Thousands run for Via in Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon
Thousands of runners lined up Sept. 7 to test their personal stamina and endurance in the Lehigh Valley Health Network marathon for Via.
The race began shortly after 7 a.m. at the Lehigh Valley Hospital's Cedar Crest Campus, with the finish line later in the day in downtown Easton.
More than 4,500 runners and walkers participated in the event Sept. 6 and 7.
The event is made possible through the cooperation of nine local municipalities - Lower Macungie Township, Salisbury Township, City of Allentown, City of Bethlehem, Freemansburg Borough, Bethlehem Township, Palmer Township, Wilson Borough and City of Easton along with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Most of the race took place along the Lehigh Canal Towpath Sept. 7 with police closing key traffic intersections in sequence throughout the race route to expedite the event without runners having to dodge motor vehicles during the race.
The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon is the second fastest marathon in the United States and is a unique full and half marathon, five-person team relay, 5K run, Kids Race and Via Walk.
Bart Yasso, chief running officer at Runner's World Magazine designed the course. As Yasso likes to say, it's a course designed by a runner for a runner. Scenic, shady and with a net elevation drop of 240 feet, the Via marathon is one of the fastest marathons in the U.S. The Via marathon had the fourth highest Boston qualifying percentage of all U.S. marathons.
The LVHN Via Mara- thon raises funds for Via's services for children and adults with disabilities. Serving the community since 1954, Via's mission is to provide support and opportunities for children and adults with disabilities so they can live full, independent and productive lives within the community.
"It is both impressive and inspiring to see the considerable cooperation that exists from community to community to make this race happen," Lisa Walkiewicz, vice president of communication for Via of the Lehigh Valley, said.
The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon benefits services for children and adults with disabilities. Via works with children up to age three in their homes and daycares to address disabilities and delays.
Via finds jobs in the community for adults and provides coaching and training for successful employment.