As a middle-distance runner in high school, I would never have thought that I would like distance running in college, but it is one of the hobbies that I have really enjoyed in the 2.5 years here in KC. Here is a list of the best places to run in Kansas City that I enjoy, each with different levels of elevation or hills and scenarios to mix things up.

1. River Market Trail

This is by far one of my favorite running spots due to the close proximity to where I live as well as the City market. The course is pretty flat, and starts on 2nd and Main Street and makes a loop in front of the scenic Missouri River. The trail is about 3 miles long, but you can definitely extend your run into the River Market area if you want something longer. And it is pretty quiet with not a ton of people running if you are feeling a peaceful run.

2. Brookside/Trolley Trail

Also, a pretty flat course, this is a longer trail than the River Market trail and located right off of the Volker Campus. Don't be surprised to see families bike-riding or moms pushing strollers; this trail is great for people-watchers. If you want to change things up a bit, make a detour to Loose park where there is a loop trail that is about 1 mile long.

3. Downtown: Broadway Blvd and Main St.

Living downtown, it can be hard to find streets that are good for running, but I've found these two to be really fun and nicely lit. I like to take one street there and the other back. You can run past KC's beautiful Kauffmann Center by taking Broadway and Power and Light by taking Main St. If you're looking for a challenging hill,  go north on Broadway from 20th St-- it's a killer.

4. Ward Parkway

The beautiful houses off of Ward Parkway are great to run by, especially during the holiday seasons, with the lights and decorations. Additionally, many races, such as the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in Kansas City as well as the Waddell and Reed Marathon go through here, so it is great for a practice run before a race, and definitely one of the best places to run in Kansas City.

5.  Loose Park

Loose park is great for a shorter run or a great destination to add to your run. The loop around the park is great and the pavement is padded and better for the knees. Enjoy lots of trees and people out and about.