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Jog or walk your way through New England

By Natasha Clark, Assistant Managing Editor

Avid jogger and business executive Warwick Ford is back with a follow-up to his 2005 book "Fun on Foot in America's Cities" with "Fun on Foot in New England."

In this book, Ford and his wife, Nola, focus on the best places to run, jog and walk in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Warwick said that his business career required him to travel a lot which led to the succession of books.

"I travel a lot and I always struggled a bit in finding the time and motivation to get out on foot more to run and jog," Warwick explained. "So over a number of years, I assembled notes on a number of cities. This new book takes the same model but it's focused entirely on the New England region the most interesting and enjoying places to go."

Warwick and Nola have put years of extensive research into this book. They have walked every route and trail referenced and include details of every area such as safety statistics, directions, trail distances and local attractions.

"There's some excellent running roots in Western Massachusetts. There are, in fact, some pleasant trails in Springfield and Worcester," Warwick said, adding that there were also excellent running trails around Rhode Island.

Only trails that met the highly desired criteria developed by he and his wife were featured. The four main factors the Warwicks used to evaluate each destination were: comfort, attractions, convenience and destination.

Elements of comfort included safety and the general environment; attractions were rated on scenery and points of cultural and historic interest; convenience dealt with access to public transit; and destination considered what activities and venues were offered at the beginning, end or along the route.

While Springfield didn't fare so well on the FBI's crime statistics (according to "Fun on Foot" the city had 17 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in 2005), Warwick said that he and Nola, of Cambridge, Mass., felt comfortable on their walking route from downtown and subsequently on the trails in Forest Park.

"We didn't feel in any way threatened by the part of the city that we covered. We always do all these routes ourselves so that we can speak with confidence about the quality of them," he stated.

"Fun on Foot" is an easy read and accommodates both the beginner walker or jogger and the advanced marathon runner.

"The idea is to certainly act as a guide book to runners or joggers or people who want to walk. In addition it's also to help people motivate themselves to get out. These are places we were thinking of people enjoying rather than being some exercise chore."

"Fun on Foot in New England" will be available July 1 through Wyltan Books.

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