Frequently Asked Questions
Please note: not all of these FAQ's will reflect 2021 COVID precautions; specifically pertaining to race start times, t-shirts not being included, minimal post race events, etc. Please read our "What to Know" document and we will update this information as we approach race day.
Registration and Packet Pickup
How do I know if I'm registered?
You will get an email confirmation from Active
How many entrants are allowed in each race?
We have a maximum of 500 for the Half and 300 for the 5K.
Where is packet pick-up, and when?
Packet pick-up will be at Clarion Inn Harpers Ferry-Charles Town Conference Center from 4-8 pm on Friday and River Riders (Race Start) 6am-8:30 Race Day Saturday.*Please note these are two separate locations. Clarion Inn Harpers Ferry-Charles Town Conference Center 4328 William L Wilson Fwy, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.
What happens if I become injured after I enter and cannot participate?
There are no medical comps, rollovers or refunds, nor can you transfer your registration to another person. Consider it a donation to our partner non-profit organizations.
Can I transfer my registration to another person or roll over my registration to the next year?
There are absolutely no transfers, rollovers, or refunds given for any reason, including medical reasons.
Can I register Day-of-Race?
If there are still spaces available, you may register at the packet pick up on Friday 4-8:00pm. We will have race day registration Saturday 6-8:30 am at River Riders.
Can I change my event?
Yes. You can change events Friday at packet p/u or by contacting us at email@example.com. If you wish to change from 5K to the Half Marathon you would need to pay the difference between the prices. Switch from Half Marathon to 5K can be done at no charge.
What happens if I am unable to participate in the event after I register?
There are no refunds….consider it a donation to our partner non-profit organizations.
Can someone else pick up my packet?
Yes. We go by the honor system here.
Will there be a pre race dinner?
No, but feel free to visit and enjoy some of the delicious local establishments. VisitJefferson County Chamber of Commerce Restaurants
Timing & Results
How is this race being timed?
5Runners Racing LLC will provide race timing and results using the Ipico reusable shoe-chip timing system. All events will be timed using chips placed on the back of your bib. DO NOT REMOVE the chip, or bend your bib as this could compromise the chip and thereby your captured time. When you cross the finish line, the timing system will record your finish time.
Is the course road, trail, or a mix?
The course is a spiritual mix of some grass field trails, dirt road, and regular paved road. After about a mile of pavement, the course loops around School House Ridge on a firm grass surface. The return back through the start/finish area is on pavement until the crushed rock surface of Murphy Farm and a short wood chip connector to the main Harpers Ferry National Park. The route then takes the hilly and sometimes narrow pre-Civil War roads of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar for the final 8 miles.
The course traces the first part of the Half Marathon with a road start and then runs about 2.5 miles on grass trail and crushed rock road before returning to the road to the finish.
Can I walk the course?
Yes, See below for details on start times and how long the course is open.
Where are good locations to cheer?
The start/finish area at River Riders and the business districts of Historic Lower Town Harpers Ferry and Bolivar are the easiest to access for families to cheer on their runners and walkers and have restaurants and cafes for refreshments.
Is there a medical tent at the finish?
Yes. There is a medical tent with trained professionals and EMT support.
What is the time limit for completing the events?
The half marathon course will be open until 11:30 (3.5 hr hour time limit) to allow both walkers and runners to experience the rich scenery and history of the course. The 5K will be open for 1.5 hours to allow either a fast paced run or leisurely walk through the National Park.
Where are the aid stations?
They will be every three miles on the Half Marathon course. Will have water every 3 miles, and electrolytes and gels at 6 and 10 miles. See our map for more specifics. Porta pots at 5 and 10 AVOID HYPONATREMIA...SEE HYDRATION GUIDELINES. A MUST READ FOR HALF MARATHONERS WHO WILL BE OUT THERE 3 OR MORE HOURS http://www.usatf.org/groups/coaches/library/2007/hydration/IMMDAAdvisoryStatement.pdf 5K run will have a single aid station at about mile 2
Are the miles marked?
Yes. We will have signs at each mile.
How hilly is the course?
The Half Marathon course is very hilly with 1000 ft of elevation gain. There is a course map with an elevation chart included in the map section. If you have ever visited Lower Town Harpers Ferry you know what we mean. The course is not designed for a personal record time, we want you to experience the challenge and rich sights along the way on this unforgettable route.
The 5K runners and walkers will experience gentler rolling hills on School House Ridge.
How can I learn about the history of the places I’m walking and running past?
See our history section of Freedom’s Run website
Where do I park?
We will have plenty of parking available at River Riders parking lot. See end of FAQ for detailed directions
What are the start times of the events?
Half Marathon start 8 am
5K- 8:45 am
Kids Run- 11 am
Is there a place I can drop off my sweats during the events?
Yes, we will have a simple bag check, but leave valuables in your vehicle.
Medals & Awards
What awards will be given out?
Local businesses will be supplying awards. We are a participatory event, low cost compared to the urban events of similar quality, all volunteer, and non-profit….so we will keep this really simple.
Will there be a finishers medal?
Yes! We will have a commemorative medal for half marathon finishers.
Do you offer prize money?
No. we are a family-oriented event designed to appeal to all categories of runners and walkers and, as such, do not offer monetary awards.
Do you give separate awards to walkers?
No. The walking events are non-competitive and have same award categories. Walkers will be timed and do receive the same finisher medal and amenities as the runners.
What time are they handing out awards?
We will have a very brief awards ceremony after the kid’s fun run at the post race festival at River Riders.
Can I bring my...?
Can I bring my dog?
Unfortunately, no the furry friends need to stay home. There are sections of the race that are narrow and a dog leash will become a safety issue. Our insurance/ permits also do not allow dogs.
Can I listen to music while I run?
The answer is a qualified yes. The use of headsets is allowed during the race until 11:30am when the course re-opens to traffic. As a member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), we follow their guidelines on headset use. RRCA does not encourage headphone use during its member races but does not disallow them as long as they are used safely. For this reason, Freedoms Run will allow headsets on the course only if it does not pose a safety risk. For safety reasons, it may be necessary for a course official to ask you to remove your headset/earphones during the race. You are required to comply or face disqualification and removal from the course.
Can I bring my baby in a stroller/jogger?
Yes, for the Kids Run ONLY. No, strollers and baby joggers are not allowed on the other courses due to the trail features.
Can a non-registered friend pace me?
No, our permits allow a limited number in the National Parks. We discourage non registered runners on the course..
Post Race Festivities?
Will there be a post race festival??
Definitely Yes! We will have a family oriented fun, games, and food festival featuring local foods, businesses, and activities. We also welcome all runners and families to visit the wonderful shops and historic towns of Harpers Ferry, Bolivar, and Charles Town. We will also host a beer garden festival at host River Riders. First beer will be free for particpants and volunteers of age. Pizza City and Panera will provide the food complementary also for the participants, kids, and volunteers.
How far is it to the airport?
BWI and Dulles Airports are ONLY 60 miles from Harpers. Estimated time without traffic, 70 minutes.
Where can I sign up to volunteer?
Contact Katie Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up as a volunteer for the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon & 5K Run.
How do I get to the Start Parking area?
Our Suggested Directions To River Riders- From the DC Area:
I-270 north to Frederick, MD. Merge with I-70 West at Frederick for about 1/2 a mile, Take Exit 52 - 340 West to Charles Town. Follow US 340 for 16 miles and cross the Potomac River Bridge. Continue 2 miles and cross the Shenandoah River Bridge. Follow 340 to the top of the hill and see Cliffside Quality Inn on the left. Get in the left lane and proceed downhill. (Look to your left and you will see our building - it is a large blue building with a red roof and "River Riders" in black letters on the front.) At the bottom of the hill, turn left onto Millville Road (you will see a large flea market open on the weekends). Once on Millville Road, go three-tenths of one mile and make a sharp left turn onto Alstadts Hill Road. There is also a small blue "River Riders" sign. Follow this road to the last building on the right. From Baltimore:
Take I-70 west to Frederick. Take exit 52 onto US 340 West to Charles Town and follow the DC directions from that point. From Northern VA:
Take Rt. 7 (Leesburg Pike) west past Leesburg. Exit onto Rt. 9 West to Charles Town. Follow all the way to Charles Town. (Do not take Harpers Ferry Road - Rt. 671 to 340.) From Rt. 9 West exit onto 340 North towards Harpers Ferry. Go several miles and exit to stay on 340 North. Go 3 7/10 miles on US 340 north. Turn right onto Millville Road. Once on Millville Road, go three-tenths of one mile and make a sharp left turn onto Alstadts Hill Road. There is also a small blue "River Riders" sign. Follow this road to the last building on the right. If you took Harpers Ferry Rd - Rt 671, at the end, turn left onto 340 and follow for about 2 miles. Turn left onto Millville Rd and follow the above directions. From Hagerstown and points west:
Take 70 East to the Boonsboro Rt 66 exit. Head south to Boonsboro. Turn left on Alt 40 and follow through town. Turn right on Rt 67 and continue to Rt 340 towards Harpers Ferry. Follow US 340 for 1 mile and cross the Potomac River Bridge. Continue 2 miles and cross the Shenandoah River Bridge. Follow 340 to the top of the hill and see Cliffside Quality Inn on the left. Get in the left lane and proceed downhill. (Look to your left and you will see our building - it is a large blue building with a red roof and "River Riders" in black letters on the front.) At the bottom of the hill, turn left onto Millville Road (you will see a large flea market open on the weekends). Once on Millville Road, go three-tenths of one mile and make a sharp left turn onto Alstadts Hill Road. There is also a small blue "River Riders" sign. Follow this road to the last building on the right.
From Winchester and points south:
Take Rt. 7 E to Berryville. Exit onto 340 north to Charles Town. Once in Charles Town, exit to stay on 340 North. Follow for 3 7/10 more miles. Turn right onto Millville Road. Once on Millville Road, go three-tenths of one mile and make a sharp left turn onto Alstadts Hill Road. There is also a small blue "River Riders" sign. Follow this road to the last building on the right.