||August 11, 2013
are closing down the 2013 Tom's Run. All the t-shirts and medals
have been delivered. The bills have been paid. And I am
making plans for next year. We are always trying to do things
better. Here is a heads-up for things I am considering for next
- I will try again to schedule a Thursday to Saturday race in the
spirit of alternating the start dates between one year and the
next. It all depends on whether we can reserve the finish.
- Some folks noted that a 7 PM dinner is a little late for the early
morning runners. On the other hand, a 6 pm dinner is too early
for people coming from work. I have tried to make another
compromise and will have dinner at 6:30 PM next year. Maybe we
can shorten the program to get people to bed earlier.
- This year, two teams came in after we had all left the finish
line. I did not know they were still running and I feel bad about
it. Safety is my number one concern. Next to that is
getting people fed and hydrated at the finish. Next year, I will
likely impose a mandatory team status check-in at Fletcher's Boathouse
and a race course closure at 1 PM.
- Response to race numbers was positive. I will likely try to get
team numbers for next year. That is, everyone on a team will have
the same number.
- We have a fantastic course for ultra runners. Maybe a little
boring compared to the Western States, but definitely better than
Badwater. (although maybe it's not tough enough for that
bunch) I am going to try to attract some more solo runners.
- We had trouble with shirts this year being unavailable at the
manufacturer. We had to find a replacement at the last minute and
some of those were oddly sized. UA is difficult to work with and,
frankly, I have found their shirts retain smells. I will try
again to find a dependable shirt type for next year. I am open to
ideas for colors. So far, we have used gray, blue, red, green,
purple, and black. Yellow? White? Brown/tan? Orange?
- Lastly, since we are a break-even event, I try to keep costs to a
minimum. I think we do pretty well. A $12 registration fee
that gets you lunch and a medal is a pretty cheap date. I expect
costs to be the same next year.
You are the best! See you next year and, in the meantime, on the
June 17, 2013 - Congratulations
on a successful 2013 Tom's Run. The weather really wasn't too bad and
nobody got hurt. I hope everyone had a great time. Special
congratulations to Reggie O'Hara and his team and Antoinette Landragin
and her team for their courage and inspiration attempting a solo run.
And special, special congratulations to Antoinette for finishing 200
miles. I am compiling results and wrapping up this year's event.
Pictures are very welcomed. Please contact me if you have comments or
suggestions for next year.
What color shirts do you want for next year?
April 16, 2013
Just another 5 days until the first application deadline for teams
ordering shirts or medals - April 21. The next deadline for teams not
ordering shirts or medals is May 5th.
I know of three runners looking for a team to join. Please let me know
if you need runners. Please recall the towpath is closed at Paw Paw
tunnel and the runner and biker must use the path over the mountain to
the right of the tunnel to regain the towpath. Also, the towpath is
finally open again betwen Avis Mill and Big Slackwater. No detour this
year and the transition point has been moved from the dam to the park a
mile further down the road.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have questions about this
year's run. Cheers - Roger
14, 2013 - We
have another potential solo runner! An Air Force doctor from Wright
Patterson Air Force Base. Good luck. Another news bit. The National
Park Services informs me that the Paw Paw Tunnel is closed for a rock
slide on the far end. Runners and bikers must veer to the right of the
tunnel onto the Paw Paw Tunnel trail and cross over the mountain to the
towpath on the other side. I will update the course map. Be careful.
With luck, the rocks will be cleared before June. In other news, I do
not expect shirt prices to rise.
9, 2013 -
We have our first solo runner for this year! She is looking for bicycle
support, particularly along the middle 60 miles. Please contact me if
you know of someone who could help. Our shirts this year are black.
Note, the cost of cotton went up and might affect T-shirt prices. I am
currently negotiating with our vendor to see what we can do. If prices
do go up, I expect it will be limited to about $1 per shirt. I think I
have fixed the links to the applications on the drop-down menu at the
top of the page. Please let me know if you have problems accessing the
7, 2013 -
Well, we have just kicked off the 2013 Tom's Run and we already have
our first glitch. After a lot of discussion last year, we had
planned to hold our event from Thursday, May 30 to Saturday, June 1.
The National Park Service web site opened at 10 AM on January 5
to make reservations for Fort Hunt Park. I logged onto the site
at noon and all of the pavillions were already booked for June 1.
So, I had to immediately make a reservation for Sunday, June 2.
This means that the dates of our event have changed to Friday,
May 31 to Sunday, June 2. We had decided to go back to our
Thursday start instead of Friday. It didn't work out. Sorry
to veryone who had planned for Thursday. The applications have
been updated for 2013. I will work on the course map and post a
notification when it is updated for 2013.
3, 2013 - Welcome
to the 2013 Tom's Run Relay. This is our 15th year! Can you
believe it? We hope to have a great year. I am in the
process of updating our course map and application(s). I wll post
a message here when they are available. One item of note is that the
National Park Service has reported that the towpath detour approaching
Big Slackwater has been removed. That will make the course much
safer than the past few years where we were on the narrow, local roads.
Welcome again to everyone. Please contact me
at firstname.lastname@example.org if you
have questions about this year's event.
More to follow.
Tom's Run is held annually
promote fitness, team building, and community. The event is named
in honor of CWO4 Tom Brooks, USCG, who contracted Amyotrophic Lateral
Sclerosis (ALS) (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) in early 1999.
Tom was an avid fitness promoter. He had a reputation for
persuading couch potatoes to get up and get moving. When Tom was
diagnosed with ALS, his friends decided to show their appreciation for
Tom had given them by organizing this event in his honor. So, Tom's Run
is about people. Tom's Run is about who we are as runners and teammates.
The race starts in
Maryland sometime after midnight on the first day (Saturday). Runners,
accompanied at all times by a bike escort, take turns in a relay run
entirely along the historic C&O
towpath to Georgetown in Washington, DC. From there, the course
continues down the Potomac River waterfront in Washinton, DC, past the
Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, crosses the Potomac River and connects
with the Mount
Vernon Trail to Alexandria, Virginia. The finish is at Fort Hunt Park
near Mt. Vernon. The run proceeds through Saturday and ends when the
teams cross the finish line together as close to 11:00 AM on Sunday as
possible. Finishing at 11:00 AM presents the logistical challenge of
determining the most advantageous time to start after midnight on
Saturday and getting all the team members together for the finish.
Runners are on the course during the entire run, including at
night. Other logistical challenges are keeping everyone fed and
rested, determining the best places along the course to exchange
runners and bikers, and finding those places along the many difficult
rural roads accessing the canal. For a copy of the course
description with directions to the exchange points, click HERE