Running away from the Trail

February 28 update:

Join us on Saturday, March 14 to see the trail that the Georgetown Running Company is running away from. A trail walk will begin at 10 a.m. in Silver Spring. We will show you what the Purple Line will do to finally finish the trail. 

February 2, 2009

The Georgetown Running Company is co-sponsoring a No Rail on the Trail 10K Race/Walk with Save the Trail Petition on March 7, 2009.

One would think the Georgetown Running Company would use the Race/Walk to showcase the trail that will “benefit” from their event. But the course map shows that the race will go on the CCT from Bethesda to near MacArthur Blvd. and back. The event will be entirely on the finished part of the trail where there is no consideration of having rail on the trail. Race participants will never be on any part of the Interim CCT that the event claims to benefit.

So why would the Georgetown Running Company hold a race that runs away from the Interim CCT instead of showcasing it? One can only guess, but if you follow an Interim CCT course for a 10K Race/Walk, you will encounter several reasons why the Georgetown Running Company might want to run away from the Interim CCT.

Do race organizers not want to deal with the hassle of closing
Connecticut Avenue for the race? And Jones Mill Road too?

Is it because a race on the unpaved Interim CCT
might be in the mud, especially in early spring?

Is it because the off road Interim CCT ends before a
5K turnaround point is reached for a 10K race?

If the race course goes east on the Interim CCT from Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda to the end of the off-road trail at Stewart Avenue, and the turn around is there, then the race will be a 9.75K race. But who runs 9.75K races?

The publicly owned right-of-way goes east a short distance beyond where the off-road trail ends at Stewart Avenue and into the small industrial park before it dead ends. It is possible to have a 10K race/walk entirely in the Georgetown Branch corridor, the 5K turn around will be just a few meters before the public’s right-of-way ends.

The race course would continue in the corridor through
the illegal parking lot and over the mulch pile at its end.

The 5K turn around point would be where the
landscaping trucks encroach on the right-of-way.

If the Georgetown Running Company and Save the Trail Petition were to attempt to hold its “No rail on the Trail” 10K race/walk on the Interim CCT, then the race/walk would showcase the poor trail surface, the at-grade highway crossings, and the abrupt ending at Stewart Avenue far from downtown Silver Spring. The Purple Line project proposes to rebuild the trail as a wide, paved trail with grade separated crossings of the busy roadways, and to complete the trail all of the way beyond Stewart Avenue into downtown Silver Spring. This is far from what the Georgetown Running Company and Save the Trail Petition want the event participants and public to see. So they run away from the Interim CCT instead.

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