Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail ½ Marathon

The start of the DHRT Half-Marathon has a few hundred yards of rails, a restored ancient wooden caboose, a decrepit freight car, and “The Rocket”, a working railway pumper cart. Race volunteers use it as a moving platform for photographing the runners approaching the finish. See this moving illustration. Among the Fredericksburg Area Runners Club members who finished the race this day was Vic Culp, longtime director, in black hat at back.

Dahlgren Rail Trail Half-Marathon

Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon, 2/20/2016
Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon, 2/20/2016
3rd of 7 men over 60, holding coupon later spent on a fancy pair of socks. Photo by my long-run marathon training partner Leslie Kash, who also took an age-group prize. On right, actual rails which only extend 100 yards or so into the race course. Over my right shoulder is the insulation I added to help keep my backpack water supply from freezing. Trail map

Dahlgren Trail Half-Marathon

2013-02-24 08.09.23

Sunday morning at 8am I was in wave 7 for the start of the Dahlgren Trail Half-Marathon. The tracks only continue a couple of hundred yards, and for the rest of the 6½ miles this was very pleasant running indeed. The landscape is entirely rural, mostly through woods, with only two or three places intersected by country lanes. Most of the sleepers (ties) must have been removed, although in some sections of the trail they were simply rotting away by themselves. The grade was not quite as level as I’d expected, although I might have been imagining it to be mostly a gentle uphill climb on the way out and continuing gently uphill on the way back. I ran a 9:18 pace and finished at 2:02:08, taking home my first ever road race prize as I was 2nd out of 4 (!) men over 60. (I was also 24th of 48 men over 40.)

2013-02-24 13.11.26

Here’s the website of the trail preservation group: http://www.friendsdrht.org/DRHT_TrailInfo.htm