TEAM Maryland Tuesday: Washington County

Located in the western region of Maryland, Washington County boasts gorgeous views of its nature trails, culture trails and takes pride in their rich history dating back to the 1700s.Not only does Washington County take pride in its rich history and culture, but sports and recreation as well. The county has dozens of sporting venues serving athletes participating in soccer, softball, BMX,  baseball and many more. In fact, sports and recreational tourism is one of the primary market segments that Washington County pursues in helping bring visitors to the area. In 2016, Washington County saw 1.2 million visitors to and those visitors spent roughly $36 million on recreation (Source: Tourism Economics).

Washington County is home to the Hagerstown Suns minor league team as well as five national parks, eight state parks and over 30 county parks. These parks can be leveraged for sporting events due to Washington County’s relationships with Federal, State and local government.

Because of these relationships, Washington County will be hosting the 2018-19 USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships. The event is comprised of four days of racing that occurs on three different course styles: the time trial, the road race and the criterium race for riders ages 11 to 23. Other major events hosted in Hagerstown and Washington County include a plethora of softball tournaments throughout the course of the summer, national lacrosse tournaments and other sport event types such as darts, karate, cycling and cross country.

One event not mentioned above that is unique to Hagerstown and Washington County is the JFK 50 Mile Ultramarathon. Originally named the JFK 50 Mile Challenge, the JFK 50 Mile’s first race was held on March 30, 1963, and is still being held today, known as America’s oldest ultramarathon. The intent of this race was part of President John F. Kennedy’s push to bring the country back to physical fitness. After Kennedy’s assassination, the event changed its name to the JFK 50 Mile Memorial, and remains to be the only original JFK 50 Mile Challenge event to be held every year.

“Sports are a big economic engine for Washington County” Dan Spedden, President of Visit Hagerstown and Washington County stated. “Our fields and complexes are near capacity, and we are working to have more developed. We strive to provide the best possible experience for the teams, families, and participants who come here for their events.”

To learn more about Washington County, please visit their website and download their mobile app, available for all iPhone and Android users.

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