The Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival

The office of PA Governor Wolfe has announced plans to expand the size of outdoor gatherings and sporting events on 4/4/21. We are currently working with the various park and municipal offices to increase our registration limits for both the half and full marathons. We expect to have a concrete decision to announce on or before Friday 3/26. If you are selected from the waiting list you will have 48 hours in which to register, so please be sure to check your email. 

All events for 2021 are currently sold out. We understand this is an incredible bummer for those who still wish to register. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we cannot add additional runners at this time. Runners on the waiting list will be notified if/when a spot becomes available. We do not expect many to get in off the waiting list unless and until the State of PA eases its Covid-19 restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Will that happen? Will you get in off the waiting list? Honestly, at this point, your guess is as good as ours.  

Half Marathon (Sat. 5/22):
The 2021 half marathon will be run on the same gorgeous, out-and-back course as 2020. Participants will start in the parking lot at the Jim Thorpe Train Station and run the FLAT, FAST rail-trail into Lehigh Gorge State Park. The route runs parallel to and even crosses over the Lehigh River and into breathtaking scenery of Lehigh Gorge. 

Full Marathon and 7-Miler With Scenic Train Rides to the Start (Sun. 5/23):
Take in the spectacular views and old-fashioned charm of the Reading and Northern Railway as it transports runners and spectators through Lehigh Gorge State Park to the starting lines of the marathon and 7-Miler. The full marathon is an ABSOLUTE DREAM for runners a spectators alike, a POINT-TO-POINT BOSTON QUALIFIER with a STEADY 1-2% DOWNGRADE nearly the ENTIRE WAY. The 7-miler follows the final 7 miles of the marathon course. 

Train to the Start of the Full Marathon and 7-Miler
Runners and spectators will TAKE THE FAMOUS READING & NORTHERN RAILWAY for 26 miles from Jim Thorpe to White Haven, PA. After dropping the runners at the starting area, the train will stop on a bridge overlooking the trail at mile 3. Spectators will wait to cheer for their friends and loved ones as they run toward them and pass underneath.
7-Mile runners will have the option to start early (when the train first stops on the way to the marathon start) or later (after training to the marathon start and back again). After the last runner passes, the train will then take our 7-Mile runners down the trail to their starting point at Old Penn Haven before returning spectators to the finish area in Jim Thorpe.

Bib Pickup
THERE IS NO DAY-OF PACKET PICKUP! Those who cannot pick up their bibs in person MUST elect to have them mailed before the race. 
All runners can pick up bibs on Friday May 21st from noon to 7pm in front of the Jim Thorpe Train Station. 
Marathon and 7-Mile runners can pick up their bibs on Saturday May 22nd from 10am to 2pm, also in front of the Jim Thorpe Train Station. 
A friend may pick up your bib with a copy of your ID. A picture on a phone will suffice. 

Those who deferred from 2020 MUST CLAIM THEIR DEFERRAL OR CHOOSE TO DEFER TO 2022 BY FEBRUARY 8th, 2021. 
To claim your deferral, follow the instructions on THIS PAGE (click here).
To defer to 2022, please email us at [email protected]

Charity Partners

A portion of your registration fees and 100% of any donations you make will benefit Turn To Us, a vital Jim Thorpe area charitable nonprofit that provides assistance to individuals and their families who have been impacted by major or chronic illnesses. We will also make donations to the Jim Thorpe and White Haven Police Departments, The D&L Canal Association, Hickory Run State Park, and the White Haven Library. 

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 7-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. 

Course Elevation Maps
The up-and-down elevation profiles on the MapMyRun links below are 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 full marathon (and slightly up and then slightly down for the out-and-back half). 

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.

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. 7-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: 7-mile runners will disembark in Old Penn Haven and begin the 7-mile race. 
9:40 AM: The train will take spectators to the finish line at the Jim Thorpe Municipal Parking Lot.

7-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 7-Miler at 7:30. Those who choose to remain on the train will start the 7-miler according to the regular train schedule. The 7-miler is chip-timed, so your time will not start until you cross the starting mat. Awards will  not be finalized until the last 7-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.

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. Gatorade will be available at every other water station starting at mile 4. 

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 7-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 7-miler, spectators can watch runners pass through the Glen Onoko parking area at Lehigh Gorge State Park in Jim Thorpe (mile 5) 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 7-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!

Please see note above on the elevation profiles. The elevation profiles on these maps are inaccurate. 
Map for the full marathon (the last 7 miles are the 7-miler):
Map for the half marathon:



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May 22, 2021 - May 23, 2021
Jim Thorpe


The Full Super Two-Fer (Half & Full)
May 22, 2021 (Saturday) - 08:00
39.3 miles
Solo Charity/Fund raising Road
The Mini Super Two-Fer (Half & 7-miler)
May 22, 2021 (Saturday) - 08:00
21.3 miles
Solo Charity/Fund raising Road
1/2 Marathon
May 22, 2021 (Saturday) - 08:00
13.1 miles
Solo Charity/Fund raising Road
Full Marathon with Scenic Train Ride
May 23, 2021 (Sunday) - 08:00
26.2 miles
Solo Charity/Fund raising Road
7-Miler with Scenic Train Ride
May 23, 2021 (Sunday) - 09:30
8.1 miles
Solo Charity/Fund raising Road
The information about this race is based on information provided by the organisers or found on the official website of the event. Always check the official website for up-to-date information. If you have noticed any mistake, let us know at [email protected]


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