It is impossible to deny the good intentions of many trail runners to repair the North Shore Trails at Clinton State Park which were badly damaged during a trail race.
That said, those good intentions have not managed to translate into action as the trails’ biggest enemy – rain – continues to strike the region and has forced the cancellation of each scheduled trail work day.
More than 60 members of the broader trail-using community – a majority of them runners – have attended three trail maintenance courses organized by the Kansas Trails Council during the past two weekends. In addition, three official trail repair days have been organized – the first by the Lawrence Trail Hawks and the other two by Kansas City-based runners Danny Loental and Travis Kierre – to begin putting in the manual labor, estimated at more than 1,200 volunteer hours, that it will take to repair the approximately 20 miles of damaged trails. The training courses took place as scheduled, but the repair work has been rained out.
Rain was the culprit behind the trail damage in the first place.
A thunderstorm struck during the Kansas City Trail Nerds’ Free State Trail Runs – a 100K, 40-mile, marathon and half marathon event on the North Shore Trails. The event continued on the trails, and they were steadily chewed up by feet during the remainder of the 17-hour event.
That was April 18.
This weekend will mark the fourth weekend since Free State, and the third where it has rained. So far, only a few hundred yards of trail have been repaired. Two work days last weekend were washed out by rain, and another scheduled for Sunday, May 17, also has been canceled after multiple days of rain this week and a 90-percent chance of precipitation in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
Currently, there are no scheduled trail repair days on the calendar. This blog will be updated with new work days at Clinton State Park as they are announced.
LAKE PERRY RESCHEDULED WITH ALTERNATE COURSE OPTION
The Trail Nerds’ Rock On Lake Perry 50K, half marathon and 5K that was postponed May 9 is rescheduled for this Saturday, May 16. Rain has fallen throughout the week and is in the forecast again this weekend, however an alternate course was identified this week which will allow the event to take place rain or shine. The alternate course incorporates a small loop that will include some trail, as well as gravel road and broken pavement. Runners in the 50K will make four loops of the alternate course, rather than two loops as would be the case on the original race course.