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Inauguration of trail race at Caledon State Park dovetails with opening of trails there
By Rob Hedelt
COYOTES HAVE been on my mind recently, for two reasons.
First up, there's a unique 10K trail run at Caledon State Park coming soon called "The Howlin' Coyote," which coincides perfectly with the recent opening of many more tails and roads at the sylvan setting on the Potomac River.
And I'm fairly sure, though not certain, that I saw a coyote run past the corner of my yard right here in suburban Fredericksburg.
To find out more on the "Howlin' Coyote," a 6.2-mile run along an interior fire road and on forest trails at the state park in King George County,
But there's another reason this longtime Friends of Caledon official was a natural to help plan the trail race: The park is his backyard.
That's because Justyn is married to Nina Cox, the park manager, and the couple live in a house in the park.
For 20 years, Justyn, an avid runner, has been using the roads, trails and other pathways in the 2,579-acre park to get in shape for marathons, half-marathons and other races.
"I didn't have a hard time coming up with a course that was the right length," he said when we talked at Caledon one afternoon last week. "I just put two runs together to make the right length."
For me, it's the perfect sort of event for Caledon, given that the resurgence of the eagle population at the state facility led officials to recently open up more of the roads and trails to visitors. In years past, some had been off-limits to hikers, cyclists and others, especially at times of the year when eagles were nesting.
"That made it the perfect time to schedule a trail run here," said Cox, who noted that his running background and that of current Friends of Caledon president Lori Schlemmer made the run a perfect fundraiser for the group.
The course Cox calls "interesting" combines interior park fire roads with a forest trail that has hillsides and more than a few twists and turns.
WHAT: 10K trail run at Caledon State Park in King George WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 29, at 9:30 a.m. DETAILS: The 6.2-mile run begins near the park's picnic shelter and loops along fire roads and forest trails. COST/REGISTRATION: $25 with pre-registration online (racetimingunlimited .org) or by picking up race forms at Caledon PACKET PICKUP: And late registration at Caledon Visitor Center from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, and at the park's picnic shelter from 8-9:15 a.m. on the day of the race MORE INFO: Call the park at 540/663-3861.