Originally from New Jersey, Amanda Mae Renkel lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she graduated from Belmont University and is pursuing a songwriting career. To clear her head, she goes for long runs. Renkel ran her first half marathon in Nashville in April 2013. In the fall of 2015, she completed three marathons in less than 90 days.
Early this spring, Renkel visited Charleston, S.C., with her boyfriend. While he was busy installing a sound system in his brother’s bar, Renkel went out for a run. She headed over the Cooper River on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, with its distinctive white cables. “On my way back over the bridge into the city I saw a sign that said ‘ECG – East Coast Greenway.’ Being from the East Coast originally, I was interested in what this meant. One Google search later I found out about this awesome mission and that began in the year I was born (1991). I felt so excited to have been able to see just one portion of such a great idea.”
Renkel took this month’s winning photo on the bridge and shared it on her blog, Mae’s Miles and Music, where she shares her running journey and the music that helps her get through her workouts. “I hope to inspire other runners as much as the runners I’m surrounded by have inspired me,” she says. Songwriting is “a hard career because there is no guaranteed path, but writing has always been my first love. Running definitely helps me to think up song ideas. It’s a time where I can focus on clearing my mind and forgetting about the daily worries of life.”
She hopes to visit more of stretches of the East Coast Greenway, maybe in the Northeast while visiting family. “I have done the majority of my marathon training on the greenways in Nashville, so greenways definitely hold a special place in my heart. I feel like the East Coast Greenway is the best showcase of ‘go big or go home’ I’ve ever seen,” she laughs. “I may have only found out about it this year, but this East Coast athlete is happy to know there is an incredible vision that made something so positive possible.”
Have you taken a favorite photo(s) of the East Coast Greenway? Enter it in our photo contest. We’re selecting monthly winners throughout 2017, matching images to the seasons when possible. To be considered for our July selection, enter your photo by June 26.