St. Luke’s Half Marathon and 5k are back – October 17, 2021

en flag
es flag

Registration is now open for 36th running
of the region’s oldest and most beloved distance race 

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Lehigh Valley’s favorite running race is back!

Registration opened on May 1, 2021, for the 2021 St. Luke’s Half Marathon and 5k, which this year will be Oct. 17, 2021, instead of its traditional date on the last Sunday in April. The race committee opted to delay the race about six months to allow COVID-19 numbers to drop through vaccination and vigilance.

“Given the improvements in COVID-19 numbers, the widespread availability of vaccines, the relative safety of outdoor activities, and the favorable conversations we’ve had with health advisers, we are confident that we can produce a top-quality race experience that is as safe as it is enjoyable,” said co-race director Neal Novak. “When our runners toe the line in October, it will be nearly 30 months since our last St. Luke’s Half Marathon weekend. In 2021, our races will provide an added opportunity to celebrate the unshakable human spirit and our remarkable resilience.”

Because of the pandemic, the races were not held in 2020, which marked only the second cancellation in the long history of the long-distance race, which can trace its origins back to a full marathon in 1977.

To allow for adequate physical distancing at the start, finish and throughout the course, the race committee is capping the number of entries at 1,500 for the half marathon and 325 for the 5k. Each race will assign runners to waves to allow for ample distancing in the starting area on Linden Street east of 18th Street. The course will follow the traditional route along Allentown streets and through the city’s exquisite park system, including four miles and a covered-bridge crossing in Little Lehigh Parkway.

The weekend also includes the St. Luke’s Youth Run, on Sat., Oct. 16, in the Little Lehigh Parkway. The free run for children aged 3-13 seeks to promote healthy exercise habits among young people and expose them to the excitement and reward of running. The run is capped at 120 children, 20 in each of six age categories.

All runners who had registered for the 2020 event have had their entries automatically transferred to the 2021 race. As of May 20, there were 299 available spots in the half marathon and 54 available spots in the 5k.

Registration for all three events will close September 15. The half marathon entry fee is $55 through June 30, 2021, and $65 thereafter. The 5k entry fee is $30 through June 30, 2021, and $40 thereafter. The Youth Run is free.

Waitlists will be established once each race hits race caps in case local and state health regulations allow the races to increase participant counts.

In 2021, runners will enjoy personalized bibs, hydration stations, more than a dozen live bands along the race route, a unique finisher’s medal and a tech shirt. The availability of other usual amenities such as post-race food and a finish on the track in J. Birney Crum Stadium will be determined in conjunction with health officials.

All proceeds from the race benefit grants, scholarships and running programs offered by the Lehigh Valley Road Runners. The LVRR has provided over $500,000 to support youth fitness and the running community over the past 15 years.

The St. Luke’s Half Marathon Weekend is produced by the Lehigh Valley Road Runners. The St. Luke’s Half Marathon is one of the largest long-distance races in the country with an all-volunteer staff. The 2021 events mark the 11th year that St. Luke’s University Health Network has been the presenting sponsor.

Information provided to TVL by:
Michael Drabenstott
Drabenstott Communications Group