Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
4.6
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.8
SCENERY
4.6
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.6
Join us for the Joy of Running in Community! Tour the goregous Amish farmlands of Bird-in-Hand, PA. The Bird in Hand Half Marathon course runs through the Valley of No Wires and half marathon finishers will earn their horseshoe finisher’s medal! REAL horseshoes from REAL horses on the farms in … MORE
Local Weather (Sep 11)
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H (°F) 90 72 74 82 81
L (°F) 65 62 47 64 63
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Recent reviews

    Lorelei FIRST-TIMER '19

    THE TOWN: it’s small and it’s Amish, two qualities that make it amazing. The biggest road is two lanes: this way and that way. I came the day before the … MORE

    THE TOWN: it’s small and it’s Amish, two qualities that make it amazing. The biggest road is two lanes: this way and that way. I came the day before the event to avoid heavy traffic – a wise decision. Considering accommodations were inexpensive, it was worth the money. Everything is walking distance: the food, sightseeing, shopping. But you have to walk the horse and buggy paths as there are no sidewalks. Easy peasy, but noteworthy. Food at the restaurants are very inexpensive. It’s a foodie-Amish town. It’s easy to find good eats.

    HOTEL: I stayed at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn. It was very nice, rather inexpensive, and directly across the street from packet pickup and the start/finish line. I’ve already booked a room for when I return next year. I wouldn’t stay anywhere else. With that said, if you miss your chance to book it, there are plenty of other nice places to stay nearby. There’s probably not a bad one.

    THE EXPERIENCE: this race occurs in conjunction with their hot air balloon festival. They launch hot air balloons after the 5K on Friday and before the half marathon on Saturday. On Friday night, they inflate them and have a balloon light show which is jaw-dropping. You can enjoy the balloon show while making your own s’mores over the huge flaming trough!!! All the fixins’ are laid out on a hay wagon. Seriously seriously fun!!! Before or after the Friday 5K, you can choose to participate in the Amish-prepared pasta dinner. Say yes to this. You’ll get to eat with your old friends, your new friends and the Amish. A great experience with great food.

    Wake up early on Half Marathon day to make sure you don’t miss the morning balloon launch. They promised a 7:15 launch but it was actually earlier than that. The sky fills up quickly with this amazing show. The launch is right across the street from the hotel. Imagine my surprise when I looked out my window to see not a sky but a humongous balloon. The last balloons launch as the race kicks off.

    They say that they start exactly on time using an atomic clock. Yes. This is true. Also, they use lead buggies! Too cool. Be sure to read the booklet they give you packet pickup. On the course map, they will tell you what you can expect to see. There are a few unbelievable things on the list and you will think that perhaps they are lying or stretching the truth a bit. Well, I saw everything they listed. You’ll have some surprises.

    The course itself is my new favorite. It’s as gorgeous as can be. The Amish community is breathtaking. It’s NOT flat. I loved the hills. Other folks hated them. All I can say is…train for hills and embrace the joy.

    The Amish will run with you, especially the 5K. I know. I know. You’re wondering the same thing I did. What do they wear? Well, I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to find out for yourself. The Amish also man the aid stations and giant groups can be seen throughout cheering you on. They even have bands that will sing to you.

    After the race, the Amish will feed you a giant meal again. Don’t miss out on the pies, cakes and ice cream. Amish pie! Amish cake! Seriously, it’s worth every calorie and fat.

    SERIOUS STUFF: SWAG: you’ll get a nice tech shirt for each race. That means two shirts if you do the fireman’s challenge (5K & Half). You’ll get a Whoopie pie. Don’t know what that is? Well, come to this race and get an Amish one. You’ll love it a hundred times more than the shirts. If you do the fireman’s challenge, you’ll get a bonus gift. This year, it was a triple insulated water bottle. Think Kleen Kanteen type, in a choice of colors. THE MEDAL! Hands down, my new favorite. They solder a plaque to an old horseshoe and add a leather strap from their own tanneries to hang it around your neck. We asked an Amish girl where they were made and she said, “in my grandpa’s barn.” Like, wow! Grandpa made 2000 medals! Take a look at the photographs.

    Are you signing up????? Make sure to study up on the Road Apple award you can earn.

    ITS AN UNDERSTATEMENT TO SAY THIS WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Tororuns FIRST-TIMER '18

    IMHO BIH is the best race I've ever run. The Amish community know how to throw a gr8 race. Awesome beautiful course, rolling hills and gr8 crowd support. Nice handmade … MORE

    IMHO BIH is the best race I’ve ever run. The Amish community know how to throw a gr8 race. Awesome beautiful course, rolling hills and gr8 crowd support. Nice handmade horseshoe bling. Organization was tops. Weather was a factor too. Cools temps, overcast. Gr8 pre and post parties too. I highly recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    gdeivert FIRST-TIMER '18

    Bird in Hand PA is located in the heart of Amish country in Lancaster County. The proceeds of this race go to support the local volunteer fire department, is limited … MORE

    Bird in Hand PA is located in the heart of Amish country in Lancaster County.
    The proceeds of this race go to support the local volunteer fire department, is limited to 1500 runners and is always sold out. Packet pickup is the day before so you have to plan to be there a day early or have someone pick it up for you.
    There is also a Hot Air Balloon festival going on at the same time and they do a night glow Friday night when the 5K is run.
    Race day was rainy but most of the race is on country roads so the footing was good. Rolling hills, farms and Amish buggies dot the landscape during this race and honestly I would have stopped to take pictures if I had brought my phone.
    Water stops are plentiful and have both water and powerade. The volunteers are the local Amish so their kids line up and hand out the cups. At one water stop they even had Ritas Italian Ice!
    The hills were plentiful but not too steep. It did feel like we were climbing all of the time although they did not wear me out like big hills in other races I have done.
    Crowd support was at a minimum because of the rural nature of the race, but, where there were crowds, the enthusiasm was high.
    Race Swag includes a real horshoe medal handcrafetd from a used shoe worn by an Amish horse. It is by far the favorite medal I have ever received.
    Post race food included water, bagels, granola bars and pretzels. At 11:00 they hold a free barbecue for participants and anyone else who wants to eat. It included barbecued Chicken, Sausage, potato salad, chips and fresh vegetables. For dessert there was Cake and Ice Cream!
    All in all this is the best supported and organized race I have done thus far. I will be signing up again for next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    This race is a benefit for the local Amish community fire and emergency medical services, so the entire town pretty much helps out with the race. The course is almost … MORE

    This race is a benefit for the local Amish community fire and emergency medical services, so the entire town pretty much helps out with the race. The course is almost entirely in the Amish community, with 90% on paved roads and 10% on farm dirt roads. You will see beautiful views of cornfields and farm lands, and a special area called the “Valley of No Wires” as the homes do not have electricity. The course has occasional hills, but the biggest thing to be aware of is that there is zero shade, very little breeze, and it can be very hot and humid. This year temps passed 90 degrees in the sun, and I wound up walking most of the second half of the race out of my own safety. Most people I know had a finish time much longer than normal because of the heat. Cool aspects- the water stops are manned by Amish families including children; the medal is an actual used horseshoe; and the post-race food is amazing- bbq with chicken, pasta, fruits, lemonade, ice cream and more, and it’s open to everyone, even family members who didn’t run.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    ShellyL REPEAT RUNNER '15

    I've run this race 3 times, including the inaugural. It is very well run. It is growing but still a smaller sized field. Parking is in a field, so if … MORE

    I’ve run this race 3 times, including the inaugural. It is very well run. It is growing but still a smaller sized field. Parking is in a field, so if it has been raining, prepare for muddy feet.
    At the start, you literally line up beside the Amish. They are an integral part of this race. They cheer, they run with you in the race, they man the water stations (even the littlest of kids), they ride their bikes on the roads and you’re guaranteed to see at least one horse and buggy. Watch out for the “road apples” though.
    The course is not easy. This is the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. The temperature can be hot in September, so prepare for it. There were a lot of runners needing medical treatment at the finish line due to the heat. There were ambulances stacked up, taking people to the hospital.
    The finish line area is nice. They have a few vendors, including Amish selling baked goods. There is one lady who will make a quilt out of your race t-shirts and she does outstanding work. There is food to purchase, but they have a picnic with hot dogs, burgers, sides, snacks for everyone, including your family. They only ask for a head count prior to the race so they can plan accordingly.
    I have to say the medal is one of my all time favorites. It is an actual, used horseshoe forged by Amish blacksmiths. If you do their “sister race” (Garden Spot Village), you get a “Road Apple” award. Look it up, if you don’t know what road apples are.
    I would recommend this race, but do it for the scenery, fun atmosphere and medal. Don’t expect a PR. Slow down and look around.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Bird in Hand Half Marathon & 5K