Half Marathon Run Men’s Division Winner, Joshua Godlewski, crossing the finish line. Photo Credit: Gianna Caruso / Courtesy of Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
(Easton, November 14) On Sunday November 12, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (DLNHC) successfully held their inaugural St. Luke’s D&L RaceFest thanks to title sponsor, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and the many other supporters. Participants traveled from 28 different states, with some hailing from as far as California and Texas to run or walk. By mid-day, 1,233 participants of the four-race event crossed the finish line, each receiving a medal for their efforts.
The four signature races that comprised RaceFest were the St. Luke’s D&L Marathon – “The Lehigh Valley’s marathon”, the St. Luke’s D&L Marathon Relay, the D&L Heritage Half Marathon Run and the D&L Heritage Half Marathon Walk, presented by St. Luke’s. All events used major portions of the D&L Trail, with the 26.2-mile marathon course traveling from Allentown to Easton and the 13.1-mile Heritage Half starting in Historic Bethlehem and ending at the same finish line in Easton’s Scott Park.
RaceFest marked the return of a full, USATF-certified marathon back to the Lehigh Valley after four years, with the last taking place in 2019 during St. Luke’s Via Marathon.
“We’re thrilled to bring a full marathon and marathon relay back to the Lehigh Valley — in addition to the half marathon run and walk — with the partnership of St. Luke’s,” said Michael Drabenstott, RaceFest Race Director. “Not only does the race showcase our cities and towns, it reinforces what a treasure we have in the D&L Trail that connects all of us to health and wellness, industrial history, the natural environment and economic development.”
RaceFest is a major fundraiser for Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, a nationally designated heritage area that works to preserve, interpret and celebrate the heritage of a five-county region. Proceeds from the event go toward heritage education programs and the ongoing development and stewardship of the D&L Trail and its connection through the Lehigh Valley. Once fully connected, the D&L Trail will be the longest multi-use trail in Pennsylvania, stretching over 165 miles from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol. Over the past decade, the D&L Trail has acted as a significant conduit for economic growth and development to the towns and communities that surround it. A fully connected trail will only heighten this impact, bringing new people and opportunities to the Lehigh Valley and the entire Corridor.
“The enthusiasm for the inaugural RaceFest is evident in so many conversations I had with participants, volunteers, and spectators,” said Claire Sadler, DLNHC Executive Director. “There is a sense of local pride and community with each unique story. For me, this year was extra special. My brother traveled from Montana to make D&L RaceFest his first half marathon. Proudly wearing his “Type One Run, Leave No Ones Behind” shirt for Diabetes Awareness Month, he met me at the finish line in Easton.”
St. Luke’s D&L Marathon Winners
Corey Mullins – 2:37:02
Carley Sedlock – 3:09:16
D&L Heritage Half Marathon Run, presented by St. Luke’s Winners
Margaret Vido – 01:16:30
Joshua Godlewski – 1:17:43
D&L Heritage Half Marathon Walk, presented by St, Luke’s Winners
Adam Insler – 02:24:05
Lynda Bradley – 02:35:07
St. Luke’s D&L Marathon Relay
Beer Valley Runners – 02:38:50
The St. Luke’s D&L RaceFest EXPO was held a day earlier, on November 11 from 10AM – 4PM at St. Luke’s West End Medical Center. Racers were able to pick up their bibs and shirts and visit booths from local organizations focused on health and wellness. The 2014 800m indoor world champion Chanelle Price also attended the event to provide motivation to the participants, as well as sign autographs and take pictures.
In addition to title sponsors St. Luke’s University Health Network, sponsors for the two-day event included, Northampton County, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Service Electric TV, Metz Culinary Management, Discover Lehigh Valley, and Premium Waters Inc.
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that preserves the historic pathway that carried coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol. Through key programs like the D&L Trail, St. Luke’s D&L RaceFest, National Canal Museum, and Get Your Tail on the Trail, DLNHC connects people to nature, culture, communities, recreation, and our industrial heritage. For more information, visit delawareandlehigh.org.
Information provided to TVL by:
Gianna Caruso | Communications Coordinator
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc.
delawareandlehigh.org | canals.org