Scranton Half Marathon set for Nov. 7

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Scott Walsh, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.
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Feb. 19—Officials for the Scranton Half Marathon announced Thursday that this year's race will take place Sunday, Nov. 7.

Included in the weekend is the Scranton 5K on Saturday, Nov. 6, as well as the Doherty Double and Kid's Races.

Usually, the annual 13.1-mile trek through the neighborhood streets of Scranton is held the spring; April 11 was this year's original date. However, it was pushed back to the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year's race was postponed due to the pandemic. It was later held as a virtual event in October.

Race director Matt Byrne is hopeful this year's running can be in-person.

"If we have to turn it virtual again, we'll do that again," Byrne said. "But now we have something on the radar if things open up as normal. Then we're in position to have something that we're used to.

"We'd rather not go virtual. People want to get together, they like the course, the event showcases Scranton. Hopefully we can do it like we're used to."

Byrne acknowledged holding the race in November will be difficult because of the crowded calendar.

One month earlier, the 25th running of the Steamtown Marathon is scheduled for Oct. 10. Also, the New York City Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 7.

Plus, the availability of Scranton Memorial Stadium, where the Scranton Half Marathon finishes, was a concern since Scranton, West Scranton and Scranton Prep high schools and Lackawanna College all use the facility for football.

"As of now, that is the one open weekend, so we jumped on it," Byrne said.

No date has been set for registration. Byrne said he wants to allow the Steamtown Marathon to open their registration first.

According to Steamtown race director Bill King, registration may possibly open April 1.

"They've had the fall event and we've had the spring event," Byrne said. "I already feel like I'm intruding on their season a little bit, so I'm going to be as nice of a neighbor as I can to let them get their registration and event off first.

"We're just excited to put on a real event. We all need something to strive for right now. The virtual thing was OK and fun for a while, but now it's getting old. So we're excited to try to do something in-person again. It feels good to have something on the calendar."

Contact the writer:

swalsh@timesshamrock.com;

570 348-9100 ext. 5109;

@swalshTT on Twitter