A course problem involving midtown railroad tracks has caused the cancellation of a half marathon scheduled for the Kaiser Permanente Women’s Fitness Festival, according to run organizers.
The festival scheduled for June 7 was to include two races: a 5-kilometer distance and the half marathon. Now, Kaiser Permanente and Fleet Feet Sports say, only the shorter race will be run.
“Unfortunately, Union Pacific Railroad is unwilling to allow safe passage of our runners across the railroad tracks,” said a posting on the Kaiser festival website. “A half marathon event starting at the state Capitol is constrained by Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the east and light rail tracks to the north, south and west.”
Despite efforts to reconfigure the course for the 13.1-mile half marathon, race organizers were not able to find a suitable route.
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Race organizers were able to come up with a new 5K course that does not involve jogging, running or walking across tracks.
“We have established a new, scenic loop 5K course that travels through downtown Sacramento that does not cross Union Pacific Railroad tracks,” said the festival website posting.
Francisco Castillo, a spokesman for Union Pacific, said the company could not accommodate the organizers’ request to stop train traffic in the area. He noted that UP is a common carrier regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and the state Department of Transportation.
“Stopping or slowing train traffic for this event at the location requested under the circumstances affects interstate commerce, train schedules, and creates traffic problems for the motoring public near the subject crossing,” Castillo said in an email. “The safety of the general public, including motorists, could be jeopardized by standing trains that could potentially block other railroad crossings. Therefore, it is not feasible to stop train traffic for the time and location that was requested.”
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.