Plans underway for a five mile run in Mt. Airy and possibly Chestnut Hill

Residents of East and West Mt. Airy, as well as Chestnut Hill, might be running from house to house for more than just candy next October.

The West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) have been planning the details for a five-mile run to happen next fall. But now they’d like to include East Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill on what they’re calling “the fun run.”

“I think we’re entering a new era of cooperation in that the more we work together the better the northwest community is going to be,” said WMAN run coordinator Martin Schmieg.

Since there’s a large running community in all three neighborhoods, he said, weaving all three of them together was a no-brainer. And not only is there going to be a run, but Schmieg said WMAN plans to encourage block parties and social events after the run.

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And since the run is an unusual length for a race—they’re usually either a five kilometer or ten kilometer run—Schmieg said he anticipates the run being a big hit.

“In the runners world, a 5k [3.1 miles] is too short of a distance and can’t cover a lot of area,” he said. “And if you stretch it out for six miles [10k], it becomes a little problematic for people who want to be walkers in the race.”

Celeste Hardester, community manager for the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA), said she feels including the other two communities in the run will bridge the areas, allowing runners to see a little more than just the familiar.

“It’s a really great concept,” said Hardester. “It’s something that bespeaks the logic of community expanding efforts and sharing things that we’re tying to do together rather than having it all independently.”

Hardester said she’s unsure yet whether Chestnut Hill will be participating in the event, because October is already a busy month for the CHCA.

WMAN also hasn’t received an answer that East Mt. Airy Neighbors is 100 percent in either, Schmieg said.

But as far as sponsors, Schmieg said WMAN already has strong prospects.

He also said the run will likely start on Germantown Avenue and then weave throughout smaller streets.

Full details of the event are expected to be announced by July 4.

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