I Spent My Friday Night Running Around a Decommissioned Military Base

david-great-park-run
Nice backlit selfie, right? I was in Orange County for work on Friday. I finished at 6pm – the worst possible time to hit the road for the hour-plus drive home. So I stalled by going for a run in a super cool location!

The Orange County Great Park is brand new – in fact, most of it hasn’t been built yet! The county is slowly turning an decommissioned Marine Corps Air Station base into a huge park. When it’s done, it’ll be over 1,300 acres – larger than Central Park in New York City and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. (Griffith Park in Los Angeles, where I hike frequently, will still be over three times the size.)

The Great Park will have museums, a botanical garden, and they’re going to carve a giant canyon into it. So far, though, they’ve only finished the first phase, which includes sports fields, bike paths and trails, a carousel, and the star attraction, the Great Park Balloon.

great-park-balloon-night

This helium-filled balloon is 118 feet in diameter, and can hold 25-30 people in the basket. It’s tethered and can rise up 400 feet. I want to go up in the balloon so badly, but it was closed when I was there, possibly because it was incredibly windy that night.

I explored every inch of the park during my run. There were about half a dozen flag football games happening, so the sports fields were hopping, but I had other parts all to myself.

They’re designing the park to incorporate elements from the military base, which is cool. So the longest pedestrian walkway, which is paved with a historical timeline of human existence, is along what used to be one of the bases’ four runways.

I didn’t take many pictures, because it was dark and I was running, but I paused near the end to snap this shot of the longest shadow I had ever seen.

long-legs-shadow

Those are my legs! Legs for days.

That’s in one of the parking lots, and I ran all the way to the far end and back. I was running into the wind during a particularly fierce gust, and it was so strong that I felt like I was barely moving at all.

I ran for 51 minutes, covered 4.2 miles, and burned almost 800 calories! 

irvine-great-park-run

And my stalling tactic worked like a charm. After my run, I stopped for gas and to pick up a snack (almonds – the best choice in the gas station mini-mart), and then drove home without any traffic snarls at all.

Keep it up, David!

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One Response to I Spent My Friday Night Running Around a Decommissioned Military Base

  1. jensils says:

    Beautiful photos. Going for a run in a new interesting place, instead of sitting in rush hour traffic? Keep it up!!!

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