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"TrailMix" Event to Highlight W&OD Trail's Ties to Civil War

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A community event is expected to raise the profile of the Washington and Dominion Trail in Virginia.
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A community event is expected to raise the profile of the Washington and Dominion Trail in Virginia.

The event is a celebration set to take place on the first Saturday in September -- and will combine the largest cleanup in the trail's history with biking, walking, running, and a festival at the end of the day.

The bike-walk-run event will be called "the Great Skedaddle."

Paul Gilbert with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority says the phrase "great skedaddle" was coined by headline writers during the Civil War. The term referred to Union troops' hasty retreat using what is now a portion of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail after the first battle of Bull Run in 1861, at the start of the Civil War.

"It's become part of our language ever since, and it's kind of neat that we're making it a part of this," Gilbert says, "since this year is the 150th anniversary of the first battle of Manassas."

The Greater Washington Sports Alliance expects at least 5,000 people to participate.

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