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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running

Read the latest Red Bandana: A Runner's Dilemma

You have heard of bar hopping. Try ice cream running. Same thing, almost.

The idea is simple: run a defined route with stops along the way for ice cream. How far, and how many ice cream stops is part-strategy, part-fitness and part-(things can get ugly after one too many scoops).

In the Wheaton area, we are blessed with more than a few places to imbibe in ice cream.

Liberally defining things, I am including gelato. Ever have it? Kiosks all over Europe offer amazing flavors (in Hungary, I have even seen poppy seed gelato). Just for kicks, since it is more or less the same snack category, I am also including frozen yogurt.

First, if there are several of you running, I recommend using one credit card and evening out your accounts afterward. Basically, who has a pocket big enough to hold the card.

The entire run is around 10.5 miles. Keep stops short. Lactose intolerant people probably should avoid the run, though bathrooms are available at each location. Or, run faster.

Start in downtown Wheaton at Tates. Go conservative: one scoop of vanilla in a cup. No sprinkles. Enjoy the small town atmosphere, and move onward.

Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream
109 East Front Street
Wheaton, IL 60187

After you have finished this stop, start slowly. The body is receiving a conflicted message here, so give it time. From Front Street, go east to Main Street, and run south. Cross Roosevelt, and keep going until you get to Farnham. Head east to Naperville Road, and take a right, going south again. Watch the traffic, but stay steady until you get into the Danada Shopping Center

TCBY The Country's Best Yogurt
278 Danada Square West
Wheaton, IL 60187

Try the chocolate here. This very clean chain yogurt place is a delicious treat for those watching their figure. But, again, one scoop. You have barely begun.

After a quick exit, work south to Butterfield Road, and run east for a few blocks. Two options abound, with an Oberweis Dairy and Dairy Queen within a half block. My recommendation is Oberweis all the way. Not only is it local, but they have some of the best quality ice cream you will find.

Oberweis Dairy
811 E. Butterfield Road
Wheaton, IL

Feel free to diversify at this point. Get some fruit in, and try strawberry.

Stay on Butterfield for your next location. This time, it is the sophisticated European charm of our one Glen Ellyn stop at Park Boulevard and Butterfield Road. No ice cream here. Just gelato (and some amazing pastries).

Ice Lolly Cafe (my review)
22W535 Butterfield Road
Glen Ellyn, IL

If you are lucky, they will have the tiramisu gelato available. The taste is spot-on. If not, maybe the hazelnut is in stock.

Work your way north up Park to 22nd Street, and head west to Lorraine Road, and turn north. Keep going, passing Roosevelt until Illinois Street. Turn left, and run west back to Main Street.

You are almost done.

Feel free to pick up the pace as you run north on Main into downtown Wheaton. More gelato at the final stop, the very comfortable La Spiaza Coffeehouse. The options for gelato are not as varied as you found at Ice Lolly, but the neighborhood pub sense of the place cannot be outdone.

La Spiaza
114 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL

Here, have all the gelato you can handle while sitting in a couch, thinking about gluttonary adventure you just enjoyed.

Running Playlist Song of the Week
Sugar, Sugar by the Archies (
What is as sweet as ice cream? Summer romance. While we are not yet even into Spring, we are into ice cream. Like other bubblegum tunes, the lyrics are silly, the beat is happy throughout.

"Sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl
And you've got me wanting you.
Honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy girls
And you got me wanting you."

Writer Anthony Trendl eats too much ice cream, including the bowl of French vanilla seen pictured here. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to promote a road race. See
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