About the 2022 JTARF
Join us in this gorgeous mountain town for one of the most beautiful runs in the Northeast! The full marathon is a point-to-point BOSTON QUALIFIER with a steady 1-2% downgrade nearly the entire way!!
Half Marathon (Sat. 5/14):
The 2022 half marathon will be run on the same gorgeous, out-and-back course as 2021. 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. 5/15):
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 7-Miler and the Full Marathon (8am start corral).
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.
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 13th 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 14th 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.
DEFERRALS FROM 2020 AND 2021
Those who deferred to this year from 2020 OR 2021 MUST CLAIM THEIR DEFERRAL BY JANUARY 1st, 2022.
To claim your deferral, follow the instructions on THIS PAGE (click here).
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.
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.
Cell phones will not work on the trail. For the marathon, bikers will be monitoring miles 12-26. Flag them down if you have an issue and need to be picked up. They will alert our ATV team or the closest stationed EMS team.
Marathon Bag Drop For Train Riders
When you exit the train, place a small bag marked with your name in the front row of the train car. It will be taken back to the finish area. 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 FOR BOTH DAYS WILL BE IN THE MUNICIPAL LOT NEXT TO THE JIM THORPE TRAIN STATION (AND FINISH AREA).
To park in the train station lot next to the finish area (the most convenient place to park), runners MUST pre-pay for parking through Carbon County Portal BY CLICKING HERE. Free parking with a free shuttle ride will be available off-site.
On SATURDAY THE LOT WILL OPEN AT 6:30 am for the half marathon. THE LOT WILL NOT OPEN UNTIL 6:30 am. The starting line will open at 7am. Runners will be allowed to start anytime between 7am and 8:00am. 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 7-miler. We ask all runners to board the train by 6:30 am.
PARKING IN WHITE HAVEN FOR SUNDAY MARATHON (7AM START and 8AM non train-riders)
If you plan to drive to the start of the marathon, there is limited parking in the trailhead by the marathon start on the corner of Main Street and Susquehanna Street. There is also ample parking, roughly 1/3 of a mile from the marathon start in the Hickory Run State Park parking lot at 3 Family Camp Rd. in White Haven.
(ROUGH) SUNDAY TIMELINE FOR THE TRAIN TO THE FULL MARATHON and 7-MILER
*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.
*6:30 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 7-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.
7AM vs 8AM MARATHON START
If you register for the 7 AM start of the marathon, YOU WILL NOT TAKE THE TRAIN. You are responsible for getting to the starting line prior to the race. For those who drive and park in White Haven, we will provide a shuttle bus to return you to White Haven to pick up your car after the race.
If you register for the 8AM start, you will receive a ticket for the scenic train ride that leaves Jim Thorpe station for the starting line at 6:30 AM. You may skip the train ride and drive to the marathon start. (See the next FAQ below).
8 AM MARATHON RUNNERS SKIPPING TRAIN RIDE--DRIVING TO FULL MARATHON START
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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): https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2627845921
Map for the half marathon: https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/4027008553