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The Atlantic-Humphrey Loop

Welcome back for the second installment on my column about life running the streets.

After the deluge that hit the town this week, I am itching to get back out on the street for a nice relaxing run. I consider myself a dedicated runner, but I am firmly against running the streets in the rain, as I believe it can just lead to sickness and injury that will result in a longer delay from running than just waiting for better weather.

Luckily I was able to get a middle-distance run in the books before the sky opened up on us, and I will share it with you now. My Atlantic-Humphrey Loop totals just under six miles and provides a nice-flat course that brings you into Swampscott and back through the heart of historic Marblehead.

As is my practice, this route starts at my apartment on Peach Highlands. It first turns right onto Pond Street, passing the Golden Cod Bed & Breakfast and the Marblehead Charter School. At the end of Pond Street, turn quickly left on Green Street and right on Elm Street.

Following Elm onto Spring Street, cross Pleasant Street onto Essex Street. Gently cruise past Chet's Video and Tony's Pizza, taking in the wonderful aroma of fresh-baked pizza in the air as you make your way onto Atlantic Avenue.

This run travels from this far end of Atlantic all the way into Swampscott before making a turn. It continues past Shubie's Market, Marblehead Savings Bank, CVS Pharmacy, Seaside Park, and Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.

Crossing the intersection at Ocean Avenue, keep your pace even as you pass Stowaway Sweets and push on down the winding tree-covered Atlantic Avenue. Passing Temple Emanu-El, you round the corner and cross into Swampscott at the far edge of Devereux Beach.

Just after you pass the Temple Beth El in Swampscott, you will come up on the island at Humphrey Street and Atlantic Avenue. This is your cue to take the sharp right, onto Humphrey, and begin your journey back into town.

Follow Humphrey Street back into Marblehead, passing the Clifton Lutheran Church and Glover School perched on top of the hill at the intersection of Maple, Tedesco and Humphrey streets. Take Humphrey until you reach the intersection at Lafayette Street, at Marblehead High School and St. Stephen's United Methodist Church.

Continue on this path, as it turns into Pleasant Street, and run past the Marblehead Inn, Acupuncture and Health Services, the Marblehead Fire Department, and Abbot Public Library. Give everything you have to climb the hill in front of  Veterans School since you will be rewarded with a nice down-hill ride on the other side.

As you follow Pleasant Street past the Flower House, the Three-Cod Tavern, Flagship Travel, and National Grand Bank, be sure to conserve some energy as Pleasant Street has one more incline to throw at you. This hill ascends past John S. Martin Oil and the Gut N' Feathers Club then gradually descends into Old Town past St. Michael's Episcopal and Grace Community Churches.

After turning left onto Washington Street, quickly make another left onto Mugford Street, at the Old Town Hall. Mugford Street brings you across Elm Street onto Green Street. A quick right onto Pond Street followed by a left back onto Peach Highlands rounds out this run.

The whole route registers at 5.862 miles, which is 12,395 steps on my pedometer, and is one that can be done in just about an hour's time.

To take a few miles off of this distance, I recommend turning right onto Rockaway Avenue just after you pass Temple Emanu-El on Atlantic Ave. This spot is around the 2-mile mark, which would cut off about two miles from the total course.

 Enjoy, be safe, and check back here at the Patch soon for more from The Running Reporter.

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