Run Report: San Antonio 20 miler Alamo Heights --> Downtown

I'm training for the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in early December and needed a 20 mile route for my training.  My favorite running spots line the San Antonio Greenway, however these beautiful trails are along the major drainage creeks.  With the rains we've had the past week, including last night, these normally dry creek beds have been transformed to torrential rivers.  Many of the trails are under water. So I needed another route. I headed over to MapMyRun and found this gem by user Tom Fuller.  

The route starts at the Shops at Lincoln Heights. Lots of parking!  Cross Basse Road and head into the neighborhoods of Alamo Heights. The first couple miles winds through bucolic neighborhoods with towering oaks shading the entire route.  Eventually, you head to Contour Road.  On my run, there were two low water points. While there wasn't any water over the road, last evening's thunderstorms did manage to deposit about two inches of slippery mud that I had to wade through.  Exiting Alamo Heights, I crossed into Olmos Park and across the dam.  More gorgeous homes and trees and I exited the neighborhoods into Broadway.  

A short spell on Broadway and I turned into Brackenridge Park at the Witte Museum.  Near the zoo, I picked up N. St. Mary's Road and headed south.  Up to this point, navigation had been a little tricky and I had to keep referring to my phone, as I'm not familiar with the neighborhoods and roads I took to get to Brackenridge.  However, after hopping on N. St. Mary's, it is  just a straight shot all the way to downtown and a turn, some miles later, onto  Commerce. The neighborhoods are a smidgen dodgy as you approach downtown, but I had no problems.  A right on to Commerce and then a mile or so later, a quick u-turn around Market Square and and onto Market Street, past the Main Plaza and eventually a left turn on Alamo Plaza led me past the Alamo.  I looped onto Houston, back to Bowie and Commerce.  A right turn onto Commerce and I headed back toward N. St. Mary Street.

However, I decided to pass N. St. Mary Street and jumped on the Riverwalk to head north.  I love running on the Riverwalk.  It's quiet, shaded and a unique, beautiful part of our city.  Previously I had always exited the Riverwalk at the Pearl Brewery, however I decided to take it all the way to Brackenridge Park.  After passing under 281, I was rewarded with a beautiful view of the golf course.  The Riverwalk merges with Avenue B and I eventually turned left onto Mulberry and then right onto N. St. Mary's.  

As I approached the Japanese Sunken Gardens, the course that Tom Fuller maps turns to the left and heads up a hill behind the Sunken Garden Amphitheater.  This is not a terribly obvious route as the road is closed, but I (somewhat daringly I thought) ran around the SAWS "Authorized Personnel Only" sign and was first punished by a rather steep climb, but then a panoramic view of the Amphitheater, Alamo Heights and Terrill Hills.  Decending toward the zoo, I took a left and headed under 281 to climb a series of nasty hills on Tuleta and Stadium Drive until joining Divine Avenue to head back into Olmos Park and Alamo Heights and eventually back to Lincoln Heights Shopping Center.

I ran on a Sunday morning and there was very little traffic. The course was varied with lots to look at, plenty of businesses (coffee shops and gas stations) for water / bathroom stops.  The route also passes many historical markers and plaques describing the history of our city. It was a great way to pass 3.5 hours.  

Also, Lincoln Heights Shopping Center has several restaurants -- I had some Torchy's Tacos.  Awesome!

What are your favorite routes in San Antonio or your city?  Leave a comment below!