Greensboro, it's your turn.
The recognition is good for five years and follows similar for Winston-Salem, which earned the distinction last year.
The Greensboro Running Club spearheaded the city's application.
“That is AWESOME!!!!” Greensboro Running Club president Sarah Hampton wrote in an email this morning upon learning of the news.
The RRCA, in receiving applications twice annually, considers community infrastructure, including networks of sidewalks and trails and tracks that are well-lighted and open for public use. The RRCA also considers support from community, local government and additional sources.
Letters of support are required from a group including a running club, public business leaders and private business owners.
"Each community has shown they have an infrastructure that can foster physical activity in a safe environment," the RRCA's news release states. "They have a proven track record that organizations and businesses work together to promote running as a healthy exercise and sport, with the most important criteria being positive relationships between the running community and their local government."
Jean Knaack, the executive director of the organization, added: “The challenges of the last few years have highlighted the important role communities play in making running accessible for citizens. The references from city and state government leaders for this round of Runner Friendly Communities demonstrates the impact of positive relationships between runners and local officials.”
Er Ralston, president of the Twin City Track Club, praised Greensboro for giving the Triad a second city with the designation.
"It's just one more piece of the puzzle that makes it evident that we really do live in an area, and not just community but an area, where running is appreciated and supported," Ralston said. "The recognition brings more people into the world of running, which can't be anything but good."
Ralston said membership in the Twin City Track Club had grown 15 percent since Winston-Salem was honored late last fall.
"I attribute this mostly to the hosting of appealing events and activities, such as the upcoming Winter Seminar with Des Linden," he added. "Success breeds success."
Greensboro is the state's third-largest city with 298,263 residents as of 2021, and Winston-Salem is fifth with 250,320. Guilford and Forsyth counties are the state's third- and fourth-most populated.
Lumberton also is one of the five towns or cities recognized this year. Salisbury, honored in 2018, is the only other North Carolina location designated as a Runner Friendly Community.
Anniston, Ala.; Fort Thomas, Ky.; and Toledo, Ohio, also are new Runner Friendly Communities in fall 2022.
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