With spring upon us, we decided to get up with three of Major League Soccer's brightest stars to tell us what it's like to run in their city. First up, Lamar Neagle of the Seattle Sounders Football Club.
What is the running community like in Seattle?
Running in Seattle can be very interesting at times. One needs to be very adaptive and aware of the changes in weather and terrain. Seattle is littered with beautiful views and each neighborhood holds its own culture. So, depending on preference, there are many different areas to explore.
How would you categorize the overall running environment and landscape?
The downtown of Seattle has many ups and downs when it comes to running. That can be attributed the numerous hills and rain that can make running those hills difficult. This is why runners need to be versatile and prepared for the different situations. Outside of the downtown area in some of those neighborhoods people can easily find trails that won’t be as exhausting.
What type of personality would you ascribe to it?
It is difficult to ascribe a personality to the city of Seattle since it has such different environments depending on your mood and abilities.
How would you describe the running scene in Seattle?
The people of the Northwest are known to have a great love for the outdoors. There are a ton of different spots to get a good run, hike or even just a walk with a view. I would have to say that Seattle is one of the best cities for those who love to run, hike or just get outside.
In terms of running, what makes Seattle unique?
I think running in the city is unique because you can find so many different places to enjoy yourself. Personally I do not like running on the streets because I don’t like the stop and go that the streets hold. This is why most of my suggestions will be parks that are in the Seattle area without any interruptions.
Where do you run, and why do you run there?
A great run around Green Lake Park will always be one of my favorites. It is close to three miles and has some amazing views around sunset. Plenty of people can be found enjoying the park because there are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy as well. This park holds a special place for me because it is one of the first places my fiancée and I went to together.
I have gone on a few runs along Alki Beach throughout my life. This is a great area to get a glimpse of the water and the people of the area. Very popular in the summertime with plenty of places to eat and people watch. Running along the beach or the boardwalk would be up to preference but either one is a good time. I have good memories of this particular place as well because my friends and I used to make the trek to West Seattle while I was still in high school to sit along the beach.
Washington Park Arboretum is absolutely one of the best running areas in Seattle when it comes to a great atmosphere and culture. This area can be found on the shores of Lake Washington. I enjoy this area because it is close to the University of Washington and has plenty of young people enjoying the outdoors. I have had plenty of friends who attended the university so spending time here is familiar for me.
Discovery Park is great to run because it has numerous trails allowing for different runs at different times of the year. It has plenty of views of meadows, forests, ponds and even the beach to run along. The area of Magnolia is one of the neighborhoods of Seattle that isn’t frequented by visitors to the area but definitely should be. I enjoy running along the trails at this park because they have a great view of the Sound and Bainbridge Island. Heading towards the lighthouse is one of my favorites because they aren’t popular in our area.
Volunteer Park, in the middle of Capitol Hill, is one of the places I frequented a few years ago while I was living in the area. It was a short drive or walk to the trails and couldn’t be more peaceful. On the premises it also holds an art museum and a conservatory that can be visited as well.
For someone that doesn't love to run, but wants to see Seattle from a different point of view, where would you recommend they go?
One of my favorite spots to go to in Seattle is Kerry Park, the view from the park is amazing and a great way to see the Seattle skyline. Seeing the city at its most calm, the water hugging the city, and not having to deal with the stresses some feel for a downtown lifestyle. One of the best places to watch the sunrise or sunset is the park and it is rarely crowded.
The adidas Energy Boost 2 is a versatile shoe with a bunch of tech features targeted at urban environments and running conditions. How does this translate to your running style?
The terrain and running conditions of Seattle makes it absolutely necessary to have versatile running gear. Without the correct gear, running can become an absolute nightmare. Urban runners in Seattle need to be ready to run on concrete, turf, and grass while also being ready for rain or sunshine.
What makes your running routine different than others?
My routine may be a little bit different than most because I have to create that balance between enjoying my running and staying in shape for my profession. I often listen to calming music while running to keep me in a good mood while enjoying the views that my city holds.
Why is running a lifestyle for you?
Running for me is as much exercise as it is enjoying my surroundings. That is why Seattle is a great city for me to run around and I can find any type of environment or terrain I choose based on my mood.