Running enthusiasts were in their glory during the second annual Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Marathon and Half Marathon.
The race generally runs from Northampton Borough up into East Penn Township, with the finish line beneath the Route 873 Bridge at Lehigh Gap.
Elissa Garofalo, president, of the D&L Heritage Corridor, said 678 runners competed in this year's event, held earlier this month. Over 150 volunteers assisted as well, she said.
"The D&L Staff, volunteers, local municipalities and runners really stepped up to the plate," Garofalo said. "We were able to address the challenges presented by Sandy and still accommodate more runners. Lehigh County Parks Department workers responded by clearing downed trees and debris south of Lehigh Gap. Because of this volunteers, runners and staff could concentrate on filling in eroded spots, raking away wet leaves and windblown debris."
Maria Rosales, of New York, NY, said "I just wanted to thank you and those involved with the Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Marathon for such an amazing race."
"It was so well organized, and we were able to enjoy a beautiful course and wonderful day following all of the stress and tragedy on the east coast of recent days," Rosales said. "Us NYC marathoners especially appreciate your welcoming those of us who were able to make it out there; we truly appreciate the support. I will glowingly recommend your race to other runners."
Frank Anino, of California, added "Let me thank all involved for your hospitality and for mounting a terrific race. My friends and I enjoyed the marathon course through the truly spectacular area."
Proceeds raised from the race will benefit the D&L National Heritage Corridor, Inc., as well as trail maintenance so that runners, cyclists and walkers can continue to use and enjoy the trail.
Garofalo said plans are already in the works for next year's event.
"We conducted our wrap-up meeting [recently]," she said. "Yes, we reviewed what went well and how we can make the event even better."
Though they continue to review all the details of the event, Garofalo noted "one thing is for sure, the 2012 D&L Marathon/Half Marathon was a great showcase for northern Lehigh County and Carbon County, and especially the D&L Trail."
"We hosted runners from around the corner and around the world, and they loved the beauty of the area, as well as the warmth of our residents," she said. "In the wake of Sandy, it was a great pleasure to offer a respite for the bad news of the previous week, and a way to relieve cabin fever."
The D&L Trail is part of a larger, multiuse trail network that currently connects 250 miles of trails throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with plans to add 500 more miles of trail to the system in the coming years.
Referred to as "The Circuit", the trail network stretches across the Greater Philadelphia area, and will address economic and social issues by fostering economic development, boosting tourism, creating jobs and improving market value of real estate near trail corridors, while increasing access to open space.
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation that is building the D&L Trail and fostering stewardship of historical, cultural and natural resources along the historic canals and railroads that transported anthracite coal from mines to markets in eastern Pennsylvania.
To learn more about the D&L, visit www.delawareandlehigh.org.
Listed below are the top three male and female overall marathon and half-marathon winners.
A complete list of all runners who finished the races, and their times, can be accessed online at http://www.pretzelcitysports.com/roadracesresults.html.
Marathon - Male
1 2:38:07 Michael Arnstein, New York, NY, 1st Male Overall
2 2:52:36 Greg Rankin, Texas, 2nd Male Overall
3 2:53:38 Justin Mann, Wilmington DE, 3rd Male Overall
10 3:06:37 Jessica Kennedy, Morristown, NJ, 1st Female Overall
11 3:08:10 Lauren Sanders, Wyomissing, PA, 2nd Female Overall
13 3:08:26 Sara Amitrani, Red Bank, NJ, 3rd Female Overall
Half-Marathon - Male
1 1:10:42 Pat McLaughlin, Maple Glen, PA, 1st Male Overall
2 1:20:59 Adria Botifoll, New York, NY, 2nd Male Overall
3 1:23:38 Sean Robbins, Shavertown, PA, 3rd Male Overall
8 1:30:47 Deedra Porfirio, West Pittston, PA, 1st Female Overall
11 1:32:29 Cathy Butler, York, PA, 2nd Female Overall
15 1:34:51 Samantha Mulvey, Pottstown, PA, 3rd Female Overall