Oct. 15, 2013: 5:26 PM - WTOP has confirmed with organizers of the Army Ten-Miler that the race will absolutely go on this Sunday, but there are contingency plans in place should the shutdown force the race to avoid federal lands that are closed due to the shutdown. Organizers will post a final, official course Thursday that may include some changes.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps Marathon says it will inform runners by Saturday whether that race will go on. " Without a resolution to the government shutdown this week, the MCM as planned is in jeopardy of being cancelled," race director Rick Nealis says in a statement.
"While still considering and exploring all possible options, the MCM has targeted this Saturday, October 19 as the date to officially notify runners of the status of the event. It is sincerely the hope of everyone associated with the organization that MCM participants can run as planned."
The 10-Miler, which is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, starts and finishes near the Pentagon in Arlington. Originally slated to cross the Memorial Bridge into D.C., the course has been altered so that the race will cover more distance in Arlington, thus avoiding National Park Service territory impacted by the shutdown.
Runners will now double back on Route 110, heading southbound before crossing the 14th Street HOV bridge into D.C., according Lt. Dave Green, of the Arlington County Police Department Special Operations Section, which coordinates road closures for large events.
Shaunteh Kelly, media relations coordinator for the race, could not immediately confirm the route changes when reached by ARLnow.com.
The situation is more dire for the Marine Corps Marathon, which is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 27. The race may be postponed or canceled if Congress doesn’t act to reopen the government by the end of the week, we’re told exclusively.
“I don’t want to put people in panic mode, but if as of Friday evening the government is still closed, it’s probably not going to happen,” Lt. Green said of the race.
Green said police agencies are still “plowing ahead” on the assumption that the government shutdown will be lifted in time.
“As of right now all participating jurisdictions are moving forward as if it is going to take place,” he said.
Tami Faram, spokeswoman for the marathon, said that organizers were still planning for the race to go on. As reported by Runner’s World, Marine Corps Marathon staff is paid with non-appropriated funds, and thus not subject to furloughs.
“From our standpoint… we’re continuing to plan for Sunday, October 27,” said Faram.
“We’re waiting with everyone else,” she said of the shutdown. “We just don’t have a crystal ball.”
Faram would not confirm whether a cancellation or postponement is possible should the government remain shut down. She did note, however, that 60 percent of the race is run on National Park Service property.
According to Green, too much of the 26.2 mile race is on federal property to make changes in the route feasible. That includes the marathon’s iconic finish, at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn.
The marathon has never been canceled in its 37 year history. The race was run last year despite Hurricane Sandy barreling down on the East Coast. The storm hit Washington after the race finished.
Flickr photo (bottom) by Wolfkann