Sunday, June 10, 2012

Running Beautiful Bayshore?

I had an opportunity to go run "Beautiful Bayshore" yesterday with my best friend. It was the first time I have ran Bayshore mostly because up until now, I was not confident enough to be out there with the multiple athletes who frequent the Blvd. Morning, day or night, you will always find someone running or cycling. It's truly a beautiful sight.

When we started out at 8am yesterday, the Blvd. had a lot of activity on it, to be expected. Our four mile run was beautiful from afar. Why afar you ask? Everywhere you looked, there was litter in the water. Honestly, how is it that one of the most beautiful run destinations can be treated like this? We even passed a few homeless people sleeping on benches. Keri  was amazed at all the Blvd. provides for athletes. Located south of downtown Tampa, the sidewalk is claimed to be the longest continuous sidewalk in the world at 4.5 miles (7.2 km) long, is 10 feet (3.0 m) wide and is widely used for recreation and exercise. The 3-mile (4.8 km) bike lane, a linear park, and the Bayshore Greenway Trail provide scenic views of urban Tampa and the water.The sidewalk also has stairs that go directly into the Bay, I assume for open water swims. This sidewalk should be a triathletes dream, but to even think of swimming in that bay would give me nightmares.

Here's the thing that gets me - Tampa is a few months away from the Republican National Convention. The city is scrambling to get ready for the amount of media attention that will be on our city. The city has allocated $1.5 million to upgrade Bayshore Boulevard's balustrade, and to add the landscaped median and bicycle trails. Yet the waters are filthy. I couldn't run 30 seconds without seeing a piece of Styrofoam. I saw more beer cans than you could find in a frat house.

I'm still wet behind my ears when it comes to living in Tampa, but I asked myself, what would you do in this situation if you still lived in Daytona Beach? The first thing that comes to mind is to contact the city on Monday morning and find out about any clean up initiatives. Surely, I cannot be the only one with these thoughts.

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