2021 Marathon FAQs
The 2021 Boston-Qualifying full marathon will take place on Sunday May 23rd, 2021 with a limited field of 200 participants.
At 6:30 am, participants and spectators will take a specially-chartered scenic train ride from the historic train station in Jim Thorpe, PA. Water and restrooms will be available on the train as we travel roughly 25 miles through the gorgeous Lehigh Gorge State park to White Haven, PA.
Participants will de-train and walk a block to the starting area of the full marathon, which will begin at 8:00 am at the corner of Susquehanna and Main Streets (at the trail head of the D&L Trail).
Runners will run north on the D&L for roughly one mile and then turn to run the rest of the marathon all the way back to the train station in Jim Thorpe.
Aside from a short connection on Main Street in White Haven and another short connection on the road in Lehigh Gorge State Park, the run will take place entirely on the D&L and Lehigh Gorge rail trails. The trails are smooth, hard-packed gravel. From White Haven to Jim Thorpe, the trail is nice, easy 1-2% downgrade nearly the whole way, perfect for a PR. The Lehigh Gorge Trail winds its way alongside the Lehigh River through the gorgeous natural splendor of the Poconos.
Aid stations that include water, first-aid equipment, and refueling gels and snacks will be placed roughly every 2 miles along the route. Because the run takes place in a rather remote state park restroom access will be limited.
When/Where is Bib Pickup?
There is no day-of bib pickup. If you cannot pick up your bib during the available bib pickup window, you MUST have your bib mailed.
Bib pickup will take place outside in front of the Jim Thorpe Train Station on Friday May 21st from 12 pm to 7 pm AND on Saturday May 22nd from 10 am to 2 pm.
A friend can pick up your packet as long as they have a picture of your photo ID (a phone picture will work).
Where can I get a course map?
You can access the Full Marathon Course Map HERE (The Elevation on this map is NOT CORRECT. The route is an old railway bed, so it is a flat, barely-noticeable 1% downhill for the majority of the run. It runs through a gorge, so MapMyRun picks up phantom hills when it doesn't follow the trail perfectly).
Is this a Boston Qualifier?
Yes! The course was certified on March 5th, 2020 and will remain a valid Boston Qualifier for 10 years. Our course certification number is PA20001-NP.
Where do I park?
Park @ Jim Thorpe Municipal Lot next to Train Station. “12 Lehigh Ave, Jim Thorpe PA.” Lot opens at 5:30 am. We are working on making parking free for runners. Parking will be $10 for spectators who do not arrive with runners. Check back for updates.
**Parking is VERY limited in Jim Thorpe. We ask that you carpool with any fellow runners or spectators as much as possible.
When does the train leave?
You MUST board the train by 6:30 am. We will not offer transportation or refunds for anyone who misses the train.
Do I have to take the train?
No. You may drive to or get dropped off at the starting line (The D&L Trail White Haven North Trailhead off Susquehanna Street). If you drive, you can park in the in the State lot by the G&A Hardware Store. *You will be responsible for transportation back to your car.
*7-Mile runners MUST take the train as there is no trail access near the start of the 7 miler.
How many water/aid stations will be on-course?
All water stations will be contactless. 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 gels at miles 14, 18, 20, and 22.
What is the single most important thing that I need to know?
We have worked very hard with park officials to get the permits for this race. *If you do not put your water station trash in a trash can, you will be disqualified, will not receive a finishing time, and will not be allowed to register for future festivals. (We apologize for the harsh measures, but this is incredibly important). Trash cans will be located roughly 100 yards past every station.
What measures will the race take to help prevent the spread of Covid-19?
Face coverings are required for the train ride, in the starting area, and after you exit the finishing chute. They are optional on-course.
After exiting the train, runners will be asked to line up at the starting line 6 feet away from anyone not in their Covid-bubble. The chip-timed start will be spaced.
If you are sick, or with someone who is sick, please skip this year’s festival.
What is the running surface?
The course is a smooth hard-packed rail trail. The first two miles are a bit less-maintained than the final 24, but 2020 runners had no problems with regular road running shoes.
Can I purchase additional spectator train tickets?
Spectator tickets are extremely limited due to the situation with Covid-19. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about purchasing additional spectator tickets.
Can spectators get off the train to watch the start of the marathon?
Spectators will NOT be allowed off the train in White Haven to watch the start of the race, but the train WILL stop on a bridge overlooking the trail at mile 2.8 and wait for runners to pass.
Where can spectators watch runners along the course?
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 11.75. 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 at the Jim Thorpe Municipal Parking Lot by the Train Station.
Will there be a 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.