through neighborhoods and then along various roads between Brentwood and Franklin, you are never too far from opportunities to buy food or beverages, or use a restroom.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From downtown Nashville, take Highway 65 south through Brentwood. Turn East onto Route 253, and you will almost immediately reach the northern end of River Park and the starting point of this run.
There is some parking available in River Park, or at the Brentwood Library near the start of this run.