Happy Trails

April 12, 2013 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been promoting an idea on Twitter but it hasn’t caught much traction. I would like to run it by you to see what you think.

The Lincoln Marathon and Half-Marathon is coming up in a few weeks. The route uses a portion of the Boosalis Trail from 48th to 21st Streets parallel to Highway 2. Now, the Boosalis Trail is actually a bit of a bottleneck. In fact, its narrowness is one of the main reasons why Marathon organizers have limited total sign-ups to 10,000 participants. That’s about to change, pending a few more signatures. If all goes well, the trail will be widened this summer. That would, theoretically at least, allow the Lincoln Marathon and Half-Marathon to expand to 15,000 participants.

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(Photo credit: Great Plains Trails Network)

Here’s my idea. Since the path is about to be torn out anyway, why not dress it up a bit for the runners and walkers? The most obvious opportunity is for Life is Right branding—the arrows and branding colors—to be painted onto the trail. In addition to that, remember those goofy street signs that have popped up on various holidays? Similar, running-related messages could be painted on the trail.

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There are a few of other possibilities. One is sponsorship messages. It’s possible that local ordinances prohibit painting a big Pepsi logo on the trail, but if not, it’d be a nice way to recognize the run’s sponsors. Another idea is to recognize all of the National Guard runners who participate in the Lincoln Marathon. Or more broadly, welcome runners from each state. You could draw each state and write the number of runners who came from there.

My final idea is a series of Burma-Shave-style quips painted along the trail. Perhaps something like:

One step, two steps
Three steps, four
Half-marathoners have
Just six miles more!

There’s my idea. I received a tiny bit of support from Lincoln Track Club’s Twitter account, but the City of Lincoln and Parks & Rec have been silent on the matter. What do you think about it?

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The Comments

Fletch April 12, 2013 at 2:15pm

That trail will normally have a bunch of messages written on it with sidewalk chalk. Last year it all vanished with the torrential rains that whipped thru at 4:30 in the morning.

Nikkidemas April 12, 2013 at 2:27pm

I love this idea.  If you get permission, I’d love to help paint!

We’ll be cheering runners from our driveway at mile 18/21 - and we usually do put out some Burma-Shave-style signage smile

Mr. Wilson April 12, 2013 at 3:00pm

I’ve always loved the chalkings. In fact, they helped inspire some of my thinking on this. The “official” decorations I’m talking about here would probably be painted on, to help ensure they survive 19,990 feet and a few wheelchair tires. And rain. And snow. And whatever else Mother Nature has in mind.

Fletch April 12, 2013 at 3:30pm

I think it’s a fun idea. Now that the trails have the fancy new signage, I think that portion of the trail should have signage (permanent) that also says “Home of the Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon” or something to denote that.

Mr. Wilson April 12, 2013 at 3:48pm

I dig that idea!

Derek April 17, 2013 at 3:53pm

IIRC, painting fun little things on the trails was part of the initial “Life is Right” presentation. Wonder if that’s going anywhere.

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