Runners Are Not Happy in Western MD

This is basically a rant. You have been warned...

As a result of the Government Shutdown, my regular running program (as well as many others) has been derailed. 

Why? My route of choice, the C&O Canal, was recently barricaded due to it being a "National Park". Since it is unknown as to when the House will come to an agreement, it will remain closed to the public until further notice.  

Photo Credit: Herald

My secondary route choices are the good ol' open road and the treadmill. I am not entirely opposed to road running, but it would have to be kept to a minimum since I seem to absorb injury when I do too much road running. Also, traffic is a concern. You cannot trust every driver you pass. 

As for the treadmill, I like keeping that option as a last resort. If weather is bad or if it is a short run day, the treadmill works perfectly. But I do not want to be forced to use it regularly. BORING! I am reaching out to others to suggest alternative long run routes and I have received some suggestions, but unfortunately the closest one is about 30 minutes away.

Anyway, back to the subject of National Parks. Not only does this include the C&O Canal, but the Antietam Battlefield. I have a run on October 12th called the Freedom Run and the course takes place in both parks. The race director has informed me that they are not looking to cancel the run, but to redo the course, should the shutdown continue. Although I applaud them for making changes as opposed to cancelling the run completely, I am angry that this has to be considered. 

The original route goes through many historical areas and tells us so much about our Nation's past. 

Bloody Lane, Antietam Battlefield
Photo Credit:

To modify the route and take away the reason this race is popular (featured in the October issue of Runner's World), is irritating. Although it is not set in stone that we will be redirected to another path, I am still bitter that it has to be considered.

So can we get it together, Government? Why should we suffer because you can't come to a decision by a set deadline? If we fail to meet any deadline, whether at work or school, we suffer consequences and right now, we are suffering for your failure. You will continue to get paid while others are unable to go to work and earn the paycheck that helps support their families. That is REALLY putting an American citizen's well-being first, right?

Has the Government Shutdown affected your day to day plans?

Do you run at a National Park? 


  1. I agree with you, you cannot trust drivers period. I have no idea how many times i went running outside this summer (mainly with a bright yellow stroller) and when I would cross the road, I would do at marked crosswalks, and like over 20+ times I have had close calls, and I am watching them too...
    I don't or haven't run at a national park, the one closest to our house has free roaming buffalo, so I wouldn't run there at all ;)

    1. I just read an article about a bicyclist that was killed by a car. The driver tried to pass them on a narrow road that was going uphill. A car was coming in the opposite direction that the passing driver did not see. In an attempt to avoid an accident with the other car, they swerved and hit the cyclist instead. They said if he had waited 15 seconds behind the biker to get up the hill, she would be alive. This situation could have happened to any pedestrian. That is a HUGE reason to favor a trail rather than the road.

      Be safe!!!


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