By Anne Larsen
We are all such creatures of habit – especially when it comes to working out! When I run on a treadmill, I always pick the same treadmill, even though there may be 50 others to choose from. If I am running outside you will typically see me pounding the pavement around downtown Olympia or close to Olympia High School, after dropping my preschooler off at school. And of course I run close to home – so honk next time you see me around Steamboat Island!
Now I know I’m not alone in this “creature of habit” mentality. I see it every time I teach a spin class. Folks scurry up the stairs to the studio to lay claim to “their” bike. The look of hurt and disappointment is measurable when they see someone else on “their” bike!
So you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when tasked with highlighting running routes and races in Lacey. Although Lacey is just a quick hop, skip and jump down the freeway – it could honestly be across the state to me. My life (aka kids) keeps my circle of existence limited to the 98501 and 98502 zip codes.
But fear not! What do you do when you don’t know what to do? It’s really not a riddle. Ask someone who knows! So I asked Lacey runner Jamie Anthoney and tracked down some fabulous information for you. Whether you are from Lacey and looking for some running routes or want to explore a new path, here are plenty of options.
Running Groups in Lacey
First, running alone can be cathartic, but if you’re looking for some group inspiration and camaraderie join the Lacey Guerilla Runners on Monday nights at 6pm. The group meets at the Regional Athletic Center (park by the playground) and is open to all levels. This is a FREE community run, typically around 3 miles in distance. Follow Guerilla Running on Facebook to keep up to date on the Lacey community runs as well as other free community runs around Thurston County.
Running Routes in Lacey
Jamie Anthoney organizes Lacey Guerilla Running community runs. Here are two of her favorite training routes in Lacey. Thank you, Jamie, for sharing – a road-tested running route is always appreciated!
Jamie’s Running Route 1: “I did this route for the first time when I was in a training group, with Guerilla Running, for my first half-marathon. I have gone back and done it a couple times with my husband because it is a nice loop. The bathrooms halfway are also a bonus.” Yes, bathrooms are always a HUGE bonus.
- Start at Chambers Lake Trailhead Park.
- Head out on the Western Chehalis Trail for a little over 2.5 miles until you hit the Yelm Highway.
- Turn left on the Yelm Highway and follow it for about 1.5 miles down to Ruddell Road.
- Take a left on Ruddell Road. (Here is a gas station with public bathrooms.)
- Stay on Ruddell Road until you reach Pacific Ave, where it meets up with the Woodland Trail.
- Take the Woodland Trail through town until it intersects with the Chehalis Western Trail and turn left on to the Chehalis Western Trail
- Return to the Chambers Lake Trailhead Park.
To see the complete 8.31 mile route, click here.
Jamie’s Running Route 2: “I did this route for the first time when we met at different locations for our Monday Night Runs. I really enjoyed this route and there is only one section without a sidewalk.”
Park at the new 7-Eleven by Cabelas.
- Head Northeast through the Traffic Circle on to Willamette Drive. (away from Cabelas)
- Stay on Willamette Drive for about 1.25 miles and then take a right on to Orion Drive.
- Take Orion Drive through a roundabout and over the freeway all the way to Martin Way.
- Turn right on Martin Way.
- Stay on Martin Way until it intersects with Marvin Road and turn right.
- Take Marvin Road back over the freeway and back to the 7-Eleven where you parked
To see the complete 4.63 mile loop, click here.
Hitting the Trails in Lacey
The City of Lacey also boasts some great paved trails, perfect for off the street running.
For Thurston County runners and cyclists that desire an easy, stress free route, turn to the Chehalis Western Trail. The trail runs north-south through the heart of Thurston County and features access to the Puget Sound, Chambers Lake, the Deschutes River, wetlands, forests, prairies and other habitats and scenic views of Mt. Rainier. It also features a scenic overlook at Chambers Lake and an award-winning pedestrian overpass at Yelm Highway.
Trailheads are located approximately every two miles on the Thurston County Parks-owned section. The 21.5-mile trail links with the 14.5 mile Yelm-Tenino Trail. The Woodland Trail also connects to the Chehalis Western Trail.
Road Races in Lacey
Put all of those training runs to the test and sign up for a road race in Lacey. Or better yet, sign up – and then start training. Nothing is more motivating than money paid!
Check out one of these upcoming races in Lacey. For a complete race calendar and details on any race below go to www.ontherunevents.com.
- Karelian Bear Dog 5k, March 9 at Horizons Elementary (kids under 8 are FREE!- kids over 8 just $10)
- Easter Classic, March 30 at Horizons Elementary (multiple distances)
- Hear the Sound 5k, June 28 at the Regional Athletic Complex
- Glow in the Dark 5k, July 26 at the Regional Athletic Complex
Happy running! Special thanks to Denny Brooks at www.ontherunevents.com for the use of these photos.