Peninsula, OH - The Boy Scouts of America teach Leave No Trace principles to help minimize the impact people have on wildlands and recreation areas. To help raise awareness and funds to support this effort, the Camp Manatoc Boy Scouts grant access to their 600 acre camp to trail runners and mountain bikers once a year for a weekend of running, riding, and reconnecting with the woods in two race events: the Leave No Trace Trail Half Marathon by Western Reserve Racing, and The Manatoc Experience by 331 Racing.
“The Leave No Trace Trail Half Marathon started in 2010, and it has rapidly grown in popularity,” said Vince Rucci of Western Reserve Racing. “One reason for its rise in popularity is that Camp Manatoc land is private, and the 13.1 mile course is technical and mostly single track trails with good climbs and descents.
George Themelis, an ultrarunner that has participated in the event every year, explained “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have come back every year to repeat it. What makes this race unique is that it takes place in trails at Camp Manatoc, an area which is not accessible to runners. The trails are mostly technical, narrow, with lots of twists, ups and downs, roots, rocks and other obstacles. That’s my kind of trail. Combine a challenging course with a challenging distance (longer than the 10K – 10 mile Dirty Trail races), plus good organization, and you have a winner!”
The Boy Scouts of America’s website explains that in order for people to decide to practice Leave No Trace, “they must feel a personal connection to the land; they need a reason to care.” By providing Western Reserve Racing this exclusive and beautiful venue for a half marathon, the Camp Manatoc Boy Scouts are creating that personal connection.
This year the Leave No Trace Trail Half Marathon is on Saturday, August 31. The race starts at 7:30 at Camp Manatoc at 1075 Truxell Rd., Peninsula, OH 44264. In order to experience this once-a-year opportunity, you must register at Western Reserve Racing’s website at www.westernreserveracing.com/leavenotrace.
Western Reserve Racing is comprised of the Dirty Trail Series, Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run, Crooked River Trail Runners, and several other endurance races held in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) and other surrounding areas.