University Boulevard - Road Running

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About

Summary

See and be seen while running in the heart of Tuscaloosa.

Written by

Michael Lambert

Distance

2.4 miles

2.6 miles, one way, from the start of University Boulevard near Capitol Park to where Highway 215 begins.

Destination Distance From Downtown

0.3 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

While the terrain and elevation are manageable, the intermittent stoplights and heavy traffic can be a burden.

Time To Complete

0 hours

30 minutes - 45 minutes

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

University Boulevard is the mainline that flows through the heart of Tuscaloosa. The small business complex that supports the campus community - restaurants, cafes, antique stores, bicycle shops, and the like - offer a veritable feast for the senses. If you're a road runner who is also interested in getting to know t-town on an intimate basis, planning a route along this passage through the city is sure to please. Be prepared, however, to be faced with crowds reaching critical mass on game days during the fall football season anywhere near Bryant-Denny Stadium. There are also stoplights. Probably too many stoplights, actually, which can seem like a burden at first, but might offer a much-needed respite for those making their entry into the sport. For those hardcore aficionados who wouldn't dare let a light bulb control their exercise routine, this will not be an issue. For everyone else: don't let the intermittent stops get you down. Obey traffic laws and let the sights and sounds of this beautiful boulevard seduce your senses.

What Makes It Great

Imagine yourself running. It's beautiful outside and, for whatever reason, you're legs feel particularly fresh today. Perhaps you've been running a lot lately and the feeling of being rewarded for all the hard work is hitting home as each footfall gently touches pavement. Wind in your hair late one sunny fall afternoon, say, while the tree-lined sidewalks offer myriad sensual curiosities: the smell of fresh baked bread from an Italian cafe, the bells of Denny Chimes tolling in the distance, and young men and women freely roaming the University Quad, throwing frisbees.  

You're struck with a particular variety of euphoria as all the worries and anxieties of daily life begin to slowly melt away. As if there were no effort involved, you find yourself at the end of the road, faced with Highway 215, in what seemed like no time at all. So, you turn around and, much like the directions on the reverse side of a shampoo bottle, decide to rinse, lather, and repeat.

This experience is obtainable while running along this path. The modest changes in elevation are almost unnoticeable, unlike the monolithic architecture of Bryant-Denny Stadium, which looms over the twin lanes like the teams that it houses. This run is like no other.

You are feeling much better now with what hints at satisfaction.

Soon enough, you find yourself back home, sweet home.


Who is Going to Love It

This route is for newbies and experts alike. However, it is best suited to those who wish to take off the proverbial horse-blinders while running and instead shift their focus to the external world. This route offers plenty to the senses while still remaining a suitable and safe road running venue for those interested purely in the practical outcomes of an exercise routine.


Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Parking is available in many locations along the route, although those starting from the west end of the boulevard may find it best to park in the overflow lot directly behind Embassy Suites. Capitol Park also offers a suitable place to leave a motorized vehicle without the need to worry over fees and regulatory fines near the Capitol School.

The Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is a suitable alternative should one find themselves faced with the predicament of a lack of spaces in either of the aforementioned locations, while Alabama Parking offers a parking structure at a reasonable price, which might serve as the safest and most reliable route.

Parking on the west end and completing the out-and-back loop is the most reasonable route, however one might find it easier to simply start from home or work and complete the route without having to park or move a vehicle at all.


Location

University Avenue - Road Running

33.208338, -87.573672

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