The Road Runners Club of America, the oldest and largest distance running organization in the United States, recently selected Brambleton as a 2012 Runner Friendly Community. Other communities sharing this prestigious designation include: Des Moines, IA; Portland, OR; and Grapevine, TX.
All year round, on any given day, runners can be seen throughout the community enjoying a scenic run in Brambleton. Beautiful streetscapes, trails along parks and common areas, luscious landscape and waterfalls are just a few features that make running in Brambleton enjoyable for residents and for those from surrounding communities.
Since the inaugural 5k/10k Ribbon Run, the race has hosted thousands of runners at the annual event which has also attracted other event organizers to bring races to Brambleton, including Journey for the Cure 5k/10 and Ringing in Hope 5k/10k (New Year’s Eve and Memorial Day). In addition to the races each year, the first annual Brambleton Kids Triathlon will be held in September of this year.
While each race brings in close to 2,000 individuals to Brambleton, there are also several running groups, clubs and boot camps that are active throughout the year. A very connected community, running and active groups utilize social media to communicate daily and to organize training runs. Groups have formed that meet as early as 4:30 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 p.m. at night. As the community grows, the Association anticipates that the addition of more trail systems and scenic streets will attract even more running- based programs to our community.
Long-time resident and President of the Step Sisters Running Club, Ashley Campolattaro, is all too familiar with running in Brambleton. As a member of the Step Sisters, she organizes the Brambleton Ribbon Run, participates in a Brambleton boot camp which has introduced running to many residents over the last 4 years, and has introduced a co-ed youth running program, Brambleton Kids Run the Nation, to the community.
On behalf of the Step Sisters, Ashley nominated Brambleton as a Runner Friendly Community and asked fellow supporters to provide letters of recommendation. Additional contributors included Kim Adams, Marketing Director of The Brambleton Group/Brambleton Town Center; Christine Elansary, Communications Coordinator, Brambleton Community Association; and Sandy Brown, RRCA Coach and Brambleton resident.
All the communities that received the Runner Friendly Community designation have shown that they meet the program’s criteria, which includes community infrastructure, community support, and local government support for running. Each community has an infrastructure that can foster physical activity in a safe environment; a proven track record that organizations and businesses work together to promote running as a healthy exercise and sport; and there are positive relationships between the running community and local government.
The goals of the Runner Friendly Community program are to shine a national spotlight on communities that standout as runner-friendly and provide incentives and ideas for communities to work towards becoming runner friendly communities. Runner friendly communities can increase the quality of life, improve physical activity for residents as outlined in the National Physical Activity Plan, and provide for increased economic impact for the community.
Benefits of this designation include:
• Brambleton will be recognized as a Runner Friendly Community on RRCA website for a 5-year period.
• A commemorative plaque.
• Brambleton will be featured as a Runner Friendly Community in a national press release from the RRCA; one issue of Club Running magazine; and the RRCA Annual Report.
• Brambleton will receive RRCA Runner Friendly Business static window decals to be placed in runner-friendly businesses. This will help local runners know which businesses are runner friendly and safe places for runners in times of need.
We are truly fortunate to live in a community designed for an active lifestyle. With the designation as a Road Runners Club of America Runner Friendly Community, we hope to continue to inspire our residents and encourage our youth to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. For more information on this designation or the Step Sisters, visit: http://www.rrca.org/programs/runner-friendly-community/ or www.stepsisters.org.
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