Runners and hikers who frequent the , located off Hallmark Drive in Belmont, will have to find an alternative route over the next few weeks while contractors perform some general maintenance to the 5K+ course.
During the estimated two-week project, the entire area will be closed to the public and the gates will be locked. Work is scheduled to begin Aug. 13 and be completed Aug. 24.
According to San Carlos resident Bob Rush, the cross country meet manager and course director, the work will entail smoothing out the trails with a grader, cleaning out culverts, cutting back intrusive brush and poison oak, and cutting some drain openings in the berm to allow water to disburse off the course to reduce erosion.
The , which holds the permit for the course, has hired the construction company Robert A. Bothman, Inc. to do the work. Bothman is also the company doing all the improvements on the CSM campus. The property is owned by the San Francisco Water Department.
Rush points out that all of the the course features and distances will stay the same, thus ensuring that race records are intact. No additional trails will be added.
"I'll be out there everyday to be sure the contractor leaves the course as is," Rush said.
The work is being done prior to the 2012-13 cross country season, which begins in September. The course is used by middle and high schools as well as colleges and running clubs. When meets or practices are not taking place on the course, it is open to the public.
"We have a full permit from SFWD, an environmental impact report, and a permit from the to bring in trucks," said Rush. "CSM is spending a lot of money on the course, and it's going to be in the best shape it's ever been in."
The course has been home to many of the nation's top distance runners including former high school national cross country champion Matt Guisto of San Mateo High.
Carlmont High, which has won more Central Coast Section titles than any school in San Mateo County, dominates the record board posted on the side of the shed which acts as home base to the course.
Rush, who coached track and cross country at CSM, was one of the founding fathers of the course, which has developed into one of the top places to run in the country.
For a map of alternative running/hiking trails in Belmont, click here.
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