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90 Degrees. The high temperature for Sunday in Jim Thorpe. That is NOT ideal marathon weather--especially for a remote course with no cell service. We have heard your concerns and have gone into overdrive to do everything we can to make changes.
Here's what YOU can do:
1. START HYDRATING NOW!
2. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS. If you are not properly trained or are injured in any way, we urge you NOT to run the full marathon (see #4). If you DO run, take it easy and stay hydrated.
3. IF YOU FEEL FAINT OR DIZZY AFTER MILE 11.5, find a shady spot and wait for a bicyclist course monitor.
4. If you are not comfortable running the full marathon, you may switch to the 7-miler. To do so, simply get off the train at the 7-mile start and run the 7-miler. Just visit the timing table AT THE END of your run and let us know you switched!
Here's what we're doing:
1. EASY SWITCH TO 7-miler. (See #4 above).
2. The marathon starting line will now open at 7 AM. To start at 7, you will need to skip the train and be responsible for all aspects of your transportation. There is very limited parking at the start, but much more parking in the entrance to the state park roughly half a mile away. DO NOT park at the Main St. Market. See the attached map if you're going to park there.
3. The train will leave PROMPTLY at 6:30 AM. There will be water and restrooms on the train.
4. Volunteers are scheduled for an 8 AM start. Water will be on tables, but Gatorade may not yet be poured in the early going.
5. Shortly before mile 4, there is a road crossing. Our volunteer may not be there to stop traffic for early runners. (We are working on it). Please be cautious.
6. CELL SERVICE IS EXTREMELY LIMITED ON COURSE. We will have EMTs stationed at Rockport Road (mile 11.5) until 12:00pm and then at Glen Onoko (mile 24) and at the finish. We will have bicyclist course monitors from Rockport Road (mile 11.5) to the end. We will have two ATVs stationed on course to remove runners who cannot finish.
Ultimately, whether or not you run the marathon on Sunday is up to you. We will do all we can to keep you safe, and we ask that you do all that YOU can to keep yourself safe as well. You must understand that communication and emergency access are EXTREMELY limited in Lehigh Gorge.
Considering all of the last-minute work this will entail, please do not email us unless you have a vital question or concern. To anticipate a few questions:
1. We cannot offer any refunds or deferrals as everything (including a giant private train) has been paid for.
2. We will do our best to find a way to get ice to some points on the course, but the logistics are extremely challenging. Do not plan for ice.
3. Marathon runners can switch ONLY to the 7-miler. The half marathon on Saturday is sold out.
4. 7-mile runners MUST take the train. The nearest trail access is 5 miles from the start of the 7 miler.
5. You do NOT have to tell us beforehand that you are switching to the 7-miler. Simply tell the timer at the end of the race.
We will do our best to respond to emails, but please bear with us.
We're looking forward to a fun, safe event in a gorgeous setting!
Mike, Tristan, and Amon