By Gordon Cherr (revised by David Yon)
Old Centerville Road is an out and back affair, with good shade and some long, steep hills. It is now the home of the GWTC 30K and running the 30K is a great way to experience this race. Go out of Tallahassee on Centerville Road, heading north/northeast towards the Georgia line. The start of Old Centerville Road is almost opposite Bradley’s Country Store (approximately 13 miles past Capital Circle), and you can park in Bradley’s lot. If the store is open drop in to see a landmark and buy some fluid to get you through the run or to recover after the run. Right across the street from Bradley’s Country Store you will see Bradley Road. It is just a short jaunt down this road (less than two minutes slow jog) to Old Centerville. The road dead ends into Old Centerville. Turn right and head to Georgia.
Once you hit Old Centerville, just tie up your shoe laces and run as far as you want, then back. Old Centerville Road is heavily shaded, traffic is light to non-existent, and most of the road is a red clay base, with some gravel mixed in every now and then. It is a great place to experience that “runner’s high” we all dream about. On a day of heavy rain it can be slippery in places after a good rain. The first two and a quarter miles is now paved, but it is still pretty. There is a small church on the right after 4.5 miles, and you can get water there from a spigot around the side of the church. You can follow this road to the Georgia line, where the road becomes paved again. It is somewhere around 6.2 to 6.4 miles to the state line and pavement. It becomes Springhill Road at this point. You can find your way all the way to Metcaf if you go straight.
About 0.1 mile before the dirt road ends and the pavement begins, you can take a left on Sunny Hill Farms Road. You can run this also very shady, rather hilly route for another 5.7 miles, where it “T’s” out on Thomasville Road, near CR 12, not far from the Georgia line. There is another church with a water spigot on the right a couple miles or so after you turn on to Sunny Hill. There is also a small dirt road that heads north from the church. I do not know how far it goes but it is another great running trail. So, this route lends itself to an out and back course to the state line of around 12.5 miles, depending upon your odometer, (Old Centerville Road to the pavement and back), or an even longer out and back of 24-25 miles (Old Centerville to Thomasville Road and back), or a long one way run of slightly more than 12 miles (Old Centerville to Thomasville Road, but you need two cars for that one).
However you do this run, it is a pleasant one where you won’t see much traffic or even very many people. You are in the middle of some beautiful North Florida plantation land, basically out in the middle of nowhere. My personal preference has always been to not do this run alone. The biggest drawback is that the black flies can be voracious out here during part of the year, and you are well advised to bring a large can of OFF (to feed them with) or some similar concoction.
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