Update: Karen Chavez, Asheville Citizen-Times outdoors reporter and Girls Gone Outdoors blogger, reports the following:
I just spoke with Parkway Superintendent Phil Francis this afternoon, who said that contrary to popular belief, there has been no official rule change that says events can no longer start and end on the parkway.
But he said that so many groups are asking for permits to hold their bike rides or runs or motorcycle rides or festivals on the parkway that it is squeezing resources. Phil said there are close to 500 events on the parkway from the Asheville area all the way up to Roanoke in Virginia.
“As more and more people request permission to conduct events on the parkway, and with continuing budget pressures on our operation, we have to ask ourselves, what is our capacity to manager these events?” Phil said.
That does not mean that the parkway is going to start canceling events, he said.
The parkway staff involved in reviewing events and issuing permits, and Norm and his staff probably won’t get to plan out next year until after the holidays, so until then, sit tight everyone, and don’t worry about having to run a Shut-In Marathon next year.
Original post: The word on the trail over the weekend was that the route for the Shut-In Trail Race route will change next year. There were various rumors: that the race, normally 17.8 miles up Mount Pisgah, would be turned into a marathon. Another was that it would be a 20-miler. The reason? Apparently the national park service no longer wants to work with race organizers, so the route, which touches the Blue Ridge Parkway at points, has to be detoured more into the Pisgah National Forest.
More to come.