Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How The Government Shutdown Could Impact Your Racing and Training

Don't worry, this isn't a post about picking sides in any political argument...it's simply an observation worth noting about the impact of the potential Government shutdown, should a budget not get passed this week.

As you may or may not be aware, many of the races that take place all over the US occur on National Park land.  Of course, there are plenty that do not and this is of no concern to those.  But for those keeping track of this issue on a local level, there have been 2 local races that could have been impacted.  The 1st was the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler that was run this past weekend.  However, the continuing resolution that was passed ensured that the race could be held without issue.  The other major Spring race is the GW Parkway Classic.  I've run this race several times and it is one of my favorites.  But it turns out that the GW Parkway, which runs from Mount Vernon (the start of the race) and up along the Potomac River, is owned by the National Park Service.  As a result, this budget crisis is certainly causing a bit of worry for the race.

For those that are signed up to race however, there seems to be some progress.  First, a letter was issued last week indicating that the shutdown may force the postponement of the race, but that an alternative date of May 1 might be scheduled if a shutdown does force the race the be delayed.  Good news though - the latest update now states that there is a potential that the race could be run regardless.

Then there is also Skyline Drive - the training place of many athletes in the area for constant mountainous cycling.  With the weather quickly warming up, it is sure to be full of uber athletes training for big upcoming races.  Should this shutdown continue, it will be interesting to see how Skyline is handled.  Will cyclists be able to bypass the gates or will they close it entirely?  There are also tons of other races throughout the US that no doubt occur on National Park Service land or some other US Government owned property.  As a result, all of these locations are subject to the same potential delays/cancellations until a new budget gets passed.

Hopefully there is no shutdown and nobody has to worry about any of this.  However, I thought it is an interesting angle in all of this, because it is easy to just focus on the main topic without looking downstream to see the cause and effect relationship.  

UPDATE- The latest update on Pacers site is now saying the race will be postponed until May 1 if the shutdown occurs. Hopefully those that are signed up will still be able to race, since there are quite a few other races going on that day.

UPDATE 2- The GW Parkway Classic is on! The budget was passed in time late last night. Crisis averted :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually the latest update from Pacers on April 7th is that the race will be postponed if the gov't does shut down.

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