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The Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival 2020

When: May 22, 2021
Where: Jim Thorpe, PA
Race type(s): 26.2M, 13.1M, 8M

See our Covid-19 UPDATE HERE

Half Marathon (Sat. 9/26):
Run the course that has been called one of the most enjoyable and interesting in the Northeast!

All-New SCENIC RAILWAY Full Marathon and 8-Miler (Sun. 9/27):
Take in the spectacular views and old-fashioned charm of the Reading Blue Mt. & Northern Scenic Railway as it transports runners and spectators to the starting line!
The ALL-NEW 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.

Half Marathon
The 2020 half marathon course will take you from the beautiful view atop Flagstaff Mountain to the shores of Mauch Chunk Lake. With breathtaking views, serene woodland paths, a healthy dose of history, and an overall elevation drop of nearly 700 feet, this beginner-level trail run had 2019 runners raving that it was one of the best they'd ever experienced!
* The half starts at 8 am; we ask that you park by 7 am to catch the shuttle to the mountain-top start

Full Marathon and 8-Miler
Runners and spectators will TAKE THE FAMOUS READING & BLUE MT. NORTHERN SCENIC RAILWAY for 26 miles from Jim Thorpe to White Haven, PA. After watching the start, spectators will re-board the train, stop on a bridge overlooking the trail at mile 3, and wait to cheer for their friends and loved ones as they run toward them and pass underneath.

After the last runner passes, the train will then take our 8-Mile runners down the trail to their starting point at Old Penn Haven before returning spectators to the finish area in Jim Thorpe. While they wait for their runner to finish, spectators can enjoy the FOOD, FUN, MUSIC, and VENDORS of the Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration taking place adjacent to the train station!
*Runners must arrive at the train station by 6:30 am.

Running Surfaces
The Half Marathon will take you from a paved downhill to the hard-packed dirt/gravel Switchback Railroad Trail to the short grass of the Apple Orchard Trail and back to the Switchback. The course is approximately 4 miles of road, 3 miles of short grass, and 6 miles of beginner-level trail (mostly packed dirt and gravel, some rocky patches).

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 .

The 8-Miler will take you down the last 8 miles of the Full Marathon course, on the wide, smooth, hard-packed Lehigh Gorge Trail.

Unique Race T-shirt
Everyone who registers before 4/15/20 will be guaranteed a unique full-tech race T-shirt. Runners who register for the Mini Super Two-Fer (the half and the 8-miler) or the Full Super Two-Fer (the half and the full) will receive two shirts–one for Day 1 and one for Day 2.

Bib Pickup
*PLEASE NOTE that there is no day-of packet pickup for any event.
All runners can pick up their bibs on Friday May 15th at the Inn of Jim Thorpe from 12pm to 8pm.
Full Marathon and 8-mile runners can pick up their bibs on Saturday May 16th from 10am to 2pm.
If you're running the half and can't make it to the Friday expo, (or if you're running the full or 8-miler and can't make it Saturday) we will mail your packet (including your T-shirt and train ticket) for $12.

Bathrooms and Water Stations
Full Marathon: Each train car will have a restroom and we will have porta-potties at the starting area. Because the full marathon trail runs through a remote state park, RESTROOM ACCESS WILL BE LIMITED. There will be restroom access at miles 2.5, 4, 11, and 25. However, there are many bushes and trees alongside the trail. Water and aid stations will be placed roughly every 2 miles.

8-Miler: Because the 8-miler trail runs through a remote state park, RESTROOM ACCESS WILL BE LIMITED. Each train car will have a restroom. The first restrooms on-course will be at mile 6.5. Water and aid stations will be placed roughly every 2 miles.

Half Marathon: Runners will have access to porta-potties and restrooms often throughout the course. Water and aid stations will be placed at 2 mile intervals.

Half Marathon Parking and Transportation
to the Starting Line
Mauch Chunk Lake Park will serve as the main race parking lot for the half marathon. Free shuttles will take participants from the parking lot to the starting line. The shuttle ride from Mauch Chunk Lake takes approximately 15 minutes.

Participants who are staying in downtown Jim Thorpe will be able to catch a free shuttle from Hazard Square (right near Molly Maguire's) to the starting line.

Full Marathon and 8-Miler Parking and Transportation to the Starting Line
Limited parking will be available for $10 in the municipal parking lot next to the train station.
Free parking will be available at Jim Thorpe High School. A free shuttle will transport runners to the train station.

All finishers of the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8-Miler will receive a unique finisher's medal. In addition, prizes will be awarded to the top three M/F overall, the top three M/F masters*, and the top three M/F in the following age groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.
(*There will be no master's division for the 8-miler).

The Mini and Full Super Two-Fer: Any runner who completes the Half and the 8-Miler (Mini Super Two-Fer) or the Half and the Full (Full Super Two-Fer) will receive a special prize. (In 2019, our different medals for the Super Trifecta interlocked to form one giant medal display).

A portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit Turn to Us, Inc., a local Jim Thorpe area 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides assistance to the families of children and adults with major and chronic illnesses. We will also make donations to the the Jim Thorpe Police Department and the White Haven Library. In addition, Turn to Us, Inc. will receive 100% of any additional donations made through our race registration partner, Run Signup.

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

We have sponsorship opportunities available at many different levels. If you or your business is interested in becoming a vendor at our expo, reaching our runners, or simply helping to support a great cause, check out the sponsorship page on our race website: