Maryland Cross Island Trail a gem of the Eastern Shore
The Cape Region is very fortunate to have trails in its backyard that give runners many miles of training on soft surfaces, without traffic, and nature in the palm of your hand. From Junction and Breakwater to Gordons Pond to Cape Henlopen State Park, we are blessed to have these places to run and walk. In addition to our miles of trails, runners love to travel to new trails on Delmarva. This week I am going to feature the six-mile Maryland Cross Island Trail that spans Kent Island, east to west, in Queen Anne's County, providing multiple points of access to libraries, schools, ball fields and the waterfront. The Cross Island Trail is a rail trail occupying a section of the abandoned Queen Anne's Railroad corridor that traverses the width of Kent Island. It's an impressively signed, well-maintained and charming trail with some truly exceptional views.
According to the website TrailLink.com, the Cross Island Trail begins at Terrapin Nature Park, a parcel of protected land for birds and native plant life. Just past the nature area, to the left of the trail, is an old graveyard with fewer than a dozen cracked and weathered headstones tucked among the trees. If you can spot it, it's worth a peek. From here, the trail winds through neighborhoods, and stands of white pines and hemlocks. At the first mile marker, you come to Old Love Point Park, a recreation area with baseball and soccer fields.
Continuing along, the trail passes through farm fields, and you'll be able to see a lighthouse in the distance that indicates how close you really are to the seashore. At mile 3.8, you will have to do a short back-road jog to reconnect with the trail, but a blue-painted bike lane makes this a simple transition. Back on the path, you'll come to a long wooden bridge that provides the first unhindered view of the water. This lovely expanse is a gem on the Cross Island Trail.
Before reaching the marina in Kent Narrows, you must head uphill to cross over the causeway on the parallel U.S. 50, where there is an extremely wide shoulder. At the marina, you have a choice: head left to Chesapeake Exploration Center or right to continue along the trail. Here, the trail becomes a series of sidewalks and access points to the waterfront and its restaurants and boat slips. At Kent Narrows, the trail facilitates travel to points on the Watermen's Way Heritage Trail, which features scenic and historic points on and around the eastern end of the Cross Island Trail.
Get Pumped for Pets
Highlighting the Cross Island Trail in less than two weeks will be the eighth running of Get Pumped for Pets. The event, a 5K/10K/15K and fun walk, will begin on the east side of the trail and race west on the out-and-back course toward the Bay Bridge. The race will take place Sunday, March 11, beginning at 9 a.m.
Get Pumped for Pets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to saving and improving the lives of animals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region by providing funding and/or supplies to community rescue organizations through grants and and gifts.
This fun, flat and fast early-season race supports a great cause! The Cross Island Trail on Kent Island is a beautiful, fun location for this popular and always growing race. It boasts finisher medals for all, craft beer after the race and what have been described as the coolest-age group winner prizes ever!
Due to insurance regulations, no dogs or strollers are allowed in the race, but dogs are welcome with spectators in the finish area.
All three distances are now USTAF certified, and the 15K is part of the RRCA Maryland State Grand Prix Series. Go to getpumpedforpets.org for race information.
RRCA Coaching Certification comes to Cape
On Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8, the Road Runners Club of America Coaching Certification course will be held at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes to offer certification to coaches, trainers and athletes. The sessions will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the cost for the two-day certification is $325 with 34 spots available. Breakfast, snacks, beverages and lunch will be provided both days.
Day one includes principles of coaching, principles of building a periodized program, understanding exercise physiology for coaching, running form, basic sports nutrition, and how to build training programs. Day two includes the business of coaching, sports psychology, recognizing and preventing injuries, environmental factors that affect running performance, and building training programs as a group activity. You must attend the entire course to become certified.
Participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle for refilling throughout the day as needed. If you have special dietary needs or food allergies, be sure to bring your own food, as we are not in a position to accommodate all dietary restrictions. Participants should also bring a pen or pencil for note taking during the course. No running is involved in the course. No guests or unregistered attendees allowed during the course.
The Seashore Striders will provide a link at www.seashorestriders.com as well as their Facebook page.
April Fools Flashlight Run
The April Fools Moonlight Flashlight Run is set for Saturday, March 3, at 8 p.m. in Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes. Normally, the fools run is near the first of April, but the schedule would not allow it this year, so I chose to go a month earlier, and, hey, it’s a full moon. We will follow a different format this year with fewer challenges, but the largest challenge will be the darkness. All runners are required to have a light on them and hopefully a communication device too. The course will be 3 to 5 miles and will feature plenty of glow-in-the-dark toys. Runners are encouraged to dig out glow-in-the-dark face paint and get ready for some fun. Go to seashorestriders.com for event information.