Put one foot in front of the other, it will be worth it when I am done. This is the mantra I tell myself every time I go for a run. While the Eller MBA experience has high demands of both energy and time, there is always a need for escape. This escape has been the beautiful outdoors of Tucson. The climate is changing and it is an ideal time to be outside. After moving from the hills of East Tennessee I have been taking full advantage of the relatively flat geography of Tucson. This has made running outside a must several times a week.
While taking breaks from studies and projects, I have tried to get to know the outdoor community of Tucson. Along the way I stumbled upon “Meet me at Maynard’s”, a local “social run/walk” through downtown. Every Monday hundreds of runners and walkers (500 this last week!) gather to complete either four or six mile routes around Tucson. All are welcome and it is free of charge. There is even a raffle at the end for gift certificates to great local businesses such as The Hub (best ice cream I have found in Tucson).
Along with a couple of friends, I was able to survive a six mile run around downtown and up to the top of Sentinel Peak on the edge of town. As this was my first time to the top of the mountain, I was excited to see such a cityscape from the town I have lived in for many months. It was a “rediscovery” of a town I have gotten to know.
While this was one specific run and one specific event, it highlights the sense of outdoor community that exists in Tucson. In past years National Geographic has named Tucson in the top 5 most bikeable cities in the US, though many locals claim it is the first. Many roads throughout Tucson are equipped with bike lanes and there are many exclusive bike paths through and around the city of Tucson. There is also excellent hiking in the mountains surrounding the city.
While I spend most of my time in McClelland Hall (home of the Eller MBA), I make it a point to get out into the city and see what all it has to offer. While the program at Eller is challenging, sometimes it is worth the time to take a couple of painful steps out the door to see the beautiful city and get to know the community that hosts the University of Arizona. I certainly recommend you get out and get to know Tucson from the first day you arrive. Who knows, you might just win some free ice cream along the way!