County named ‘Runner Friendly Community’

Adding to the many accolades and reasons to live in Sheboygan County comes a new designation for runners and walkers. The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) recently designated the area a Runner Friendly Community.

The application process to earn the distinction began several years ago with extensive paperwork completed by Sheboygan County YMCA CEO, Donna Wendlandt, and Shoreline Strid- ers founding member and longtime president, Roy Pirrung. Their efforts were complemented by input from Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen, Sheboygan Chief of Police Christopher Domagalski, Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne, Sheboygan Director of Planning and Conservation Aaron Brault, a letter of support from the Sports Core, and a video from Asher Heimeremann. The video showed runners in the community participating with law enforcement agencies in the 2017 Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The Runner Friendly Community naming means the area has an infrastructure that can foster physical activity for runners and walkers in a safe environment, supported by events and businesses willing to partner with them to maintain active lifestyles and provide availability of water, restrooms, or safe places as needed. The most important criteria for being named Runner Friendly is positive relationships between the running community and local government.

Sheboygan County offers 25 miles of lakefront running routes interspersed with parks and rest stops.

Sheboygan has a variety of running surfaces that include state park trails, sand dunes, natural areas, black top and crushed limestone trails.

The county underwent signifi- cant redevelopment over the past 20 years, including a key project in 2013 when the Shoreland 400 Rail Trail opened on a former Union Pacific Railroad corridor through the heart of the city.

With over 30 percent of county resident living within a mile of that trail, it offers a convenient and safe transportation and recreation option for thousands of residents. Through a $25 million grant, Sheboygan County has completed marking designated lanes for running and cycling throughout the area.

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