They’re Probably Pregnant and It’s Partly Your Problem

From the “we can’t make this sh** up” category of blog topics (our very favorite, ‘natch) comes this guidance from the National Park Service about a highly invasive snail species spreading quickly through this weekend’s playground. And while we, as always, take a somewhat humorous tone, we do need you to read this post carefully and comply with all recommendations – your game status, our event status, and the health of the environment depend on it.

In addition, and all snails aside, there are several potentially dangerous road crossings along the course where we’ve been asked to use a high level of caution, so please take heed of the crossing protocols noted below.

First, a bit of background:

They’re nearly always pregnant, like the mythical tribbles of “Star Trek” fame. They pass through gullets of fish unfazed. And they could bring disaster to native bugs, frogs and steelhead restoration efforts in the Santa Monica Mountains.

New Zealand mudsnails have taken over four watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains and are spreading fast, expanding from the first confirmed sample in Medea Creek in Agoura Hills to nearly 30 other stream sites in four years. (from L.A. Times “Hard to Kill Snails Infest Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds”)

The invasive New Zealand Mud Snails have caused the park service environmentalists to reroute the Las Virgenes Road Crossing from the Piuma Street Light to a Volunteer Monitored crossing on the other side of the Malibu Creek bridge.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has stated if the players do not follow markings and monitor instructions they reserve the right to shut down the event WHILE IN PROGRESS.

Specific to Las Virgenes road crossing, shortly after you turn left from PiumaNEW ZEALAND MUD SNAIL Road on to Las Virgenes Road, there is a protected sidewalk on your side of the bridge crossing Malibu Creek. You MUST cross the creek using this sidewalk.  After crossing this bridge a volunteer monitor will be there where three orange cones mark where you will cross the road, according to the general guidelines below.

The CHP has recorded quite a few car v. pedestrian confrontations at this location: cars won, people lost.   So, for your safety, and our stress levels, take EXTRA caution on ALL road crossings!   If the road monitor observes a player not following the guidelines in this communication, they will report your bib number to the HAM team and you will be pulled from the event – this is a serious infraction. 

In general the following instructions are to be followed at ALL Road Crossings as these were approved by ALL law enforcement agencies:

“Regarding the road crossing, we will okay the crossing as long as your volunteers do not interact with vehicular traffic. We do not want your volunteers stopping traffic to allow runners to cross the street.  All rules of the road must be adhered to at all times. Runners shall cross the road only when it is safe to do so, yielding to all traffic. Failure to adhere to the aforementioned will result in appropriate enforcement actions taken against the runners and/or volunteers.  Thank you for your cooperation.”

Got it? Hope so. Go and practice safe running. See you sooooon!

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