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The 12 Best U.S. Cities For Runners

#8 Austin

Population: 913K

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The capital of Texas has made great strides recently to become an even better city for runners with its addition of riverside trails—a gift to residents who are as serious about running and cycling as they are about music and barbecue.

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Must Run
The new Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake—part of the Colorado River running alongside downtown—connects existing trails for 10 miles of waterside mileage with towering urban views. Be sure to note the “Belting It Out” installation of 36 bronze belts with music lyrics that will leave you humming. Luke’s Locker running store is just off the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and- Bike Trail if you’re looking for gear and group runs.

Get Away From It All
The Barton Creek Greenbelt is close to the heart of the city—yet will leave you feeling miles away, with plenty of trails to discover and even the opportunity to cool off in a swimming hole.

Destination Racing
Thanks to reliable weather, Austin holds races nearly every weekend. You might not be able to resist the Keep Austin Weird 5K for the eye-candy costumes and antics. The Cap10K, or Capitol 10,000, is the largest 10K in the state with more than 18,000 runners, and the famously hilly Decker Challenge Half Marathon runs around Walter E. Long Lake in east Austin. —NM

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“I love running races in Austin, because it’s a beautiful city full of awesomely weird spectators! Every climb, corner and descent reveal unique and often-hilarious signage, talented and eclectic live musicians and droves of costume-wearing cheerleaders. There’s just no opportunity to feel tired or discouraged among all that positive energy!” —Kelly Lyro, Austin resident and half-marathoner

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