By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
With the threat of inclement weather Saturday morning, a cleanup of the Kewash Trail scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday will be rescheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.
According to the National Weather Service website, Washington County is part of a hazardous weather advisory. There is a low risk of severe thunderstorms late this afternoon and tonight. The main threat is large hail. Damaging winds also will be possible over far southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri and west central Illinois. Total rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible through Saturday afternoon, near to north of Interstate 80. Rising water in low-lying areas is possible, and well as rises oncreeks, streams, and tributary rivers through early next week. Strong northeasterly gradient winds gusting up to 40 mph will occur across much of the Outlook area from late tonight into Saturday. There will be a chance for lingering thunderstorms across portions of the outlook area on Saturday. These storms may be capable of at least small hail, as well as cloud-to-ground lightning.
?I have been watching the forecast all week,? organizer Teri Hartzler said. ?All week it has been saying rain at 9 a.m. or rain from 9 to 11 a.m. In the afternoon it is supposed to be cloudy but no rain.?
Hartzler said that she has received word from many people that they plan to be part of the cleanup effort. She predicts a good crowd at the event. During the cleanup, four crews will be formed, one beginning in Washington and the other starting in West Chester, where the half marathon will hit the point where runners will turn around. The teams will meet in the middle.
The other two groups will begin in the middle and go separate directions.
With hundreds of people coming to Washington from all over the nation on April 21 to participate in the Kewash Half Marathon, community members want to make sure the Kewash Trail is presentable.
For the fifth year, runners from throughout the country will start from the Washington square to complete a 13.1-mile course that will take them almost to West Chester and back.
The Kewash Half Marathon is slated to begin in front of the YMCA on the Square at 8 a.m. Organizer Michelle Driscoll reported as of Saturday almost 250 runners from seven different states have signed up to be part of the event. She said that many of the people coming from out of state have competed in previous years and are returning to run the half marathon again. Participants can sign up to run a 5k, a 10K or the complete half marathon. Runners loop through the downtown area and through Sunset park before hitting the Kewash Trail. There will be water stops and signs. To sign up, people can go to the Facebook page listed as Washington Trail Half Marathon or the group?s website at http://getmeregistered.com/Kewash Trail Half Marathon. Forms are also available at the Washington Community YMCA. Registration also will be accepted the day of the event. Accumulating snow is possible Saturday night into Sunday.