trail running
1 day ago

I was aiming for a 20K trail-running PR today. It’s been raining cats and dogs, pigs, and cows, all week. I wish I had taken that into account more.

Aside from the course being very poorly marked with virtually no blazes or markings, which is why I rate it 3 stars, there is no forewarning that the trail is in a flood area. As far as I know there were no prior flood warnings announced. Perhaps there were in Fairfax County and in Northern Virginia, or perhaps I missed the announcements up here in the Baltimore County area.

Howbeit, this literally turned out to be one of the worst days to run a 20K, period. I ran right into above knee-high flooding when I got to the Difficult Run portion of the course. See my recording — I took a photo of this disaster. I was actually going to continue running through the flood which went on for miles, but the flood height would not relent — knee high and below is probably okay but still a risk, but thigh high is not a good idea at all. One simple cannot see all the under water snakes, rats, and other biting creatures trying to survive after being swept away by flood waters. Also, one runs the risk of being swept away by ensuing rapids. It’s just not a good idea.

I had no choice but to take a detour out of the park altogether onto the closest nearby road. I still managed to get in 10 miles; so at least I got in some weekly mileage.

It was only after I finished that I found out that this trail is in a high-risk flood area, and there was a news announcement 3 days ago. Here’s the web link: https://www.nbcwashington.com/weather/stories/Rain-Continues-Flooding-a-Concern-in-Parts-of-the-Area-482769511.html

ADVANCED WARNING: If you plan to run this course and it has been raining, do yourself a favor and find out the conditions of the course before launching out. Maybe I’ll return to complete the course, but I will ensure the area is completely dry first. Ugghh!!!