State College to Welcome First Marathon in 30 Years

Students and local residents won’t need to drive long distances to compete in a marathon this year – look no further than the Mt. Nittany Marathon, a scenic 26.2 mile certified course winding around the place of its namesake.

For the first time since 1984, there will be an official marathon offered on Penn State’s campus and the surrounding area, as opposed to the traditional half marathon. The last known marathon in the region was the Nittany Valley Track Club’s series that ran from 1972 to 1984, said John Hook, president of the Mount Nittany Conservancy.

The Mt. Nittany Marathon begins at 8 a.m. on Sept. 1, starting and finishing at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

“The Mount Nittany Conservancy is thrilled to be able to bring a marathon to Happy Valley,” Hook said. “It is our honor and privilege to be able to conserve and preserve the iconic symbol of Penn State and the Centre region.”

Hook added that the race is seeking more than 150 volunteers to help with the marathon. Those interested can contact him at [email protected].

The course was designed to provide frequent views of Mount Nittany, made possible by utilizing local bike paths and roadways. The complete course map can be found here.

To make the race more appealing, the Mt. Nittany Marathon will also be one of the last qualifying opportunities for the 2014 Boston Marathon. While it does not guarantee a spot in Boston, it will allow runners to submit an entry.

Interested runners need to complete the registration form, available here, by Aug. 16. There is also a $75 fee that must be submitted by the entry deadline.

“The marathon brings greater awareness to the mountain and we hope will grow into an annual event bringing back hundreds if not thousands of Penn State alumni,” Hook said.

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Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.

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