New route for a spring run

Sligo Creek Parkway Trail is lovely, woodsy and flat.

Sligo Creek Parkway Trail is lovely, woodsy and flat.

On Wednesday, I wrote about the
Alaska route favored by our Pacers Silver Spring fun run group when the weather is roughest. Today, I’m happy to introduce the one we do when the weather is nicest, the 4.5-mile Sligo/Ritchie Loop.

It starts in downtown Silver Spring, then winds through Sligo Creek Park, which happens to be one of my favorite places in the Washington area to run. Sligo Creek Trail offers 10.2 miles of paved trail along Sligo Creek. It’s lovely and flat and woodsy, and feels all the world like a run through the backwoods, though you’re never far from the Beltway.

Our Sligo/Ritchie loop leaves the lovely, flat trail for a steep, quad-eating hill up Ritchie Avenue, then follows Sligo Avenue back to downtown Silver Spring. The hill provides a great workout. And a run along the creekside portion makes even the most beautiful of spring days even better.

Speaking of beautiful spring days, the National Weather Service forecast for the Washington area calls for “abundant sunshine” this weekend, leaving us with no excuse to be inside on the couch. Hope to see many of you at the Silver Spring Earth Day 5K on Sunday, which follows part of Sligo Creek Parkway Trail. Don’t worry — the 5K course skips the quad-eating hill, and heads back to Silver Spring on the trail instead.

In running-culture-meets-pop-culture news, turns out a minor celebrity will be at the race: NBC’s Season Five Biggest Loser contestant Bernie Salazar, who lost 130 pounds on the show. Salazar will be on hand after to talk about his challenges, and his eventual triumph. There’s some motivation: I don’t have to lose 130 pounds. I just have to run three miles. Easy, right?

Remember to visit my DC Running Examiner page. Happy weekend!

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