Saturday, October 1, 2016 • Shepherdstown, WV • Course Map
The scenic rolling hills of the lower Shenandoah Valley, as well as four of the country’s most historic national parks, will be the setting at the Freedom’s Run Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Fun Run races, which start and finish in West Virginia and take runners across the Potomac River into Virginia for most of the race.
For the half marathon race, runners follow an out-and-back course that starts and finishes in downtown Shepherdstown and takes runners through the historic grounds of the Antietam National Battlefield Park, the site of the 1862 Civil War battle that was also the bloodiest one-day battle in U.S. history, where more than 22,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in a single day.
Filled with rolling hills throughout the course, the half marathon starts where both the half and the full, 26.2-mile marathon also finish up, near the Shepherd University football stadium. From there, those running the half follow West Virginia Highway 480 over the Rumsey Bridge across the Potomac River into the Sharpsburg, Md., area, where the highway becomes Maryland Highway 34.
Runners then follow the highway eastward through the Antietam National Cemetery and into the battlefield park, turning left on Sharpsburg Pike to head northward into the park, which is spread across more than 3,200 acres and sees more than 380,000 visitors each year.
Approximately the next four and a half miles of the half unfold through the battlefield park and feature a number of the park’s historic sites, including the Burnside Bridge and the park observation tower.
Following the run through Antietam, the last few miles of the race are thankfully a bit more flat, as runners head through the C&O Canal towpath along the river back into Shepherdstown for the finish at the football stadium.
Limited to a maximum of 1,000 entrants each in the full marathon and half marathon, the Freedom’s Run event is open to both runners and walkers. Participants are limited to 7 hours and 5 hours to complete the full marathon and half marathon, respectively.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the banks of the Potomac River in West Virginia’s northeast corner, about 70 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., and roughly 75 miles west of Baltimore, Md., Shepherdstown typically sees cool to mild weather in October, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 12°F (in 1969) and as high as 98°F (in 1941).
On race day (Oct. 1), the average low is 41ºF and the average high is 68ºF.
- 2015 Freedom’s Run Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Freedom’s Run Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Freedom’s Run Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Freedom’s Run Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Freedom’s Run Half Marathon Results
- 7:30 AM – full marathon
- 8:30 AM – half marathon
- 8:50 AM – 10K
- 9:00 AM- 5K
Course Time Limit
- 7 hours – full marathon
- 5 hours – half marathon
Registration fees for this event have not yet been announced. Check back soon.
Registration for this event is not yet open. To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of the Freedom’s Run Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, check the event website regularly for updates.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Freedom’s Run Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.