This race presents the best of what trail running can offer – a beautiful course, well-stocked aid stations, friendly atmosphere and comeraderie among the 350 or so runners and the many volunteers, and a post-race picnic featuring bar-b-que and vegetarian chili.
     All that was missing was a race shirt and a finishers medal, but that didn’t seem to matter to any of the entrants, each of whom paid only $10 (club members) or $20 (non-members) to participate, payable in cash on race day.  In an age of entry fees toping $100 and even $200, this home-style race is a great bargain.
     Not that the 2012 race, help on March 3d, was without its problems.  Pre-race storms blew through, thankfully ending just as the race was starting, but leaving much of the course a muddy slog.  This was a spossible improvement over past years, though, when parts of the course were iced over.  None of these problems could be blamed on the race director, though.  As my son’s pre-school teacher used to tell her class, “you get what you get and you don’t get uspet.”
     The course itself was another matter.  It was mismeasured – the marathon was estimated to be about 30 miles, while the 50K was about 34 miles.  No wonder most runners ended up opting for the 50K; for just a few miles more, it’s nicer to have another ultra notched on one’s belt.  But you’d be mistaken if you thought that any runners were angry about the mismeasurement; the website clearly states the problem, so everyone is forewarned.
     The race runs point-to-point along the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail, starting out in Damascus, Maryland, end ending up in Seneca, near the Seneca Lock historic site on the C&O Canal National Park.  Along the way there is a creek-crossing, and a loop of a beautiful lake.
     As with many home-town races, many of the race participants seemed to already know each other, and many of them were repeat race veterans.  But everyone seemed friendly and welcoming, even to a newcomer like me.  
     All in all, for any first-timers our there, this race is a great way to discover ultramarathoning!


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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  1. shelly says:

    Thanks for joining us on the trails. It was a wonderful running of the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon & 50k. Each year seems to hold new challenges which keeps me coming back each year. Thanks for the review.

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