Sunday, October 20, 2019 • Bethlehem, PA • Course Map
The magazine considered by many to be the bible of running sends its writers and editors far and wide to cover races and report on all the strange, colorful and interesting stories of the sport. This fall marks the 8th annual running of their own Runner’s World Half & Festival, which features a 10K and 5K race on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday morning.
At the past couple of years’ races, runners have had the chance to meet and hear talks from many of Runner’s World’s biggest names, including Amby Burfoot and Bart Yasso, and meet famous athletes like Marc Parent and Dean Karnazes, the author of the bestselling book “Ultramarathon Man.” They’ll even offer what they’re calling a “course strategy” session for the half marathon on Saturday afternoon, to go over ideal pacing and race logistics.
As for the race itself, the half marathon is set to follow a point-to-point route that starts near downtown Bethlehem at the corner of Daly Avenue and Stefko Boulevard, near the Minsi Trail Bridge that crosses over the Lehigh River and the South Bethlehem Greenway biking, walking and running trail. From there, runners will start out heading west into town along Daly, which turns into East 3rd Street and then brings runners into the first of two college campuses they’ll see on the course, as they head into Lehigh University.
After the loop through Lehigh, runners then make the first of four bridge crossings during the race, heading over the Lehigh River into downtown Bethlehem. They’ll pass by the public library and start a stretch that features most of the race’s biggest hills in the first half. Runners should note that the organizers say this is a challenging race; considering that this is the editors of Runner’s World talking, don’t take it lightly.
The next stretch of the race brings runners through Monocacy Park and the Bethlehem Golf Course, as the rolling hills continue until just past the mile 7 marker. After that, the course is mostly downhill as it winds back through town along Washington Avenue, Main Street and New Street, whisking runners past Memorial Park and Nisky Hill Cemeteries along the way.
There’s one last bridge crossing over the Lehigh before runners hit the final mile of the race, to the finish line at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks campus. The course will remain open for 3.5 hours, giving faster walkers a chance to finish the race.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the Lehigh River in the hills of eastern Pennsylvania, about a 70-mile drive north from Philadelphia and roughly 80 miles west of New York City, Bethlehem typically sees cool to mild temperatures in October, which usually brings Bethlehem’s first flakes of snow each winter. Record temperatures during the month have fallen as low as 19°F (in 1921) and risen as high as 93°F (in 1941).
On race day (Oct. 20), the average low is 39ºF and the average high is 61ºF.
see race website
To reserve your spot in the 2019 running of the Runner’s World Half Marathon, register online at Active.com here.
Official Race Website
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