The Course

In order to purchase equipment for our pole vault club, the Motley Crew Vault Club came up with the idea to host a 5K run. The question was where. We wanted to create a course that hadn't been run yet. Upon discovering Crystal City Underground, we asked if we could run a race through the old PPG sand mine. The answer was yes.

Click here for the 5K course map

The course map is as accurate as we could get it. After all, things look a little different underground. The 5K started about 1000 feet in front of the rock tunnel, crossing an old railroad bridge. From the end of the tunnel, runners traveled a couple hundred feet to the entrance of the mine. Once inside, they ran clockwise past underground lakes, over sand dunes, under an air shaft (Wilfred the Bat's hangout when he's in the area), and probably through a couple ankle-deep puddles and quicksand-like areas. The first lap turned before reaching the finish line and led back to the mine entrance for a second lap. At the end of the second lap, continuing straight took runners to the finish line.

The course for the Mine Mile was similar to the 5K map. It started in the mine along the 5K path. However, instead of turning at the end of their first lap, the milers went straight to the finish line.