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City of Lakeland Recognized as a Runner Friendly Community By Road Runners Club of America | City News Blog

LAKELAND, FL (February 7, 2024) | The City of Lakeland was recently recognized as a Runner Friendly Community by the Road Runners Club of America.  This five-year designation will expire in 2029. The Runner Friendly designation shines a national spotlight on communities working in collaboration with public and private organizations to support running and building infrastructure to foster physical activity in a safe environment. 

Runner Friendly Communities are graded and scored on criteria that includes trail systems, trail distances and infrastructure along trails. Runner Friendly Communities must have a network of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, multi-use trails and running clubs promoting the sport. Pedestrian networks are defined as allowing a person to complete between 3-10 miles in a loop or continuous course. Additional community infrastructure includes water fountains and trail maintenance.

City of Lakeland Mayor, Bill Mutz said, “Lakeland has a defined commitment to the health and well-being of the community.  The City of Lakeland takes pride in its active role in planning, constructing, and maintaining our extensive running infrastructure.  This commitment to multi-use trail systems help foster a vibrant and healthy community. We are honored to be recognized as a Runner Friendly Community and excited to join the esteemed Runners Club of America list!”

The Road Runners Club of America noted pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure investments, policies that promote active lifestyles and the number of running events that take place around Lakeland trail systems as reasons for the designation.  The City of Lakeland received recognition in 2015 as a Runner Friendly Community. Communities that are recognized as Runner Friendly share that designation for five years.  After five years, a community must resubmit a nomination and meet the latest criteria to be considered Runner Friendly by the Road Runners Club of America.

Lakeland has an impressive network of over 340 miles of sidewalks, almost 30 miles of multi-use trails with more on the way and numerous parks with run friendly amenities.  Lakeland has a priority on pedestrian/bicycle safety with traffic calming infrastructure, designated pedestrian crosswalks, marked bicycle lanes and state of the art technology that also played into the Runner Friendly designation.


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago. 

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.