— The List —

Urban Athletics

6 ways to reclaim public spaces as your colossal gym

rivercityrunners

Preparing for a marathon run? Consider joining the River City Runners. rivercityrunners.ca

1. RUN LIKE YOU MEAN IT
If the only obstacle between you and a marathon finish line is a support group, then consider the River City Runners your new best friends. These dozen race enthusiasts meet weekday mornings outside of the Starbucks on 109 St. and Jasper Ave. for casual five to ten-km runs through the river valley, then go hardcore on Saturdays: 30 clicks. It’s obviously not for running virgins; the goal is to compete in gruelling marathons and half-marathons. rivercityrunners.ca

2. GO WITH THE FLOW
This summer, fitness guru Jesse Lipscombe brings home fitness to North American living rooms with a new DVD workout program, FlowPower. But why not try the tai chi/yoga/high-intensity training hybrid free with the man himself? Find Jesse or his crew every Tuesday and Thursday evening in Constable Ezio Faraone Park, and then sweat your way through jumps, burpees and squats for 60 minutes—regardless of your fitness level. Muscle development is core to FlowPower, meaning you’ll lose weight while increasing your strength, balance and athletic ability. Or join Monday and Wednesday for free bootcamp in the same location. Register at wevivefitness.com.

3. SOAK UP THE WATER AND SUN
Nothing beats a dip in the open-air Oliver Pool tucked behind the well-treed Kitchener Park. Originally built in 1924 to meet the growing city’s appetite for modern swimming facilities with heated change rooms and excellent water filtration, the pool kept civilized Edmontonians from soaking in the North Saskatchewan River or neighbourhood bogs. Today, the well-maintained pool keeps you from heading indoors on hot summer days. Laps and serious workouts in this 30.5-metre pool prove difficult on busy weekends, but you could hold onto the ledge for some callisthenics. edmonton.ca/activities_parks_recreation

4. MAKE LIKE JOHN McENROE
Pick up a game of tennis or practice your swing regardless of your skill level at the Kinsmen outdoor courts every Sunday around 11 am. Don’t worry about bringing a partner: Team Edmonton, a local organization promoting LGBTQ sports and rec, pairs you with a player so you’ll be practising your swing in no time. Thin morning crowds mean the wait rarely tops more than 30 minutes to snap up one of the three asphalt courts. teamedmonton.ca

5. POWER THROUGH THE PEDWAY
The much-maligned 13-km pedway system is the perfect way to up your heart rate on rainy days. Since exercise is the goal, excuse yourself as you climb the escalators throughout the uninterrupted seven-block route, starting at Shaw Conference Centre. A caution here: though the City’s improved the quizzical signage last year, some spots might still leave you second-guessing your direction. When in doubt, follow the office crowd who know the connections best.

6. SLAY THE STAIRS
Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference will put you through a gruelling but gratifying regime of running, stairs and more stairs. Rain or shine, the Edmonton chapter of the free fitness movement November Project meets three days weekly at 6 am. Monday’s surprise location is sometimes in your backyard (check @Nov_ProjectCAN on twitter the day before), while Wednesday sees the “tribe,” as they like to be called, hit the stairs at Commonwealth Stadium. Friday’s workout begins from Emily Murphy Park and you can bet it involves running the dreaded Glenora stairs. november-project.com