For those of you who have been wondering about how the recent trail closure in Lehigh Parkway will affect the upcoming race course for the St. Luke’s Half Marathon on April 29, I have news!
The race director issued the following statement this afternoon:
“Due to the imminent threat of collapse of a large stone retaining wall, a portion of the St. Luke’s Half Marathon course between miles 6 and 7 has been closed by the City of Allentown. Engineers have determined the wall could fall over at any time, endangering anyone below it.
The City closed the area late last week. We were notified today that the section of the course will definitely not be open by race day.
We have rerouted the course around the closed section. It will still measure 13.1 miles, but it will not be certified due to the lack of time until race day.
For those of you familiar with the course, miles 1, 2, 3 and 4 will remain unchanged. The turnaround on Martin Luther King Blvd. was moved about 1/4 mile west. Instead of entering Lehigh Parkway on the trail, runners will run on Lehigh Parkway East Drive and enter Lehigh Parkway on Park Drive, the park’s main vehicular entrance. Runners will reconnect with the race route about 1/4 mile later. After, that the course remains the same.
Unfortunately, the detour includes a hill – about an 80 foot elevation gain over a half mile. It’s not a killer, but we want you to be aware of it.
Finally, the City will only allow us to have roads closed for three hours, which was a condition for entering the St. Luke’s Half Marathon. Runners not on that pace at 11 miles may be asked to take a short ride to a point later in the course to keep them safe when traffic resumes on Martin Luther Blvd.
While these situations are certainly not ideal, we have strived to remedy them to provide our runners with the best race experience possible. As always, thank you for supporting our race. We look forward to seeing you on April 29.”