Tuscaloosa, Alabama is among 4 to receive the 2016 prestigious designation as a Runner Friendly Community by the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America)!

This RRCA first round announcement follows the selection process involving a review of community infrastructure, community support and local government support for running.  Tuscaloosa proved to be among the best!

The infrastructure of Tuscaloosa indicates the community’s commitment to being runner friendly. Three major parts of the city, downtown Tuscaloosa, the City of Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, and the University of Alabama campus, are all connected by a series of sidewalks and trails. The esthetic beauty and connectivity of the sidewalk system between these three different areas of town create a multitude of route options and lengths. Tuscaloosa residents can practically run from any point in the city to another.

The community support is seen by the growing attendance of races, and running club events. Plus, the growing support of local business and government.

The City of Tuscaloosa itself proudly hosts the annual Mayor's Cup 5K and is big backer of the largest race in teh area, the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon. "Local law manages road closures and provides the manpower necessary to properly execute most races by providing a high level of safety and hospitality."

Tuscaloosa is clearly a runner friendly city and the community support continues to rise. Just look at the growing number of organized races which are well attended. This has tremendous impact on the area with all of the dollars going back into the community for various causes.

“When it comes to being runner friendly, we are dedicated to setting the bar high,” said Walter Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa. “I can assure you we will continue to work to make Tuscaloosa a safe and welcoming haven for all runners.”

I'd also like to recognize Ed Freeman, the President of the Tuscaloosa Track Club. Ed's tireless support of the local running community has made such a major impact in the promotion and betterment of the sport we love.

Tuscaloosa is joined on the RRCA list with Albuquerque, New Mexico, Helena, Montana, and Traverse City, Michigan.