Frequently Asked Questions

Registration and Packet Pickup

How do I know if I'm registered?

You will get an email confirmation from Signmeup.com 

You can also Click Here to confirm

How many entrants are allowed in each race?

 We have a maximum of 1000 in the marathon, 1000 in the half marathon, and 1000 each in the 5k and 10k.  Due to the attractive features of course, and the proximity to major mid-Atlantic cities, we anticipate these to fill up quickly. 

 

Where is packet pick-up, and when?

Packet pick-up will be inside the Shepherd University Wellness Center from 12-8 pm on Friday before the race

Marathon- Limited race day packet pick-up at start area Harpers Ferry (NOT Shepherd Wellness) 6-7am.

Half Marathon/5k/10k- We strongly encourage you to pick up your packet Friday.

There will be SATURDAY race day pick up at the 5k/10k/Half Marathon at Midway Field (outside Ram Stadium) in Shepherdstown the morning of the race. NOT WELLNESS CENTER

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
Can I transfer my registration to another person or roll over my registration to the next year?
There are absolutely no transfers, roll overs, or refunds given for any reason, including medical reasons. However, you can change your registration from one event to another. For example, if you registered for the marathon, you may change your registration to the half marathon. If you wish to change from the half marathon to the marathon, you would need to pay the difference between the price you paid for the half marathon and the current price for the marathon.
Can I register Day-of-Race?

There are no Day-of-Race registration for the Marathon or event changes. You may register for other events if space available at the packet pick up on Friday 12-8:00pm.  We will have limited race day registration for the Half, 5k, 10k events or Saturday  7-8am at the 5k/10k/Half Marathon FINISH area Midway Field (outside Ram Stadium) in Shepherdstown the morning of the race. NOT WELLNESS CENTER
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Can I change my event?
Yes. To change events, contact us via email at katie@freedomsrun.org . Use subject line "Change Event" . The last opportunity to change events is at the EXPO. If you wish to change from the half marathon to the marathon, you would need to pay the difference between the price you paid for the half marathon and the current price for the marathon.

What happens if I am unable to participate in the event after I register?
There are no refunds. Our event is a non profit to benefit local trails so consider it a small donation :)
Can someone else pick up my packet?
Yes of course.  We are scouts honor here and no signed confirmations, scanned IDs, etc....
Will there be a pre race dinner?

We will not have an organized pre race dinner, but we encourage runners to explore Shepherdstown and enjoy the local food and entertainment. Visit Shepherdstown Visitor Center for a full list of places to eat. 

 

 

What will you have as premium for the runners

1. High quality Atayne eco-friendly tech fiber  t-shirt (long sleeve) for half and full marathon and short sleeve for 5K and 10K 

2.  bike size water bottle at the finish 

3. Reusable souveneer Beer Mugs for those of age to use at post race Oktoberfest  

4. a tour through your National Parks

 

Timing & Results

How is this race being timed?

Precision Race out of North Carolina are the East Coast's leader in innovative race technology. They are again our race timers. All events will be timed using Disposable Bib-Chip Technology with the expert and experienced team from Precision Race. Each participant is given race bib with a timing chip attached.  (The chip is the foam strip attched to the back of the bib).  DO NOT REMOVE the chip from the back of the bib.  When you cross the finish line, the timing system will record your finish time.  Results are based on Gun Time.

The Course

Can I walk the course?
 

Yes!! See below for details on start times and how long the course is open.

 

Is this a Boston Marathon qualifier?

Yes. Freedom’s Run is USATF sanctioned and certified. Certification # WV09005MS

Where are good locations to cheer?

The towns of Sharpsburg, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown 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.  We will have EMS, a physician, and at least certified athletic trainers on site at the finish the entire day.

What is the time limit for completing Freedom’s Run Events?

All courses will be open until 2pm to allow participants to experience the rich scenery and history of the course.  So walkers in the marathon will have 6.5 hours to complete it.  Half Marathon participants will have 5.5 hours. 


At mile 15 of the Full Marathon, if you arrived later than 11:30am, you will be given the option to continue or drop out and driven back to the finish line. 

If you have not arrived at our designated Aid Station, near mile 20, by 12:30pm, your bib will be taken and we will no longer be able to offer course support. 

 

 

Where are the aid stations and what is served?

THE C&O CANAL HAS LIMITED ACCESS POINTS.  Aid stations will be every four miles on the C&O Canal section starting at mile 4 and approximately every 3-4 miles after leaving the Canal at mile 16.  Consider small carry bottle or fanny pack if you feel you need fluid between stations, especially for walkers. Each aid station will have water and Gatorade.   NOTE: MORE PEOPLE OVERHYDRATE IN MARATHONS THAN UNDERHYDRATE AND THERE IS A PUSH FROM ROAD RACE MEDICAL COMMUNITY TO DECREASE NUMBER OF AID STATIONS.

 

Half Marathon runners and walkers will share aid stations with marathoners so will have water/Gatorade  every 3 miles and 1 gel stations

 

See our "course" tab for a great detailed map.

5k/10k aid stations indicated on course maps

 

See our maps for more specifics.

DO NOT OVERHYDRATE.


Read this 2015 Hyrdation Guide

 

 

 

Full – Water and Gatorade at all stops other than indicated below

1.  Harpers Ferry 2.0 miles (water only)

2. Harpers Ferry 4.5 miles

3.  Dargen Boat Ramp  8 miles (C&O Canal)  GEL

4. Limekiln Rd 11.5 miles (C&O)

5.. Miller Sawmill 15mile GEL

6.  Branch Ave  18 mile

7. Cornfield  20 mile (water only)

8. Antietam Visitors Cntr 21.5 mile full GEL

9. Sharpsburg Train Depot- 23 mile

10.  Finish-  FOOD AND BEER....YEAH

 

Half- Water and Gatorade

1. Miller Sawmill 3 Mile

2.  Branch Ave  5 mile

3. Antietam Visitors Cntr 8.5 mile   GEL too

4. Sharpsburg Train Depot- 10 mile

5.  Finish-  FOOD AND BEER....YEAH

 

10k – Water  3 and 5 miles

5k- Water at 2 miles

 

 

See Map under "course" for Porta pot locations

 

 

Are the miles marked?
Yes. We will have signs at each mile.  On the C&O Canal you will go by the mile stakes that are there.  We cannot mark the National Park.
What is the terrain of the course? Hills? Surface?

For the Marathon- the course is a mix of road and hard pack trail. First 4 miles are net downhill, next 10 are a long stretch of flat on the crusher surface C & O Canal. Once leaving the Canal the course is very hilly and rolling through Antietam Battlefield. The last 4 miles are flat and gentle downhill.  There is a course map with an elevation chart included in the "course" section. 

 

The Half Marathon is very challenging.  The first 3 miles are flat on the C & O then the difficult Antietam Battlefield section begins as you join the marathoners.  As one 2009 participant stated aptly "Freedom isn't easy".  These words will be your mantra through the scenic Battlefield.

 

The 5k and 10k courses have a significant downhill followed by a scenic road along the beautiful Potomac River and old stone ruins. An out and back course, does mean returning the the significant hill, now up. But once you finish the hill, enjoy winding through the historic town of Shepherdstown before finishing the race.

What parts of Jefferson County, West Virginia and Washington County, Maryland does the marathon go through?

The marathon goes through 4 National Parks, 3 Historic Civil War Towns, and the rural roads connecting them.  See Our Course for more details

How can I learn about the history of the places I’m walking and running past?

See our history section of our website

The Start

How do I get to the starting lines? Parking?

Thanks to the National Park Service we will have ample parking at the marathon start line by the Harper's Ferry National Park Visitor's Center. 

 

We will have shuttle buses (compliments of our major sponsor River Riders) from the Clarion Hotel/Shepherdstown and the Shepherdstown Wellness Center to the marathon start at 545amWe will update this as the race draws closer.

 

Half, 10k, 5k- There is limited parking in Shepherdstown itself. ample parking on the Shepherd University Campus (walk to start).  ALSO OTHER LOTS INDICATED ON HOME PAGE DOCS

 

Busses will return frequently to these lots post race and until party ends at Bavarian Inn at 2pm

What are the start times of the events?

 

 

Marathon Start 7:30am Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 

 

All other events start in Shepherdstown

 

Half Marathon-8:30am  

10k - 8:50am  

5k- 9 am

 

Kids Run- 11 or so

 

 

Is there a place I can drop off my sweats during the events?

Yes. At the Marathon starting line a truck will take items back to the finish. We highly recommend you put your items in a bag with your race number on it. This will help sort your items at the finish area.

We will have a bag check tent at the start/finish area of the 5k/10k/Half Marathon at the Shepherd University Stadium.

Are there buses after the event?

Yes, buses will return throughout the day to parking area at River Riders (near start) and to Clarion

 

Will there be coffee?

Of course....experience the West Virginia stimulant of choice from Black Dog Coffee of Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia. 

Black Dog Coffee - The Ultimate Cup of Coffee

Medals & Awards

What awards will be given out?

We are a participation event and the reward is the opportunity to run through your National Parks on a challenging course.

The TOP FINISHER MALE AND FEMALE in each event will be recognized. We will have special raffles too.  Award winners will be posted at the Results Board near the finish.  Please come and get your award or chance to win a raffle prize at the Bavarian Inn post race Oktoberfest at noon or thereabouts. All participant receive a souvenir pint glass and free first beer if you are of age.

 

WE ARE A PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITY EVENT NON PROFIT AND KEEP OUR AWARDS SIMPLE AND FUN.

Do you offer prize money?

No. Freedom’s Run is a family-oriented event designed to appeal to all categories of runners and walkers and, as such, does not offer monetary awards.

Do you give awards to walkers?

No. The walking events are non-competitive and have no awards. However, walkers will be timed and do receive the same finisher medal and amenities as the runners.

 

What time are they handing out awards?

All awards ceremonies will be at the Bavarian Inn a little after noon.

What nice swag will all runners receive?

All Marathon and Half Marathoners will recieve a top quality Long Sleeve Eco Friendly tech fiber t-shirt from Atayne.

5k/10k runners will receive Short  Sleeve Eco Friendly tech fiber t-shirt from Atayne.

Commemorative Pint glass (with free first beverage compliments of Yuengling).  Available at Bavarian Inn post race Oktoberfest.

Is there a medal?
Yes!  We have local made ceramic medallion from Joy Bridy pottery. 

Click here to visit Joy's website and her beautiful work

Can I bring my...?

Can I bring my MP3 player?

The answer is a qualified yes . The use of headsets is allowed during the race until 2:00pm 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 5k/10k for the Kids Run ONLY.

No. Strollers and baby joggers are not allowed on the Half or Full courses.

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, local bands, and activities. We also welcome all runners and families to visit the wonderful shops and historic sites of Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, and Sharpsburg.  We will also host a beer garden festival- see next FAQ.

So Tell me About the Beer Garden
We will also host a beer garden festival at the world famous Bavarian Inn, the host of one the regions largest Oktoberfests, a 400 meter walk from the finish line. Yuengling Beer is a proud sponsor and will provide their signature beers.  First beer will be free in our environmentally friendly mug of recycled materials.  Use this for additional rehydration.  The Bavarian Inn plays host to the regions largest Oktoberfest late September.  They will save some of their famous Bratwurst and Struedel.  Volunteers, family, and friends all welcome.

Directions and Parking

How do I get to the Marathon Start Parking area in Harpers Ferry?

Thanks to the park service, there is free parking at the start at the Harper's Ferry National Park Visitor Center.

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.

How do I get to the start/finish area in Shepherdstown? Half, 10k, 5k start here.

 

Directions to Shepherdstown- Please note we will have parking in close proximity to start with efficient shuttle service to avoid congestion in our small town. Best parking is west Campus lots on Shepherd University  (1/2 mile warm up to start )

From Antietam (Sharpsburg, MD):
Make a left turn out of the visitor's center onto MD-65 south towards Sharpsburg.
After about 1 mile turn right at a stop sign onto MD-34 west (Main St. in Sharpsburg). There will be a sign for Shepherdstown.
After about 3.5 miles you will cross the bridge over the Potomac river and the road becomes WV-480 south (Duke St. in Shepherdstown).
The trip is about 5 miles and should take about 10 minutes.

From Frederick, MD:
Take US-340 west towards Harpers Ferry.
After about 22 miles, turn right onto WV-230 north towards Shepherdstown.
Stay on 230 for about 10 miles until it ends in Shepherdstown. The trip is a little over 30 miles and should take about 45 minutes.

From Hagerstown, MD:
Take MD-65 south towards Sharpsburg. After about 13 miles turn right at a stop sign onto MD-34 west (Main St. in Sharpsburg).
After about 3.5 miles you will cross the bridge over the Potomac river and the road becomes WV-480 south (Duke St. in Shepherdstown).
The trip is about 17 miles and should take about 30 minutes.

From Harpers Ferry, WV:
From the visitor's center take US-340 south toward Charles Town.
After about 1 mile, turn right onto WV-230 north towards Shepherdstown.
Stay on 230 for about 10 miles until it ends in Shepherdstown. The trip is a little over 10 miles and should take about 25 minutes.

From Interstate 81:
From I-81 in West Virginia take exit #16 onto WV-9 east.
After about 2 miles, make a left turn onto WV-45 east towards Shepherdstown.
After about 8.5 miles WV-45 ends in Shepherdstown.

From the Baltimore Area:
From the I-695 beltway, take the I-70 west exit (exit # 16) towards Frederick.
After about 40 miles, take the US-340 west exit (exit # 52) towards Harpers Ferry.
After about 21 miles, turn right onto WV-230 north.
Stay on 230 for about 10 miles until it ends in Shepherdstown. From the I-695 beltway the trip is a little over 70 miles and should take about 1.5 hours.

From BWI Airport:
From the airport take I-195 west.
After less than 2 miles, take the MD-295 south exit (exit #2B) towards Washington.
After less than 3 miles, take the MD-100 west exit.
After about 8 miles, take the US-29 north exit towards I-70.
After about 3 miles, take the I-70 west exit towards Frederick.
After about 35 miles, take the US-340 west exit (exit # 52) towards Harper?s Ferry.
After about 21 miles, turn right onto WV-230 north.
Stay on 230 for about 10 miles until it ends in Shepherdstown. The trip is a little over 80 miles and should take less than 2 hours.

From Dulles Airport:
From the Dulles Airport access road take the VA-267 toll west towards Leesburg.
After about 12 miles, take the VA-7 west exit (# 1A) towards Leesburg.
After about 25 miles, take the US-340 north exit towards Charles Town.
After about 15 miles, turn left onto WV-230 north.
Stay on 230 for about 10 miles until it ends in Shepherdstown. The trip is a little over 60 miles and should take between 1.5 hours.

From the Washington, DC area:
From the I-495 beltway take I-270 north towards Frederick.
After about 32 miles, I-270 intersects I-70 and becomes US-40 west (do not take I-70).
After about 1 mile, take the US-340 west exit towards Harper?s Ferry.
After about 22 miles, turn right onto WV-230 north towards Shepherdstown.
Stay on 230 for about 10 miles until it ends in Shepherdstown. The trip is a little under 80 miles and should take about 1.5 hours.

From Points Northwest of WV:
Get onto I-70 east. I-70 intersects the PA turnpike and also I-68.
At the intersection I-70 and I-81 in Maryland, take I-81 south.
From I-81 take exit # 12 in West Virginia onto WV-9 east.
After about 2 miles, make a right turn onto WV-45 east towards Shepherdstown.
After about 8.5 miles WV-45 ends in Shepherdstown .

West of WV:
Take I-64 east to its intersection with I-81 in Virginia.
Take I-81 north into West Virginia.
From I-81 take exit #16 onto WV-9 east.
After about 2 miles, make a right turn onto WV-45 east towards Shepherdstown.
After about 8.5 miles WV-45 ends in Shepherdstown.

 

Misc.

How far is it to the airport?

BWI and Dulles Airports are ONLY 60 miles from Harpers Ferry and 70 miles for Hagerstown or Shepherdstown. Estimated time without traffic, 70 minutes.

Are there any discounts to hotels for marathon runners?

Yes.  See our hotels section

 

Where can I sign up to volunteer?

Click Here to sign up as a volunteer or contact katie@freedomsrun.org with specific questions. Volunteers are much appreciated! We are always looking for more volunteers!

Registration and Packet Pickup

Timing & Results

The Course

The Start

Medals & Awards

Can I bring my...?

Post Race Festivities?

Directions and Parking

Misc.