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The Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival 2020

Starts Saturday September 26th, 2020

Jim Thorpe, PA

Official Website


9/20 UPDATE!
Bibs Have Been Mailed
For those of you who ordered bib shipping, your bib went in the mail on Thursday and Friday. Despite reports to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with USPS mail delivery. If you have not received your bibs yet, you should receive them by Wednesday at the latest.

Course Fuel

For the half marathon, we will have water and various goodies on course. 
For the full marathon, we will have stations at miles 2, 4, 6.5, 9, 11.75, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24. Every station will have a first aid kit for basic needs and water. Gatorade will be at every other station starting at mile 4. We will have pretzels, chips, and bananas at miles 6.5, 11.75, 16, 18,  20, 22, and 24. We will have Gu gels at miles 14, 18, 20, and 22. 

For 8-Mile Runners: Same as the last 3 stations for the marathon BUT PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THE GU. 

Marathon Bag Drop
We are going to have a box for bags in each train car. When you exit the train, you will be able to place your bag in that box. It will be taken back to the finish area. We ask that you keep your bag as small as possible.
We ask that you shed any clothing when you run past the starting line again at mile 2. Those items will be collected and brought back to the finish area as well. 
These drops are a courtesy for our runners and we cannot guarantee the safety of any items. We strongly advise against leaving anything of value in your bag. 

Marathon Elevation Map
The up-and-down elevation profile on the MapMyRun link is misleading. The trail is an old railroad bed, so it absolutely does not go up and down like that. It runs through a gorge and the MapMyRun lines don’t follow the trail perfectly, so it makes it look like the elevation goes up and down. It does not and is a smooth, slight, barely noticeable downhill the majority of the race. 


8-Mile participants will be given the option to get off the train on the way to White Haven, PA, BEFORE the start of the marathon. Those who choose to do this will wait for a short spell at the 8-mile starting site while our timer sets up the starting line. They will begin the 8-miler at 7:30. We understand that, given the situation with Covid-19, some 8-mile runners do not want to take the full train ride.
8-Mile runners who wish to take the full train ride are still welcome to do so. The 8-miler is chip-timed, so your time will not start until you cross the starting mat. This also means that all awards placing will not be finalized until all runners cross the finish mat. 

Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival 

The event is STILL ON and we fully plan to hold it. We have been working very closely with borough, county, and park officials and have made a few important changes in order to maximize social distancing. Please read through them.

Runners will park at the lot right next to the Jim Thorpe Train Station and run an out-and-back course on the Lehigh Gorge Trail. It is FLAT and FAST, a hard-packed dirt and gravel trail that will run you through the foliage right next to the rippling Lehigh River. It is the same trail on which we are running the ends of Sunday’s marathon and 8-miler. Our original half course had runners taking a shuttle to the starting line and a shuttle back to the parking lot after the run. The new route allows runners to park directly at the start/finish area and avoid the shuttle. **The new course map will be posted on the Run Signup site and at www.runjimthorpe.com by Saturday 9/5.

Parking will be free for runners. Spectators who drive their own cars will be asked to pay the $10 parking lot fee at one of the kiosks. 
On SATURDAY THE LOT WILL OPEN AT 6:30 am for the half marathon. THE LOT WILL NOT OPEN UNTIL 6:30 am. To maximize social distancing, the starting line will open at 7am. Runners will be allowed to start anytime between 7am and 8:30am. The race is chip timed, so your time will not start until you cross the starting mat. 
On SUNDAY THE LOT WILL OPEN AT 5:30 am for the full marathon and 8-miler. We ask all runners to board the train by 6:30 am.

All runners can pick up bibs on Friday September 25th from noon to 7pm. 
Marathon and 8-Mile runners can pick up their bibs on Saturday September 26th from 10am to 2pm. 
A friend may pick up your bib with a copy of your ID. A picture on a phone will suffice. 

For those who opted to receive their bibs via mail, bibs will go out in the mail by mid-September, in plenty of time to arrive at your shipping address, but not early enough to get lost amongst the shuffle. PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR BIBS. We will have limited replacement bibs on hand and original bibs will be voided. Anyone who starts with a voided bib will be immediately removed from the course. (We apologize for the harsh tone here, but we have a long waiting list and we cannot mess around with Covid restrictions).

The window for deferrals and refunds is NOW CLOSED. Due to the uncertainty of Covid-19, we left that window open for as long as we could. Now, custom bibs and shirts have been ordered. IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO RUN, YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS:
   1.  Officially transfer your bib to someone you know. Do this through the Run Signup system. Login to your Run Signup Account, go to your profile page and click “manage registration” under the Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival. The recipient of the bib transfer will be asked to pay a $25 transfer fee. The transfer window will close at 11:59pm on 9/12.
   2.  If you do not transfer your bib but still plan on not running, please let us know that you will not be attending. We have a lengthy waiting list. We will remove your registration and allow someone else to signup in your place.

*5:30 AM: The JT Municipal Parking Lot next to train station opens. Porta-potties will be available in the parking lot. We ask that all runners and spectators board the train by 6:30.
*6:45 AM: The train leaves the Jim Thorpe Train Station and travels to White Haven. 
*7:10 AM: The train makes a 5-minute stop in Old Penn Haven. 8-Miler participants will be given the option to get off the train at this point and start their run after our timer sets up the starting area.
*7:45 AM: The train arrives at the White Haven Library. Runners ONLY will disembark and walk a block to the starting line. Spectators will be asked to remain on the train. Portable toilets will be available in the library parking lot. 
*7:55 AM: The train will depart for the overlook point at mile 2.8.
*7:55 to 8:05 AM: Marathon runners will be asked to start in spaced waves. The fastest runners will be asked to start first. The race is chip-timed, so your time will not start until you cross the starting mat. 
*8:45 AM (or as soon as the last runner has passed the 2.8 mile mark): The train will depart the overlook point and head for the 8-mile starting point in Old Penn Haven.
*9:25-9:35 AM: 8-mile runners will disembark in Old Penn Haven and begin the 8-mile race. 
*9:40 AM: The train will take spectators to the finish line at the Jim Thorpe Municipal Parking Lot.

The Reading and Northern Railroad will add extra train cars to help ensure social distancing. You can sit with anyone from your household or your social-distancing “bubble.” We will leave every other row empty and the widows can be opened. ALL TRAIN RIDERS WILL BE EXPECTED TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS WHILE ON THE TRAIN. Bottled water will be available on the train and each car will have a toilet.

*We reserve the right to remove anyone who is not practicing proper social distancing from the event.*

8-mile runners CANNOT skip the train ride. However, they will be given the option to get off the train at their starting area at Old Penn Haven on the way up to White Haven (around 7:10 am). Those who choose to do this will be allowed to start the 8-Miler at 7:30. Those who choose to remain on the train will start the 8-miler according to the regular train schedule. The 8-miler is chip-timed, so your time will not start until you cross the starting mat. Awards will  not be finalized until the last 8-mile runner crosses the finish line. 
Full Marathon runners who decide to skip the train ride can:
1. Be dropped at the starting line (The D&L Trail White Haven North Trailhead off Susquehanna Street).
2. *Park near the starting line in state parking lot at the end of Main Street in White Haven by the G&A Hardware store.
*You will be responsible for arranging transportation back to your car from the finish area in Jim Thorpe, PA.
If you are registered for the full marathon and plan to skip the train ride, please email us at [email protected] Every ticket we do not have to purchase from the railroad allows us to donate more to our charitable partners. 

Our hydration stations will be CONTACTLESS. Small bottles of water will be left on tables for you to grab as you pass. Trash cans will be located some way down the trail. PLEASE DISPOSE OF YOUR WATER BOTTLES IN TRASH CANS. You can always carry the bottle to the next water stop. 
We are currently waiting for health officials to make a determination on sports-drinks (i.e. Gatorade) which does not come in small bottles. We cannot pour from a community water jug, so we are exploring other options. There is a chance that we will not be able to provide sports-drinks and runners are encouraged to bring their own. We will let you know ASAP. 
We will also make a determination this week regarding the type of fuel that will be available on-course. Look for an e-mail and an update regarding the fuel and sports-drink situation. 

The Lehigh Gorge Trail is a remote trail through the beautiful wilderness. Restrooms will be limited. For the half marathon, they will be located at the start/finish and at miles 2 and 11.

For the marathon, they will be located at the start/finish areas and (roughly) miles 4, 12, and 24.
For the 8-miler, they will be located at the finish area and mile 6.

For the half marathon, spectators can safely watch runners pass through the Glen Onoko parking area at Lehigh Gorge State Park in Jim Thorpe (miles 2 and 11) and at the start/finish area. 

For the full marathon, spectators who do not take the train can drive to the Rockport Road trailhead in Lehigh Township and watch runners pass at roughly mile 12. They can also watch runners pass through the Glen Onoko parking area at Lehigh Gorge State Park in Jim Thorpe (mile 24) and at the start/finish area.

For the 8-miler, spectators can watch runners pass through the Glen Onoko parking area at Lehigh Gorge State Park in Jim Thorpe (mile 6) and at the start/finish area.  

*We have severely capped the number of runners on each day to remain in compliance with PA "green phase" guidelines.

*All participants will be expected to wear face coverings in the starting area and to maintain a 6-foot distance from all runners not in their household or social-distancing “bubble”. It is up to you whether you wear one along the course. 

*RESULTS will be posted IMMEDIATELY online and will be available on your phone (no results kiosk available at the finish line). 

*We will NOT have an awards ceremony. Age group awards certificates will be e-mailed following the race. Overall and Masters’ division awards will be shipped to winners. (There will be no master’s division for the 8-miler). PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR SHIPPING ADDRESS IS CURRENT.

Half Marathon: 4 hours
Marathon: 7 hours
**A few slower runners have asked if they can start the marathon early. You are welcome to start anytime after the trail opens at sunrise (6:56 am). However, if you do so, you must understand that the starting mat and the hydration/fuel stations will NOT open until 7:50 am. You will also NOT be eligible for any awards. To have your time listed on our results page, you must inform the timer at the end of the marathon of your starting time. 

The Full Marathon will take you down the D&L and Lehigh Gorge rail trails. These wide, smooth trails are hard-packed earth and gravel and, because they are former railroad lines, maintain a steady downgrade of 1-2% nearly the entire length of the marathon. One of our RUNegades’ ultra runners ran the course and says trail shoes are not necessary, but runners may want to wear gaiters to prevent small pebbles from entering their shoes.  

Half Marathon and 8-Miler will take you through the last portion of the Full Marathon course, on the wide, smooth, hard-packed Lehigh Gorge Trail.

Want to be a part of the fun but don't want to run? Contact Mike and Tristan at [email protected] to sign on as a volunteer! All volunteers will get a unique race T-shirt and other race perks and goodies!


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Race Distances

Price Register
1/2 Marathon Click to Find Out Register »
Full Marathon with Scenic Train Ride Click to Find Out Register »
8-Miler with Scenic Train Ride Click to Find Out Register »
The Mini Super Two-Fer (Half & 8-miler) Click to Find Out Register »
The Full Super Two-Fer (Half & Full) Click to Find Out Register »

Places to Stay

Get Directions

Start Location

24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA

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