2019 Gettysburg Festival of Races - Weekend Information

* Marathon Course change – we found out a few days ago that a car crashed on the beautiful single lane bridge at mile 9 of the marathon course and it is under construction into May to fix the damage. Given the time frame, we had to scramble to figure out how to mange this challenge. The decision was made to have the marathon runners do the half marathon course twice. Technically you'll do 13 miles the same, head separately to a timing point turn around and head back out to do the half course again. this will make it easier for family/friends to cheer you on if they don't want to go out onto the course. What this means for half marathon runners is you will see some of the fast marathon runners going back out as you are coming in to finish, so please be aware of that and don't take up the entire road (you are supposed to run on the side of the road anyway).

* Hotel – Our host hotel is all sold out. We originally blocked off 150 room nights between the Wyndham and Courtyard, filled all those, asked for more, and filled those. Now we can't get any more rooms right by the start/finish. Hopefully everyone who wanted one got one already. If not, the good news is there are lots of places to stay but the only ones you can walk to in less than 60 seconds to the start are now unavailable.

Old business in case you missed it before or signed up after the email went out two weeks ago:

* Expo/Packet Pick-Up will take place on Saturday from 1-6pm inside Freedom Hall (in the rear of the Gateway Theater located at 20 Presidential Circle in Gettysburg). We will have race merchandise for sale and Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg will be there selling as well. You can have someone else pick up your number, just make sure they have a copy of your photo ID or copy of your email confirmation of registration so we make sure to not give your bib to the wrong person. We do have last minute pick up on race morning starting at 7am but strongly encourage you to pick up on Saturday as we are very busy race morning and the pickup process will not move nearly as quickly race day.

* Saturday Criterium – All the running events are on Sunday, but we have a special race for our special friends on the Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing team Saturday afternoon. On Saturday, April 27th, we will host the annual Blue-Gray Criterium for members of the PVA racing team and other mobility impaired competitors. What is a “criterium”? It is a loop race that covers a ½ to 1 mile loop for a set period of time. We will hold it at 4:00pm on around the loop at the Gateway Gettysburg Complex, where the Wyndham is located and also where we will have packet pick up. We are putting this even on for free (actually we donate $1,000 in prize money) as a way to provide these inspiring athletes with an opportunity to compete. They fly in their hand cycles at speeds of well over 20mph and it will be very spectator friendly. The race will last 30 minutes. Please help us support this event and get inspired for your own race the next day! And to all you who fund raised for the vets or made an extra donation along with your registration, a heartfelt thank you!

* Race Weekend Meals – We do not have a formal pasta dinner. We have two restaurants on site – the 1863 inside the Wyndham which is very nice dining and the Appalacian Brewing Company which serves pub style food and their own micro brewed beers and root beer. On race morning, the Wyndham opens for breakfast at 6:00am and the Courtyard has a grab and go type breakfast that also opens at 6am in case you want to fuel up before your race. Appalachian Brewing Company will open for a buffet breakfast starting at 9am on race morning for family and friends who want hot food while they wait for you to finish your race.

* Deferrals, Transfers, and Refunds - We don't grant refunds for any reason at any time. We did allow deferrals until March 31st (see the FAQ page on our website). At this point, we will only allow transfers for people who want to change distances. You can do that by email now or in person at packet pick-up.

* Parking - on race day you can park at the movie theater lots for the Gateway Theaters. The race starts and finishes in between the theater and the Courtyard by Marriott. There is plenty of parking, so don't worry about that.

* The course – Both the marathon and half marathons are USATF certified courses, which means they are accurate and you can use the marathon to qualify for Boston if you are speedy. Please note that the roads are not closed to vehicles for this event. The courses were measured running on the side of the road against traffic. We will have traffic control personnel at all crossings to make sure you are safe out there. However, you can't run tangents and cut across the road the way you would in a race with a closed course. These are quiet back country roads, but we want everyone to be safe and not run a shorter distance than was measured. The course will be marked with bright colored route arrows on the road and free standing signs. There will be mile marks as well – both chalk on the road and free standing signs. We will have 7 aid stations along the half marathon route and 13 along the marathon route. All aid stations will have water, Gatorade, and at least one portable toilet. Our aid stations at miles 15.5 and 21 will have gu.

* Spectators - If you have friends and family who wish to spectate on the course, there is one location suitable for viewing. The Salem Guldens UM Church at 224 Low Dutch Road has generously offered the use of their parking lot and grounds for viewing. The race will pass by their location between Sunday school and the regular service, so please be very respectful of the members coming and going. This spot is the 8 mile mark of the half marathon and 8 & 21 mile mark of the marathon. Please make sure that any friends or family who want to see you race in the middle of the route do NOT drive along the route to get to your locations. You can easily get to this location by going out the main entrance to the Gateway Complex where the race starts and finishes and taking route 30 East to Salem Church Road and coming back to the church.

* Awards - We will do an awards ceremony for the 5K at 9:00am on race day, the half marathon at 10:00am, and the marathon at noon. There will be separate competitions for Blue vs. Gray (half marathon) and North vs. South (marathon). Those awards will be announced after the overall and age group awards for each of the two longer races. Top overall awards are commemorative cannons with plaques and age group awards will be locally baked apple pies from Hollabaugh Brothers Orchards. We will not mail awards, so you need to stick around to receive one. The defending marathon champion is running for the South/Gray this year, so it is not a guarantee that the Blue/North will win despite outnumbering the South/Gray substantially.

* Beer Garden – New for 2019 this will be sponsored by Appalachian Brewing Compan. Your race bib will entitle you to two free beers and they will be serving Hoppy Trails IPA and Watergap Wheat. Family and friends who want beers will need to go inside the brewery which is located about 100' from the finish line to purchase beers. You must have ID on you to receive your beer/s. Fortunately, we have more than enough parking right on site so you can leave it in there and retrieve it as soon as you finish.