This is shaping up to be quite a weekend locally for both running and cycling.
The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon Race Weekend and the eighth annual Nittany Lion Cross Cyclocross races are taking place both Saturday and Sunday.
Headquarters for all the events is the Arts Quest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. A race expo will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The 5K run, Via Walk and kids race take place on Saturday, with the 5K going off at 7:30 a.m. the walk at 9 a.m. and the kids race at 10:30 a.m. All three of theses races have registration open through Saturday.
The marathon, marathon relay and half marathon — all sold out — begin 7 a.m. Sunday. The half begins at the intersection of Main and West Walnut streets in Bethlehem. The marathon and relays begin in the parking lot of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. All three of the races conclude at Scott Park on Larry Holmes Drive in Easton with a finish line festival from 8 a.m. until noon.
Volunteers are still needed for race weekend, and should go online to http://www.ViaMarathon.org or call 484-893-5390.
More than 3,150 people took part in the event last year.
If you like riding your bike on the many wonderful trails the Lehigh Valley has to offer, then make sure you stop by to check out the eighth annual Nittany Lion Cross Cyclocross race this Saturday and Sunday on the grounds outside the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown.
The Nittany Lion Cross is a UCI C2 sanctioned race both days, giving it international importance for cyclists hoping to pick up valuable points to qualify for world competitions.
Cyclocross is one of those uber-cool sports that features a combination of cycling and obstacles, which force riders to get off their bikes at certain points to cross barriers.
Local favorite Laura Van Gilder of Pocono Pines will once again be in the star-studded international field.
Van Gilder finished second in the elite category last year to Christel Ferrier-Bruneau of France. Ferrier-Bruneau is not a confirmed rider this year, but third-place finisher Gabriella Day of England will be racing.
Local cycling official and promoters David Miller and Any Taus promote the event under the Gotham Cycling–East Coast Velo banner. More than 100 cyclists signed up during the first three hours of registration back on Aug. 1.
The course is mostly grass, starting out on a paved section before riding over gravel, and undulates with barrier obstacles and tree roots along the way.
Racing will take place all day both days, and is extremely spectator friendly.
SEAL Event: Another multi-exercise event is also taking place on Sunday. The 2013 Navy Seal Benefit Challenge is taking place at the VFW Post 7293 in Egypt to benefit the Naval Special Warfare families who have suffered loss.
More than 10 athletes are signed up for the event, which begins at 7 a.m. in the parking lot with the Grinder PT (physical training) session before embarking on a four-mile run in team formation. The final part of the challenge will see the participants head across Route 145 to Hoover Karate Academy for an obstacle course competition.
For more information or to participate or contribute, contact Dr. Ray Fritz at email@example.com.
Trust 5K Run-Walk: The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Mauch Chunk Trust Company are holding the inaugural Trust 5K Run/Walk 8 a.m. Saturday from the Carbon County Trailhead.
The race will follow the D&L — the part of which from Allentown to Easton constitutes much of the LVHN Via marathon races — from the Carbon County trailhead near the Route 903 bridge in Jim Thorpe to the Nesquehoning Bridge and back to the C.C. trailhead
For more information, go online to http://www.delawareandlehigh.org/index.php/visit/the-trust-5k-run-walk-on-the-dl-trail.
D&L marathon and Half: The Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Marathon/Half Marathon will take place Sunday, Nov. 3, beginning in Northampton and ending near the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.
Funds raised through the races help maintain the D&L trail year-round.
To register, go online to http://www.delawareandlehigh.org.
Volunteers are also needed for race day. Contact Loretta Susan at Loretta@delawareandlehigh.org or call her at 610-923-3548, extension 221.
Cushion Peak Trail runs in Berks: The South Mountain YMCA Camps is hosting The Cushion Peak challenge 10K, 5K and 1-mile kids trail runs, along with a fun walk, Sunday, Sept. 15, at its facility located on 201 Cushion Peak Road, Reinholds, Berks County.
To register, go online to http://www.smymca.org or call the race director at 610-670-2267.