BREC backs public running track

BREC backs public running track
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An idea for a public running track in Baton Rouge is making big strides.

BREC has agreed to put up half of the money needed for a 200 meter track near McKinley Middle School.

The woman behind the concept said she is already working with the local running community to raise the remaining funds.

Before he hits the road, runner Matt Brouilette, is sure to get in a good stretch. A typical training run for him in Baton Rouge includes miles of concrete.

"It's good, but obviously your body takes a pounding after a while," Brouilette said.

Adam Ostrowe also enjoys running along the many tree-lined streets in Mid City and The Garden District. But, he said, they only go so far.

"The pathways are adequate but not that extensive," Ostrowe said.

Getting in more than an aerobic run, like speed work or interval training, which is best done on a track, can take a lot of work.

"Contacting one of the schools and ask to use the track if there's no practice, or contacting a coach would be the best way," Brouilette said.

Founder and Owner of Varsity Sports, Jenni Peters, has been working to change that.

"We don't have a public track in Baton Rouge, which is unusual for a city our size," Peters said.

Peters has eyed a plot of land at BREC's Brooks Park for a 200 meter public track. The architectural rendering depicts a six-lane surface off of Louise Street and Eddie Robinson Jr Avenue. Peters said it will benefit more than just runners.

"It will be a nice place for people who walk or run the lakes additionally to get off the roads, away from the traffic, and cyclists to have a place to go," Peters said.

The estimated cost for the track is $400,000. BREC has agreed to fund $200,000. The rest would have to come from the community. It will be designed once $100,000 is raised.

"I think there's a good running community that could get behind that," Ostrowe said.

Peters said a few fitness groups are already on course. She added, while her initial plan was to give runners a new outlet to train she is already looking ahead.

"Ideally, the perfect thing would be an add-on to the 200 meter oval, a full function core fitness workout on turf in the middle which you can go out there and do an entire workout and run," Peters said.

For runners, it is a nice change of pace.

"I think it's awesome. It will be a great addition to our running community. It's a great way to bring the community together in one place," Brouilette said.

Peters said, if all goes as planned, runners could be rounding the track by the end of the year.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.