When they cut the ribbon to dedicate the bridge over Rt. 222, state officials said they would like to see a marathon run on the low grade rail trail when it's completed.
While neither they nor the trail are ready for that long a race, Providence Township officials thought they could test the idea with a pair of shorter runs.
"We decided to have a 5K and a 10K run," said township zoning officer Heidi Martinez. "We thought we should walk before we tried to run."
Officials began planning the race last October.
Early in the planning stages, officials decided to use the income from the race to maintain and improve the township's section of the trail and to help fund Providence's second annual Night Out program.
"The maintenance portion will go to keep up the benches along the trail and to construct kiosks at the trail entrances at Groff's in Quarryville and at Sigman Rd.," Martinez said.
The new kiosks will be similar to the one at the Fairview Rd. trail entrance site.
While this will be the first township-sponsored race, it will not be the trail's first fundraising run.
Last year, Solid Rock Youth Ministries and Morningstar Counseling each held benefit runs on the trail.
Township officials do not know how many runners and walkers to expect.
That's one reason why they have asked participants to register in advance.
To encourage that, the cost is $25 per runner for people who register before April 12. Runners who register after that date, including race day, will pay $30 each.
Registration forms are available on Providence Township's website or at the township building, 200 Mt. Airy Rd., New Providence.
"We hope to get 100 people [between the 5K and the 10K]," Martinez said.
The race is being sponsored by local businesses, some of whom will be at the run.
The race will begin and end at the township's newest access point, the Groff trailhead. The site is at 301 E. State St. (Rt. 372), Quarryville. There is parking for 50 vehicles at the Groff trail access location.
There will be trophies for the top female finisher and the top male finisher.
Medals will be given to the top three male finishers and top three female finishers in the 14 and younger category; the 15 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, and 60 and older age categories.
The run will be timed by Pretzel City Sports.
The run will be held on Saturday, April 27.
The 5K and 10K runs will start at 9:30 a.m.; the fun run for children will begin at 10:45 a.m. The fun run is free for children age 12 and younger.
There will be a trail cleanup day starting at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are asked to call the township office at 717-786-7596 so enough supplies will be available.