a little more info
Running in Harrisonburg/surrounding area: typical sidewalks and paved roads in the city but pretty easy to run on grass/gravel on the sides of majority of roads. Don't have to run too far out of city to find back/country roads. Purcell Park has a 1.4 mile gravel path. Hillandale has a 1.3 mile gravel path, as well as some newly constructed mountain bike trails that probably add on another 2.5-3 miles (I've heard they are planning on having a 4 miler on the mtb trails). There's another park on the northern part of town which I don't know the name of that has a .8 mile gravel path as well as 4 soccer fields. As others have mentioned, if you are willing to drive out ~30 minutes from town you can get on some pretty good trails in the national forest. Some of these are forest service roads and some are actual single track trails. The JMU teams used to run on FS road 85 which is about a 16 mile loop that starts on the WV side of the WV/VA border and finishes on the VA side about a 1/4 mile from the start. Another popular area is Reddish Knob, which is the second highest point in VA at 4,397 ft. There are some good dirt/gravel roads in this area.
Local running scene: Harrisonburg has a running store called The Runner's Corner. There is a local running/track club called the Shenandoah Valley track club. The track club puts on several road races through out the year, has group runs, and also puts on track meets during the summer for anyone who wants to participate. JMU has a lot of 5ks during the school year and there are quite a few other 5ks put on by organizations to choose from. A couple of weekends ago there was a 5k on Saturday and Sunday and both had ~500 people. Harrisonburg High school hosted the AA state track meet last year and the guys team won the state championship. The AA state meet is scheduled to be held at Harrisonburg High again this year on 5/30-5/31. There is some pretty solid young talent in the area as a couple of guys have gone 4:19-4:22 and low 9:20's. Charlottesville has a very big running community and is only about 70 minutes from Harrisonburg. There are 2 running stores in Charlottesville, Ragged Mountain Running Shop (been around since 82) and the Charlottesville Running Company. The Charlottesville Marathon is actually tomorrow.
Social Scene/Things to do: JMU was ranked 16th in the country in the "Lots of beer" category by the Princeton Review (whatever thats worth). Three years ago on the weekend before classes started I heard the Food Lion on Port Road did $125,000 in beer sales (don't know the accuracy of this). Simply put, there are a lot of "good times" being had by students and locals at JMU. Tuesday is karaoke night at the Pub, which usually gets pretty busy. Wednesday is college night at Bourbon Street on Main. Thursday is college night at Rocktown which gets really crowded and then Friday and Saturday nights they have live music at The Pub and Rocktown. There are other "local" bars/restaurants that are really fun too. Seems there is constantly something being built in Harrisonburg and the surrounding area. JMU's enrollment is around 17,000 now and by 2013 they are projecting an increase of another 4,000 students which will probably lead to more restaurants/businesses etc. Oh yeah and JMU is ~60% female, 40% male.
I like living in Harrisonburg for now