Congratulations and Thank You!
Well, we did it. Sort-of, kind-of. We had our plans but Mother Nature had her way (as she usually does). We expected light snow to start falling around 11, but we didn't think the heavy stuff was gonna come down for quite a while ... long enough for most people to finish the race. We "called" the race at 11:40 and everyone got back to Greenbelt safely.
To the 110 solo runners and 30 teams who ran with us, we thank you for your cooperation and good humor under deteriorating weather conditions. We hope everyone had a memorable experience, and we certainly hope you enjoyed the post-run pizza and Hard Times Café chili 'n' fixins' at the Greenbelt Youth Center.
Our friends at RacePacket have a great photo album of snow falling on the Relay Exchange area (along with some comments from people who weren't there that we should have canceled the race outright). Please have a look and add your comments.
The 55th running of the George Washington's Birthday Marathon and Marathon Relay will be on Sunday, February 14th, 2016. Mark your calendars and plan to join us. Maybe the weather will be better!
Marathon and Relay Update - Thursday Morning
The answer to a question many of you are asking: The race is ON!
The Race Director toured the course this morning. The streets in the Greenbelt residential area and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center are generally well-plowed. The "home stretch" trail from Hillside Road, through the culvert and down to the finish line was also plowed and shoveled! There are some "iffy" spots along the course where runners will have to exercise caution, but these are manageable.
The weather forecast is still looking very cold but otherwise favorable. Friday night/Saturday morning low around 8F, warming to the low 30s on Saturday. Chance of snow Saturday afternoon with accumulations of 1-3 inches. Hopefully, we'll be done before any heavy stuff comes down.
Packet pickup is scheduled for Friday evening, 5-8pm at the Greenbelt Youth Center, and Saturday morning 8:00-9:45 before the race.
More information this evening. Travel safely! Stay warm!
Marathon Planning Update
We are continuing to plan for the Marathon on Saturday, February 21st. It's going to be bitterly cold Saturday morning, but winds are forecast to be only 5-10 knots. We're concerned about course conditions (specifically, ice) on Beaver Dam Road and along the "home stretch," once runners turn off Hillside Road, go through the culvert and travel over an off-road trail to the finish line. We will inspect the course on Thursday morning to determine whether it is safe, and will email everyone with the "go/no-go" verdict.
If we're able to run, it will still be critically important for runners to dress safely. Layered attire; wearing a windproof shell with zipped or velcro'ed closures that can be opened to regulate temperature; covering the head. ears and hands; and carrying chemical hand warmers are suggestions every runner should heed.
We realize and regret that the decision to move the race's back-up date to Saturday is problematic for some runners. (The reason for the change is that so many people plan to participate in the Maryland RRCA Ten Mile Challenge on Sunday that we were not able to identify enough volunteers to be course marshals and water station workers that day.) Thus far, we have adhered to the "no refunds, no deferrals" policy that has been part of the Information for Runners section since we opened registration. However, once we've either conducted the Marathon or been frozen out a second time, we will re-visit that policy and see whether we can make things better for those who can't make it on Saturday. Again, we'll email everyone once we've reached a decision.
Weather Forecast as of Tuesday Evening
The weather throughout the region continues to be challenging. Here is what the forecast looks like as of Tuesday evening, February 17. Another snow event Wednesday, followed by record-low temperatures that will provide little chance for melting.