Morningside Nature Center

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Sarah Spann, 21, a UF student, works on her stride at Morningside Nature Center.

Well good morning Gainesville! This weekend I had the chance to visit Morningside Nature Center which features over 278 acres of trails and various forms of wildlife. I also had the opportunity to catch up a past UF Cross Country athlete Sarah Spann while we were on the trail.

The nature center is just seven miles from the heart of campus, and the drive took approximately fifteen minutes. Immediately we found signs that pointed us to easy access parking. The best part about the trip? It was free! After we parked, we began running the trail. Spann, who runs anywhere from three to six miles per day, said she loves getting off campus and being able to detox. I had the opportunity for a quick Q&A before she returned back to blogging for her site, freshfitnhealthy.com.

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I love being able to see the trail before we began running! For more information on the center, visit here.

Q: How did you first get involved with running?

A: I was always active as a little girl, but I actually hated to run until high school came around. Some of my best friends made me come out for the team, and here I am today.

Q: And how did that continue into college?

A: As soon as I started taking running seriously during my junior year of high school, I began looking into places I wanted to run for in a Division I setting. UF had the best program for me, so I continued pursuing that passion.

Q: Why do you run? What does running do for you?

A: Running is honestly just an outlet for me. It helps me de-stress, it helps me when I have a lot on my mind and I need to sort them out and it also helps me get out and enjoy the nice Florida weather.

Q: Where is your favorite place to run in Gainesville?

A: I love any trails in Gainesville because there are so many of them. I also just love being in the stadium. My favorite spot is Morningside Nature Center because there’s always a chance to see some wildlife on the trails. It’s also really close to campus, so I don’t mind driving to this location.

Q: What’s your one piece of advice for someone who has never been running before and believes they can’t do it?

A: Anyone can run, all you need is a pair of shoes and a place to go.

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To find more information about Sarah’s lifestyle and fitness blog, visit her website, freshfitnhealthy.com! I especially love her article on Staying Active as the Season Changes – check it out HERE!

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