2008 Best of the Outdoors : Running

first_img BEST RUNNING CLUBAtlanta Track ClubThe Atlanta Track Club guides dozens of smaller running clubs and is responsible for the largest road race in the country, the Peachtree Road Race 10K.“The enjoyment of a healthy lifestyle through running drives all that we do. Our signature event is the Peachtree Road Race, with a capped field of 55,000. The running community in Atlanta is very strong and continuing to expand. Our climate makes it easier for the casual and seasoned runner to train year round, especially through the winter months.”—Tracey Russell, executive director of the Atlanta Track Club NEXT BEST2. D.C. Road Runners3. West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners4. Hash House Harriers5. Richmond Road Runners6. Star City Striders7. Mangum Track Club8. Charlottesville Track Club9. Trail Heads – Chapel Hill10. Asheville Track ClubGREENEST RACENew River 50KFries, Va.The inaugural New River 50K, running the length of the New River State Park in Virginia, is one of the first running events to actively curb their waste and resource impact.“We are striving to have 75% of the products, food, and awards, to come from within 100 miles of the race, or to come from companies with demonstrated records of “kind earth” practices. All registration is online to minimize paper use.  We are encouraging the use of personal water bottles; disposable products will be used only when necessary; and everything possible will be recycled. Runners are encouraged to bring their own bowls and silverware to use at post race lunch. All proceeds will go to The National Committee for the New River, and we’re collecting Clif Bar and Balance Bar wrappers for the Terracycle Initiative. Being “green” is a flexible term, yet it almost always involves using the resources of the local community.”—Annette Bednosky, race director for the New River 50KBEST RUNNING TRAILArt Loeb TrailThe Art Loeb Trail is a 30-mile footpath traversing Pisgah National Forest from the Davidson River to the high elevations of Shining Rock Wilderness.“Art Loeb has over 9,000 feet in climbing in just under 30 miles. The panoramic vistas at 6,000 feet as the trail approaches the Shining Rock Wilderness are some of the best views in all of the Appalachians. There are plenty of great photo ops while running over Black Balsam and Tennant Mountains. What makes the Art Loeb so special is the wonderland of ancient granite plutons, high-altitude forests and expansive southern balds it traverses. Hardly any adventurer could turn down the lure of a singletrack trail destined for these unforgettable places.”—Matt Kirk, ultrarunnerNEXT BEST2. Three Ridges/The Priest, Lynchburg, Va.3. Moses Cone Trails, Blowing Rock, N.C.4. DuPont State Forest Trails, Brevard, N.C.5. Mountains to Sea Trail, N.C.6. Davidson River Trail, N.C.7. Massanutten Mountain Trail, Va.8. Kennesaw Mountain Trails, Ga.9. Foothills Trail, S.C.10. North Fork Mountain Trail, W.Va.BEST ROAD RACECrazy 8s 8KKingsport, Tenn.One of the fastest and exciting races in the region, Crazy 8s attracts the best professional runners from around the world. It’s a late-night summer race with candle-lit streets and a thrilling stadium finish. NEXT BEST2. Cooper River Bridge 10K, Charleston, S.C.3. Peachtree Road Race 10K, Atlanta, Ga.4. Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K, Richmond, Va.4. Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, Washington, D.C.5. Charlottsville 10-Miler, Charlottesville, Va.6. Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8K, Charlotte, N.C.7. Ogden Newspapers Classic 20K, Wheeling, W.Va.8. Shamrock Sports Fest 8K, Virginia Beach, Va.9. Army 10-Miler, Washington, D.C.10. Tennessee Expo 10K, Knoxville, Tenn.BEST RAIL-TRAILSC&O TowpathWashington, D.C.The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath follows the Potomac River for 185 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Md.“On the C&O I can run to places I’ve read about in history books. When I want company, I run the Georgetown to Great Falls section (miles 0 to 15). For a bit of isolation, the section from Great Falls to Whites Ferry (mile 35) is great. The surface of the towpath is mostly clay and crushed stone—great for a nice 185 mile run.”—James Moore, 64-year old ultrarunner NEXT BEST2. Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon, Va.3. Greenbrier River Trail, W.Va.4. Silver Comet Trail, Marietta, Ga.5. W&OD Trail, Arlington, Va.6. New River Trail, Galax, Va.7. New River Gorge National Trail, Fayetteville, W.Va.8. Caperton/Mon River/Deckers Creek Trail, Morgantown, W.Va.9. Huckleberry Trail, Blacksburg, Va.10. Allegheny Highlands Trail, Elkins, W.Va.BEST TRAIL RACEShut-In Ridge Trail RunThe classic Southeastern trail run, Shut-In features 17.8 miles of technical singletrack that climbs 3,000 feet on its way to Mount Pisgah.“Shut-In is one of the toughest trail races in the Southeast. People love it because it’s a test of endurance, agility, and strength. Just completing the Shut-In course is an accomplishment in itself. The race takes place just after the peak of the fall season and offers runners a technically challenging course, while providing great views of fall foliage in the Western North Carolina Mountains.”—Jane Roane, distance running diva and Shut-In Ridge training coachNEXT BEST 2. Springmaid Splash 10K, Spruce Pine, N.C.3. Rock 2 Rock 10K Trail Run, Black Mountain, N.C.4. James River Scramble 10K, Richmond, Va.5. Big South Fork 17-Miler, Oneida, Tenn.6. New River Gorge-ous Trail Run, Minden, W.Va.7. Salem Lakes Trail Race, Greensboro, N.C.8. Mountain Top Half Marathon, Copper Hill, Tenn.9. Dirty Dog 15K, Charleston, W.Va.10. Blue Ridge Burn 10K, Charlottesville, Va.BEST ULTRABarkley Marathon100 miles, 100,000 feet of elevation gain and loss in Frozen Head State Park, Tenn., and only seven finishers since its inception in 1986. Ultra runners love the Barkley because it’s almost impossible to complete.“I have been running for 32 years (including over 230 marathons and ultramarathons), and the Barkley was easily the most rewarding running experience of all. It has everything that I love in a challenge: roller coaster trails, obstacles to jump over or crawl through, big rocks and high walls to jump off, lots of slick and deep mud, flesh-tearing briers, insanely steep climbs where one cries for mommy, and insanely steep descents where idiots risk breaking their fool necks. Runners spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to find all 11 books hidden along the trail.  Delivering the pages back to the race director at the end of each 20-mile loop is worth any discomfort we might suffer out there.”—Byron Backer, ultrarunner and 60-mile fun run finisherNEXT BEST2. Mountain Masochist 50-Miler, Va.3. Mount Mitchell 40-Mile Challenge, Black Mtn., N.C.4. Stump Jump 50K, Chattanooga, Tenn.5. Highlands Sky 40-Miler, Canaan Valley, W.Va.6. Iron Mountain 50-Miler, Damascus, Va.7. Massanutten Mountain 100-Miler, Massanutten, Va.8. Bull Run Run 50-Miler, Manassas, Va.9. Grindstone 100-Miler, Swoope, Va.10. Uwharrie 40-Mile Trail Run, Troy, N.C.BEST MARATHONRichmond MarathonScenic course, friendly volunteers, a downhill finish, and junk-food rest stops.“The course is challenging but fair, and let’s face it, how often do you get to race downhill to the finish line? The race is big enough so you won’t run alone, but small enough that you’re not slowed down by masses of runners. In times of increased entry fees, Richmond offers great value for your money, a quality t-shirt, and one of the best medals you’re likely to receive. And the fantastic crowd support and enthusiastic volunteers keep me motivated throughout the course.”—Steve Speirs, veteran marathoner NEXT BEST2. Baltimore Marathon, Md.3. DuPont Forest Trail Marathon, Brevard, N.C.4. Twisted Ankle Trail Marathon, Summerville, Ga.5. Rocket City Marathon, Huntsville, Ala.6. Hatfield McCoy Marathon, Goody, Ky.7. Outer Banks Marathon, N.C.8. Georgia Marathon, Atlanta, Ga.9. Knoxville Marathon, Tenn.10. Black Mountain Trail Marathon, N.C.BEST URBAN RUNNING TRAILKennesaw Mountain National Battlefield ParkJust north of Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain boasts over 18 miles of trails that traverse the surprisingly steep grades of the mountain and its surrounding hills.“The park offers an oasis of green in the city. It has rolling hills with a mix of pine-hardwood forest and the grassy expanses of the battlefields. Other than around the park headquarters or the major historic sites, there is never a feeling of heavy use, and on weekdays you can run for miles without seeing anyone else. For those looking for some technical trail the section from Burnt Hickory Road to the top of Kennesaw Mountain meets this need.”—Richard Schick, ultrarunner, Marietta, Ga. NEXT BEST2. Rock Creek Park, D.C.3. Bull Run/Occoquan Trail, Manassas, Va.4. Crowders Mountain, Charlotte, N.C.5. Chattahoochee River NRA, Atlanta, Ga.6. Buttermilk Trail, Richmond, Va.7. Carvins Cove, Roanoke, Va.8. North Ridge Trail, Knoxville, Tenn.9. McAfee Knob/A.T., Roanoke, Va.10. Mullens Cove Trail, Chattanooga, Tenn.last_img read more

Can “One Map” Solve Indonesia’s Land Tenure Woes?

first_imgLand disputes are all-too-common in Indonesia, where records are often absent or incomplete and maps differ from one government agency to another. It’s a big reason why small farmers, communities that have traditionally held land in common, indigenous peoples and others often see their lands commandeered by larger operations, like palm oil production, logging or mining. Sometimes different government agencies grant competing companies rights to operate in overlapping jurisdictions.“When the government first launched One Map, some people saw it largely as a technical issue,” said Leslie Dwyer, a U.S. anthropologist assisting with the initiative who has worked in Indonesia for more than two decades. “People hoped that coming up with a single map would solve the problems. But it turns out that the differing maps exist for a reason—they are an expression of an underlying power dynamic that some people benefit from greatly. Our work seeks to address that.”Local Learning for National TransformationBegun under the previous president, One Map got a boost in January 2016 when President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, issued regulations to accelerate the initiative in line with Nawa Cita, or “Nine Hopes,” his national development strategy, which calls for increased access to land for ordinary people.WRI Indonesia Director Nirata Samadhi, a.k.a. Pak Koni, says he hopes that WRI Indonesia’s research can support the government’s efforts to make One Map a success across the country.In recent months, WRI Indonesia has assembled a team of GIS experts, lawyers, conflict specialists and researchers who will work with communities in four provinces: two on the island of Sumatra and two on the island of Papua. Papua, at the eastern end of the vast Indonesian archipelago, holds the country’s last great expanse of primary forest.The team will draw upon WRI’s global experience in mapping, governance and data-driven decision-making to support local governments working with grassroots civil society organizations, village leaders, indigenous people and company representatives. In each community, the team will help the local government create a single, indicative map as the basis for solution-oriented discussions.Whether that will work remains to be seen.“We will be learning as we go along,” says Adi Pradana, WRI Indonesia’s One Map Initiative Governance Manager. “We plan to share what we learn in a series of research publications that can help the government to make One Map a reality.” WRI Vice President for Communications Lawrence MacDonald recently visited Indonesia to learn about the interplay between land rights and deforestation. This is the second of three posts about the farmers, companies, officials and researchers working towards One Map.One after another, the village heads, neatly groomed and dressed in fresh batik or polo shirts for the meeting at the sub-district chief’s office, rose to voice their grievances. The details differed, but the story was the same: A company had taken their land, converting it into a palm oil plantation. Requests for compensation had failed.Seated beneath portraits of Indonesia’s president and vice president in the stuffy, worn assembly room in Musi Banyuasin, a rural district in South Sumatra, the sub-district chief listened with sympathy. His remarks suggested that he knew the issues all too well.Last year, his boss, the district chief, established a local task force to resolve festering land disputes. Little had changed. Now a group of researchers from Jakarta had arrived offering to help.“I’m not sure I can say the name of this organization very well because it’s English,” the sub-district chief said. “These people from the World Research Institute are going to solve this problem.” The team from WRI Indonesia smiled politely but inwardly squirmed—and not because of the malapropism.“We need to be cautious about community expectations. We are not mandated to solve long-standing conflicts but we do want to help,” Gita Syahrani, Sustainable Commodities & Business Manager for WRI Indonesia, said that evening at a team debrief. “We explained that we are here to learn and perhaps to offer suggestions.”In truth, WRI researchers’ role is more complex and subtle than either the sub-district chief’s high hopes and Syahrani’s modest explanation would suggest. The team is helping to advance the Indonesian government’s One Map Policy, which aims to reduce conflict by compiling competing land claims on a single map and convening multi-stakeholder meetings to find solutions.Maps are an expression of power. (WRI)last_img read more