Overall Rating
Overall Rating (14 Reviews)
4.3
(14 Ratings)(14 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
4.4
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.9
The Gettysburg Festival of Races is the combination of four historic races in one single weekend! Come and race alongside the hallowed ground of Gettysburg battlefield. Choose to compete in Gettysburg North-South Marathon, Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon, or Gateway 5K. And, Saturday features the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Criterium! The Gettysburg North-South … MORE
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Recent reviews

    LifebytheMile REPEAT RUNNER '21

    The course has some hills but I love hills so I didn't think they were too bad. This was more of a training run for me than a race. The … MORE

    The course has some hills but I love hills so I didn’t think they were too bad. This was more of a training run for me than a race. The course was gorgeous. While a small race it was greatly supported with water stops and hydration options. I will definitely run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    kmerskine FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race is advertised as being on the battlefield. It is, but it isn't. You will not run by the better known Gettysburg battle sites, such as the High Water … MORE

    This race is advertised as being on the battlefield. It is, but it isn’t. You will not run by the better known Gettysburg battle sites, such as the High Water Mark, Little Round Top, or anything to do with Pickett’s Charge. It is a pretty course and I don’t think the mis-advertise the battlefield aspect, but runners should know that if you want to see that other stuff you’ll need to get in your car and drive to it. Would have been nice to have actually included some running through downtown G’burg, as well as some of the better known sites. But still, this was a nice race. No real complaints on the course. On the flip side, the start / finish location was right in a hotel parking lot so if you stay in that hotel you just walk out the front door to race. That was nice.

    The post-race party didn’t ever seem to materialize, which might have been expected due to Covid, but the website advertised things that I didn’t see at the end of the race. No biggie, and I did get my pint glass, which was a nice touch.

    The website could have been a bit more clear with regards to putting needed info all in one place. There was no race day packet pick up info, or if there was it was not easily findable.

    Overall, no race is without a flaw here and there and having run 25+ half marathons and 25+ other types of races, this was a good race. Pretty course, well organized, and plenty of aid stations. Having enough aid stations is always a nice touch, and a touch that many races don’t have, unfortunately. I would recommend this race. Easily in the top third of all the races I’ve done, all things considered.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I was initially signed up for two other half marathons this day which both changed dates but was determined to run a half that was within driving distance of both … MORE

    I was initially signed up for two other half marathons this day which both changed dates but was determined to run a half that was within driving distance of both Rochester and NYC and ended up running this one. And I am so happy I did! This ended up being one of my favorite half marathon courses. This year due to covid there was not race day packet pick-up. I paid extra to have it mailed before since I didn’t want to be stressed about making packet pick-up coming from the Bronx. It was only $10 extra to mail the packet which is not bad compared to other races. Packet included bib which is one of those obnoxiously big ones with lots of race details and the shirt. Unlike my last two races which had amazing shirts, this one had a very ordinary shirt. Not a bad shirt just a very safe design. It was also a nice, comfy polyblend shirt. It is a really nice brick red color. It just has the race logo in the front corner and a Abraham Lincoln quote on that back. It’s a fine shirt that I will wear but they definitely played it safe this year. I stayed at the Wyndham which is the host hotel in the Gettysburg Gateway Complex right by the start line. Very convenient and with the race discount was about $150 and was a very nice room for that price. This year due to covid, each event had a 10 minute rolling start and there were two waves for the half marathon. The marathon started at 8:00, half wave one at 8:10, half wave two at 8:20 and the 5K at 8:30. There were a large number of participants for a race during covid with just over 1000 all together with all the distances. The wave starts seemed to keep things pretty spread out. This is a really nice sized race where you are always running with people but you also aren’t constantly weaving around people. I was in the second wave and let the masses go first and started around 8:22. The course is fantastic. It is a lollipop loop with a short out and back at the end. The best part is definitely going through Gettysburg National Military Park and running past the battlefields. Fun fact, I was actually a double major in college and also studied history so this was a perfect race weekend for my college degrees. Any history buff will love this section. The next section isn’t quite as amazing but is still great through some very pretty farmland and farmland means farm animals. The race passed by some really nice cows and I stopped and took some pics. You then do the loop through farmland with the small out and back and then go back through the National Military Park to the finish line. The race is very hilly, I don’t think there was a single flat section. There are no crazy long or steep hills but it is constant up and downs. Not crazy difficult but a harder than average road race. The aid stations were frequent about every 1.5 miles. But it was little water bottles and gatorades so there was so much waste. Also its kind of a pain. I feel like a lose so much time opening bottles that it probably adds a couple minutes to my time compared to grabbing a cup but safety first. At the finish line there are water bottles and gatorade and then you go to the finishing tent to grab prepackaged food and your finisher awards. This is my only production complaint. This line was long, too long to social distance and while I think the runners were doing their best with masks today, most of us were recovering and drinking water and gatorade. It would have been better, especially because there was enough space, to set it up like they did at the Run for the Wild yesterday where there were two separate tables with food and two separate tables with prizes to space us out. There were food and prize tickets on our bibs so it would have worked. I like that the pre-made snack bag was put in a drawstring bag with the race logo instead of just a paper bag. There was a nice selection of snacks including a bagel with peanut butter, banana and some snack mix and chocolate milk (blech! I gave that back as nothing upsets my stomach more than chocolate milk). For the prizes you get the medal and a pint glass. I like that there is more than just a medal and shirt for swag but the medal was kind of disappointing this year. I did appreciate that it had the year and was distance specific. But is quite small and looks cheaper than the medals pictured from previous years. It’s not terrible I was just expecting something better and my 5K fun run medal from yesterday was bigger. Both the shirt and medal seem less exciting than what is pictured from prior years. I suspect this had to do with the financial difficulties for racing companies during the pandemic and I would rather have a great racing event and medium swag than great swag at the expensive of production so I will forgive them. My time for this race was okay. It was not my fastest but not my slowest. It was a somewhat tough course and this was my first long run since the Zion 50K. Also I probably shouldn’t stop and take pictures of cows if I want a good finishing time but I can’t help myself. We got an email saying there was some issues with timing but my result perfectly matched my Garmin and I had no issues with timing. Overall I thought this was a great race. It is definitely worth the 4 to 5 hour drive from Rochester and I will definitely consider this one again. It also seemed like a fun area to explore and I wish I had more time but had to drive back right after the race. This is a great choice for Pennsylvania especially if you are a history buff and/or prefer small town races.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    CG23 FIRST-TIMER '21

    It turned out to be a beautiful day after raining most of the night. The hills were tougher than I expected. I hit a wall at mile 7 and again … MORE

    It turned out to be a beautiful day after raining most of the night. The hills were tougher than I expected. I hit a wall at mile 7 and again at mile 11, that may have been because of all the walking the day and week before touring DC and then once in Gettysburg, walking around town and seeing all the monuments, there is so much to see. The swag was great (bag, medal, glass, and shirt was all worth it but was disappointed when the beer was not offered) due to COVID! Just thankful that we were able to run in person!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    keatingj FIRST-TIMER '20

    Although my performance on race day was not nearly what I was hoping for (thanks a lot cramps), I thought the race organizers did a fantastic job putting on a … MORE

    Although my performance on race day was not nearly what I was hoping for (thanks a lot cramps), I thought the race organizers did a fantastic job putting on a live race during COVID. Running in and around the Gettysburg countryside provided tons of opportunity for scenic views, and the course itself offered a lot of challenging rolling hills which tested my muscular endurance (perhaps a little too much). Overall I really enjoyed this event and would love to run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    deangelisc REPEAT RUNNER '20

    This is a first class, well run event by Lowell Ladd. Given that he is an accomplished runner himself, he knows how to put on a great race and what … MORE

    This is a first class, well run event by Lowell Ladd. Given that he is an accomplished runner himself, he knows how to put on a great race and what runners need and want. The post race food and drinks(especially chocolate milk) are great. The course and scenery are beautiful. I like the size of the race. Not too big but you always have company around. The location is terrific and makes for a nice weekend to enjoy the opportunities in Gettysburg for tours and exploration. Highly recommend this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    llindstrom FIRST-TIMER '20

    The more I run out and back races, the better I feel about them. The history of this area, 51,000 dead soldiers in 3 days, was an overwhelming idea that … MORE

    The more I run out and back races, the better I feel about them. The history of this area, 51,000 dead soldiers in 3 days, was an overwhelming idea that was never resolved in my brain. But the absolutely beautiful rolling hills, dotted with hundreds of memorials and fall leaves made the gravity of the history inspire hope that we will never repeat that journey again. One runner headed back out quipped to me “Well we must not have learned our history….we all are doomed to repeat it.” Clever fellow, double out and back through history, we all rejoiced in the perfect weather and blue skies with stratus clouds whisping along high above, but with those clouds is my hope for love and peace so that we will only travel that path to remember or to run with our running comrades.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    RunnerGirlKT REPEAT RUNNER '20

    This race is normally held in April. Due to COVID it was moved to October. Due to the pandemic, there was no race day packet pickup this year. Participants who … MORE

    This race is normally held in April. Due to COVID it was moved to October.

    Due to the pandemic, there was no race day packet pickup this year. Participants who chose to race in person (as opposed to going virtual) had the option to have their packet mailed to them (for a fee) or pick it up on Friday or Saturday at a drive-up packet pickup. I picked up in person and it was super easy with no wait.

    Race morning was a little chilly, but gorgeous (I was in the AM wave). There were no corrals, just an open start. So cross the starting line when you’re comfortable. Runners were required to wear a mask before starting and after crossing the finish and there was a table with hand sanitizer right by the start/finish.

    The course goes through part of the battlefield along the driving tour and is mostly an out and back loop, but the hills really don’t stop rolling. No hill was overly steep or too long, but they just keep coming.

    The joy this year was palpable as most runners hadn’t run an in-person event since March when the pandemic began. The roads were open, but there were people directing at intersections. That being said, I saw maybe 6 cars total the entire race.

    Once crossing the finish, runners entered a tent where we got a bag of food (including a blueberry bagel which is my fave) and our medal and a pint glass. Traditionally, the glass would be given to runners registered for the “winning” side (North or South), but since the half was split into an AM wave and a PM wave and there was no awards ceremony, everyone got one.

    Race communication was great before the event and after and everything was well organized. I felt safe the entire event and don’t think I’ve enjoyed a race this much in a long time. The medal is awesome, the shirt is awesome, runners also got a race sticker and the pint glass.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    SlowJuan FIRST-TIMER '20

    One of my all-time favorite movies is, "Remember the Titans" with the pivotal scene of the integrated players running through the morning fog to the cemetery at Gettysburg. While running … MORE

    One of my all-time favorite movies is, “Remember the Titans” with the pivotal scene of the integrated players running through the morning fog to the cemetery at Gettysburg. While running the Gettysburg Marathon, the words of Coach Boone at the conclusion of the team’s grueling run struck me as even more relevant in today’s society on the eve of a contentious National election:
    “If we don’t come together, right now, on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed ….. just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other or not. But, you will respect each other.”
    – Coach Herman Boone –

    I loved this marathon. I specifically selected it because of the opportunity it provided to run through a portion of the Gettysburg Battlefield. It did not disappoint. I have nothing but admiration and appreciation for RD Lowell Ladd and his Race Staff for their commitment and supreme effort to deliver this re-scheduled event in a COVID world. Originally scheduled for April, Lowell and his team managed to redeploy an exceptional race experience 6-months later. I know this has historically been a Spring event, but running it in mid-October approached running perfection. The only aspect Lowell stated beforehand that he couldn’t guarantee for the battlefield was the morning fog…..and even that was present in some of the hollows.
    The course is rolling and moderately challenging along rural, two-lane roads. Probably less than two miles of the course is actually level, tending to gradual grades most of the way. Very scenic with beautiful fall foliage, open vistas, stately old barns, corn fields and numerous Civil War monuments situated along the course. There was a wake of nearly two dozen buzzards at Mile 20, the furthest point from the Finish Line. Very unsettling. I was in my usual position of “sweeper” for the race field and kept hearing Jeff Goldblum’s voice in my head saying, “Must go faster!”
    An exceptional medal, a pint glass and a “to-go” food package awaited runners at the Finish; all greatly appreciated. My only regret was the absence of the traditional apres-race biergarten celebration, but there’s just some things that a pandemic won’t allow.
    Brew Review: “Appalachian Brewing” has two exception brew-pubs in Gettysburg; one at the Finish Line and the other in town on Steinweir Ave. Check out “Thirsty Farmer Brewing” located west of town on a farm or (my favorite) “Four Score Brewing.” I also walked into “Battlefield Brewing” one evening and unwittingly re-enacted the biker-bar scene from, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” Pretty sure I was the only person NOT wearing black leather and my skinny white chicken legs left no doubt that I was, “not from around here.” You’d think all the bikes in the parking lot would have tipped me off. And, no, I was not forced to perform the Tequila Dance, but was humming the tune as I made my exit.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    This is a well organized race with a great course. The scenery is lovely, parking is a breeze, volunteers are plentiful and knowledgeable, and the swag is nice. The field … MORE

    This is a well organized race with a great course. The scenery is lovely, parking is a breeze, volunteers are plentiful and knowledgeable, and the swag is nice. The field is small enough that you’re not overwhelmed, but large enough to ensure you’re never alone on the course and includes plenty of talent from near and far. I will be back!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    sparrowsgirl FIRST-TIMER '15

    This race is near (not on) the Gettysburg Battlefields. The concept is neat- you're divided into two teams- Blue and Gray, that run the same looped course, but in opposite … MORE

    This race is near (not on) the Gettysburg Battlefields. The concept is neat- you’re divided into two teams- Blue and Gray, that run the same looped course, but in opposite directions. The overall winner’s team gets a prize (a mug in my case). My biggest beef with this race was that the course was often on busy roads with barely a shoulder blocked off. I did not enjoy feeling the wind of a truck blasting past me while I’m falling in single-line behind a fellow runner… I hear they made some changes in future races, hopefully they fixed this.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    gdeivert FIRST-TIMER '18

    Packet pickup was a breeze the day before and was held at the Gateway Movie Theater complex. The same complex is used for starting line bathrooms on race day and … MORE

    Packet pickup was a breeze the day before and was held at the Gateway Movie Theater complex. The same complex is used for starting line bathrooms on race day and start and finish are right outside of the theater.
    There were just shy of 500 starters for the Half Marathon and a smaller number who ran the full. Both Half and Full start at the same time and then split up later on the course.
    About 5 minutes prior to the start of the race, the diasabled racers began. The only criticism I have of this race is that they were coming back through the course as runners were outbound and there was not much room for them to navigate on the narrow country roads. Runners had to move over for them to avoid colliding as they doubled back toward the finish line.
    The support on the course was good and offered Gatorade and Water. There were also porta potties at Mile 2 and 4. Since this was a double back route, they were also available at mile 9 and 11.
    The race shirt and medal were nice, and the bib had tickets for 2 free beers as well as a commemorative glass. This was a PR for me so I was happy with the race and the sunny but cool conditions. i was an AG winner so I also got a great little Apple Pie.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    ShellyL REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Bib pick up can be done the day before, when they have a vendor or two. You can also pick up the morning of the race. Easy in and out … MORE

    Bib pick up can be done the day before, when they have a vendor or two. You can also pick up the morning of the race. Easy in and out either way. The race starts at the Gettysburg Gateway complex, with ample parking and indoor bathrooms.

    The wheeled racers start a few minutes before the other racers. Nice to see them on the out and back on the course. Half marathoners and marathoners start at the same time and then split off somewhere around mile 5.

    The half marathon course is kind of a lollipop, with an extra mile or so off the loop as an out and back turn around. The roads are open to traffic, but the number of vehicles is few and far between. This is farm country and battlefields, so it’s wide open fields. There is always a breeze. If this race was any later in spring, it would be a scorcher because there are no trees for shade. These roads are the definition of rolling hills. Nothing terrible, but it seems like you’re always going up or down and since you run out and back on the first 4 ½ miles, you’ll be repeating those rolling hills.

    Aid stations were sufficient, every few miles, with sports drink, water and porta-johns.

    Race finish is in a parking lot area, but there is some grass to sit down. A little bit of food that includes sections of a giant hoagie, chips, pretzels, chocolate milk and donuts. You also get two free beers (cans of Michelob – yuck).

    They also have a competition between those registered for the north vs south. You tell them which team you want and if that side “wins”, you get a nice pint glass. Hint: The North has won every year. The medal is always very nice, with a civil war theme (see my photo).

    I do recommend this race if you like a small field, easy logistics and nice medal. If you need a lot of cheer support, want a completely flat race and like a big after race festival, this may not be the race for you.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 23, 2018 at 12:22am

    Ha ha, love the hint — sounds like the North is undefeated on all counts! And that is one cool medal, I'm a big fan of the classic look. And… MORE

    Ha ha, love the hint — sounds like the North is undefeated on all counts! And that is one cool medal, I'm a big fan of the classic look. And donuts, I'm a big fan of donuts too. Michelob, no thanks. :) Congrats on winning the war Shelly, and thanks for the thoughtful review! LESS

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    ShellyL FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was my first year running the Gettysburg Marathon. It is a small race, with good organization. There is same day packet pick up, which I always appreciate. Because there … MORE

    This was my first year running the Gettysburg Marathon. It is a small race, with good organization. There is same day packet pick up, which I always appreciate. Because there were only a couple hundred runners, you can park, sit in your car until the last minute and walk right up to the starting line. No need to freeze, get wet, get up way too early.
    The course goes through a small portion of the actual battlefield. There are a lot of hills, including a rather big one within the first mile or two. I would not anticipate this would be a PR race for most people. The rest of the course winds its way through the countryside, with many farms and orchards to see. Not many spectators, but there were enough water stations with good volunteer support. They have announced course route changes for 2017 with the elimination of a lot of the hills, so stay tuned.
    The finish line was at the same location as the start. Simple, basic finish area with drinks and a few snacks. Nothing fancy and don’t expect to eat a meal.
    The medal was unique this year with a canon and a spinning wheel. They also have a competition between “north and south” and if you pick the correct team, you get a bonus pint glass. The t-shirt was nice, again basic, and they gave a sinch sack when picking up your packet. See my attached photo for these items.
    Overall, a good race, small, hilly (but course changes in the works). If you like these qualities, you won’t be disappointed.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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  1. Races
  2. Gettysburg Festival of Races (North-South Marathon & Blue-Gray Half)