Runners and walkers from 24 different U.S. states, Germany, and the Netherlands are confirmed to virtually participate in the 15th Annual Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Runduring National Park Week, April 17th – 25th.
As enthusiasm for the race builds, nearly half of the country is represented in registration with Pennsylvania residents leading the way, followed by New Jersey, California, Maryland, and Michigan respectively.
Four runners in Germany who competed in the Run 10 years ago shared their excitement for the virtual opportunity stating, “I wanted to register myself and 3 runners from Germany for the virtual Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run. We were able to participate in 2011 and would be excited to take this opportunity to participate in the virtual run this year - 10 Years later.”
Organized by the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB), all proceeds from the event benefit Valley Forge National Historical Park. The cost is $40 with an option to make personal donations. Users can register online here: https://www.valleyforge.org/revolutionary-run/until April 25th.
New this year to enhance the virtual experience, participants will receive a personalized digital racing bib, and for the first time since the race’s inception in 2005, all registrants will earn a finisher medal.
In 14 years, the event has raised nearly $458,000 including a record-breaking $56,500 in 2019. 2020’s event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Typically, runners trek the five-mile, USATF-certified, closed course that follows the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail, and traverses the scenic and hilly terrain of the park with steady climbs and descents, a mix of roads and trails, and ends with a tough uphill climb over the final quarter-mile to the finish line at the park’s Visitor Center.
For the race’s 15th anniversary, participants have the option to indivually take on a modified version of the Valley Forge course, or choose their own route to complete the five-mile challenge anywhere in the world. Runners are asked to track their route at any point during National Park Week and upload their results to their runsignup.com profile.
The event usually includes a three-mile walk and 1.776 kilometer Young Patriots Run for kids ages 6-13, but due to the race’s virtual status, the five-mile distance is the only option this year.
Runners will receive a 2021 Revolutionary Run commemorative long-sleeve t-shirt in addition to their finisher medal and digital bib. For the first time, the VFTCB is offering shipped packets, a $10 cost, as an alternate option to its usual in-person packet pickup.
Sponsorships are still available starting at $250, with upgraded digital sponsorship opportunites via the tourism board’s social media, website, and public relations efforts.
Current sponsors include: IBEW98, King of Prussia District, Moss Rehab Einstein Healthcare Network, PECO, Montgomery County Community College, Arkema, TDBank, Penn Medicine Valley Forge, Logo Wearhouse, Homelight, Nolan in the Neighborhood, and Delta Sigma Theta Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter.
In partnership with 20/20 Visual Media, the Board introduced a promotional video to celebrate 15 years and encourage race registration. This video is set to premiere on VisitValleyForge’s social media channels:
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uv8mR2CUM8
- Downloadable Dropbox file: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4h8f9a266g2oh5e/AADRrONiBghzKNSEVa-mtsILa?dl=0
Funds raised from the race are part of various infrastructure improvement projects and programming to enhance visitor experience:
- Recently renovated Steuben Plaza area and meadow shelter for the 3.5-mile Grand Parade Trail
- Future maintenance needs of Sullivan’s Bridge, the pedestrian span over the Schuylkill River
- Support trail projects
- Design and fabrication of new information and orientation kiosk located between visitor parking and the Visitor Center
- Support Once Upon a Nation Storytelling bench programs
The Park also has a significant economic impact on the region, generally contributing $36 million and several hundred jobs to the local economy.
“We’re very excited about the new opportunities this year’s virtual run will bring to our event, said Race Director Kirsten Tallman. “Being able to invite runners from all over the world to join in on our mission of supporting the important American story that is Valley Forge brings our mission to a whole new level. I love that we can connect the historic message of perseverance and determination to a broader audience.”