Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Trail Note: Buzz Kill

I went for a short run this afternoon in a great mood. The sun was shining (!) for the first time in recent memory, my "pain in the butt" wasn't too painful (after a bad 10 miler on Sunday), and I headed out to the Arboretum for a 4 mile lakeside trail run. It started out great: a sighting of Mt. Rainier, amazing views of the Cascades, ducks, with sailors and kayakers enjoying the spring-like afternoon. I headed along the trail, crossing bridges and boardwalks and then I was confronted with two walkers. "No running on this trail," they said, completely blocking the trail. "There are signs banning jogging at both entry points to the trail."

"Okay; I'll take a look when I get to the end of the trail," I replied, planning on passing them and doing just that thing.

"No," they said, taking even more room on the trail (if that's even possible), "you can check the other end" (indicating the way I came) "as you walk out."

I was furious and ready to rebutt, but suspected that they were right (they sure sounded certain). "Running causes too much impact; we've had to replace the trail once already," (said mournfully).

I turned and walked toward the exit (entrance) of the park in front of them. "So no running, no bikes, no dogs," I clarified (fuming).

"That's right; dog's sometimes go after things."

I assented, feeling like going after something myself at that moment. And then another runner came towards us, enjoying the afternoon run.

"Stop. There's no running on this trail," my new trail-protecting friends called out as they proceeded to block the trail again.

I took the opportunity and ran off toward the exit. I thought I heard a shout, but assumed that it was directed to the runner who didn't stop to chat (as I had). I called out a warning to a runner that I passed on the way out to freedom and a fast completion to my run.


Blogger brigita said...

So was there actually a sign at the start of the trail? And these people, did they look official at all? That is sooo lame.

I'm all for preserving the environment, but banning runners? What's next, the obese? Kids wearing cleats after soccer practice? Sounds like someone needs to learn how to build a more sturdy trail.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

No kidding. There was acually a sign (someone running with an line through them), although no text associated with it. And those people weren't the least bit official, other than officially annoying. My takeaway was that if they really wanted to save the trail they'd stop walking on it at all, but guess we must have a balance...

1:06 PM  

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