Comments

From Runners

“What I liked SO much about this marathon is that it was clearly a course designed by a runner FOR runners.  The shade covering 80-90% of the course was GREAT!  It saved me from wilting in the sun at the end, and I chopped a full 14 minutes off of my PR, letting me qualify for Boston for the first time.”

“Amazing race. Super flat, mostly shade, and very easy for spectators. The relay places make for excellent locations for the spectators to go see you multiple times, and the race packet provides stellar instruction getting from place to place. Ran 12 minutes faster than my goal, and my last mile was my fastest by 40 seconds. Never expected to finish so strong, and qualify for Boston in my first marathon ever. Can’t wait to make this an annual thing.”

“Your marathon was my 39th and is one of the best I’ve run.  The course, the support and the post-race area were all a cut above the norm.  Congratulations!  I have little doubt this event will evolve to be a household name marathon in our area.”

“This is my 8th Marathon and it was by FAR the best-run one I have yet done.  I’ve done Marine Corps twice, Virginia Beach, Grandma’s, Twin Cities, San Francisco, and Big Sur.”

“One of the best organized events I’ve been to this year (and I race a lot). I LOVED the large number of volunteers with the giant orange fingers pointing the way.”

“Thanks for a wonderful experience.  Next to the Corning, NY Wineglass Marathon and the NYC marathon, this was the best marathon that I’ve run. “

“Great race!!  Very well done.  I have been running in races for years and can’t remember such a well run and enjoyable event.”

“Many other marathons seem to have their courses designed by “road block” planners/traffic clerks with little appreciation of what takes really to run a course – they tend to just cram some more distance into an area and try to minimize the number of roads blocks needed. This marathon was SO different.  The whole course really fit a single vision of an excellent course and stuck to it.  Very well done!  See you all next year.”

“I wanted to thank you and your team of volunteers who were absolutely marvelous.  They were all so helpful along the way and were so encouraging.  We stopped at every water station to take a break and to stretch so we chatted to so many of them.  Super folks.  It could not have been a more perfect day.  The weather was stunning and the course was so beautiful.  It took our minds off our injuries and really helped us through.  We will start training, when we can again, for next year!”

“Best course I have ever been on. Beautiful scenery, excellent running surface, tremendous support staff.  Never had a better time (better running times on marathons, but not a better time overall).  Really felt more like a half marathon despite my lack of preparation.”

“It’s the best marathon in the country hands down.  The race route is perfect!”

“The volunteers blew me away.  Their enthusiasm was outstanding, and it was so inspiring to have them cheering along the sidelines!  Very organized and welcoming overall.”

How to get involved

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2021 St. Luke’s Via Marathon Will Not Take Place

March 22, 2021 (BETHLEHEM, PA) – Via announced today that the 2021 St. Luke’s Via Marathon will not take place this fall due to the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of safely holding a large event that takes more than a year of planning and significant resources to execute.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to take make difficult decisions important in allowing us to continue to fulfill our mission of helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities reach their full potential within new financial and safety constraints,” said Lisa Walkiewicz, President and CEO of Via of the Lehigh Valley.

“Over the last 12 months, we have worked diligently to ensure that the essential services Via provides for individuals with disabilities and their families remain in place.  It is vital that Via concentrates on its core mission and focus on continuing to support the most vulnerable members of our community.”

“The planning for the St. Luke’s Via Marathon is a year-long endeavor.  With the uncertainty of the past year, we simply could not dedicate our limited resources to planning an event that could be canceled by factors outside of our control at any time.  Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to hold the St. Luke’s Via Marathon this year.”

“We understand why the St. Luke’s Via Marathon cannot take place this year,” said Ken Szydlow, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of St. Luke’s University Health Network.  “We are proud to partner with Via of the Lehigh Valley to ensure that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities live fulfilling lives as vital members of our community.  We will continue to support this mission and hope other sponsors of the Marathon join us.”

“We are so thankful to all of our community partners who have stepped up to directly fund our services during this crisis,” Walkiewicz said. “This financial support has helped us weather this storm and we know we will come out of this stronger.”

Participants who have deferred from 2020 to 2021 will have the option to convert their registration fee to a 100% tax-deductible donation to Via of the Lehigh Valley or request a refund.  Runners who have deferred to 2021 or signed up for the Double Half Challenge will receive an email with further information. 

About Via of the Lehigh Valley

Serving our community since 1952, Via helps people reach their full potential.  Via provides services to 1,250 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Monroe, Bucks and Berks counties.  These services include vocational exploration, community employment, educational activities, volunteer and recreational opportunities for teens and adults, and early intervention therapies and inclusive education for young children.  Visit www.ViaNet.org to learn more about Via’s services and how you can help.