Obstacles hinder but don’t stop D.C. runners

October 4, 2013
(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

Even though the federal government isn’t up and running, many folks in the area are. “Closed” signs on the C&O Canal path, Capital Crescent Trail and others that wind through federal property have largely been ignored by exercisers who have found ways around the barricades.

But by Thursday morning, the shutdown had already altered Deborah Smith’s fitness plan. When she showed up at the National Mall at 5 a.m., Smith realized she was alone. Uncomfortable without a police presence, she postponed her workout until after sunrise.

Bob Stephen, 46, of Burke, Va., enjoyed empty streets on his Mall run, but he had other worries.

“What I’ve been concerned about are the Marine Corps Marathon and the Army Ten-Miler,” said Stephen, who has been training for the pair of October events.

Organizers have announced that neither event will be affected by the shutdown, but other races have scrambled to make adjustments. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, slated for Sunday, has been postponed until Nov. 10.

Ragnar Relay co-founder Tanner Bell said he never thought closures could affect his 198-mile event between Cumberland, Md., and D.C. this weekend. But Ragnar must trim three legs from the route.

“A big part of the race is the accomplishment of running all the way,” Bell said. But another big part is being able to roll with the punches.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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