This was my second time running the Via Half Marathon. The Via Marathon takes place in September and offers both a 13.1 and 26.2 option. I registered at the race expo, race day registration was $115 but was advertised as $105 online. The race swag included a cotton t-shirt. The flat course is point to point and entirely on the scenic D&L Trail with soft crushed stone and the final miles on pavement. The 26.2 course is a Boston Marathon qualifier. The half marathon and full marathon have different starting lines, but the same finish line. The full marathon starts at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. The half marathon starts in downtown Bethlehem in the same location as the popular festival Musik Fest. The race takes place on a Sunday, therefore, parking meters are free in downtown Bethlehem.
This is a review of the half marathon option. Race support was abundant and port-a-potties were plentiful along the route. Bag check was available at the half starting line and clear plastic bags were given to each runner at the race expo for bag check. Since the course is along the D&L Trail there are few spectators, however, the scenery is gorgeous.
At the finish line, every finisher receives a free beer and buses shuttle finishers back to their respective starting line to pick up their cars.
Overall, this half marathon is fast, flat and good to use for training or to complete a goal of running a half marathon.
Pros: Flat, trail course, porta potties, race support, free beer
Cons: Price, swag