Mt. Airy to host five-mile run in October

While millions of people will be guzzling beer and consuming sausages in Munich for Oktoberfest, Mt. Airy’s residents will be having Blocktoberfest—a 5-mile walk and run accompanied by block parties dotted across the neighborhood.

The West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) organized the October 6 event—which tentatively will be called the WMAN 5-Miler—in response to suggestions that the neighborhood host more social events coupled with the need for fundraising.

As WMAN Vice President Dan Rhoton put it, the event is “to generate additional interest and more neighbor crossover, as well as providing a fundraising opportunity for the event.”

The neighborhood association is seeing an improvement in its financial outlook by making some cutbacks. The deficit went from $94,000 to $64,000 in the last year.

Miles not Kilometers

Chief financial officer Martin Schmieg said he thought a 5-mile run instead of a typical 3.1-mile, or 5k, would be a nice change for the running community.

“Serious runners like the longer distance and typically you get more [runners in this kind of race],” he said. “[And] you get to see more of Mt. Airy.”

But Schmieg and said he and WMAN’s board of directors envision walkers and mothers pushing strollers participating too. That’s why they’ve added a 2-mile option for those who want to walk.

The tentative route will start on Allens Lane and circle around a few West Mt. Airy landmarks—like Carpenter Woods and Weavers Way—and then end again on Allens Lane.

Schmieg said the route has not yet been approved by the city.

Race fees, he said, will likely be $40. Early entrance will be $35 and will be sold until September 15.

Multiple block parties under consideration

Although the event is months away, those planning to close off their block are already hashing out the details from balloons to music to possibilities like kid fashion show parades.

Rhoton said the block parties will be meant for those living inside and outside the blocks, but more blocks are welcome to apply for permitting.

WMAN quality of life committee chair Dan Rhoton said there are nine neighborhoods that have expressed interest for the block parties. He added that he’ll help any block interested apply for permitting with the city.

The following blocks, he said, have expressed interest: 6800 McCallum, 600 West Sedgwick Street, 500 Burnham Road, 450 Westview Street, 550 Wellesley Road, 650 Upsal Street, 6950 Sherman Street, 7200 Lincoln Drive and 1050 West Upsal Street.

The next meeting to plan further details won’t be until September.

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