Saturday, July 22, 2023 • Wellsboro, PA • Course Map
Stretching more than 60 miles along the creek that bears its name here in the wilds of central northern Pennsylvania, the Pine Creek Rail Trail is set to take runners at this event through the Pine Creek Gorge, commonly referred to here as the PA Grand Canyon — hence the name of the race, “Conquer the Canyon.”
There are two days of running at this race — the half marathon and full marathon on Saturday, both of which follow out-and-back routes that start and finish to the west of town, along the Pine Creek Rail Trail itself, followed by the 5K and one-mile races on Sunday.
You’ll take a shuttle bus on the morning of the race from the high school to the starting line, which lies at the Darling Run parking area, just south of Ansonia, an unincorporated community along U.S. Route 6.
From there, the half marathon and full marathon head out onto the trail, which has been named by USA Today as one of the 10 best biking tours in the nation, and where the grade is so slight as to be unnoticeable, according to cyclists and runners who use it.
Runners won’t notice much of a change in elevation throughout the half marathon course, which starts at just over 1,100 feet above sea level and drops by only about 100 feet by the time you reach the half-way point of the race; you’ll regain those feet on the way back to the finish line.
The trail, whose history as a railroad dates all the way back to the early 1880s, is made up of crushed limestone and features campgrounds, small towns and trailheads throughout its more than 62 miles.
Organizers say that at the time the race is run, you’ll enjoy plentiful shade along the route — it’ll be “extremely scenic,” they say, with the half marathon and full marathon run “entirely in the canyon.”
Race Weather & Climate
Located just miles from the Pennsylvania-New York state line, roughly a 4-hour drive from Pittsburgh and about a 3 hour, 45-minute drive from Philadelphia, Wellsboro typically sees its warmest temperatures and some of its driest weather of the year in July.
- July 22 average low temp: 60ºF
- July 22 average high temp: 78ºF
- 8:00 AM – half marathon, full marathon
- 8:15 AM – 5K
- 9:15 AM – 10K
Course Time Limit
- 4 hours – half marathon
- 6 hours – full marathon
- $75 and up – half marathon, full marathon
- $30 and up – 10K, 5K
To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Wellsboro’s “Conquer the Canyon” marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at RunSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the “Conquer the Canyon” PA Grand Canyon Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments box below.