Thirteenth Annual Rev Run set for April 22
UPPER MERION » Last July, under the National Memorial Arch at Valley Forge National Historical Park, the folks at Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB) presented a recordbreaking donation of $54,000 raised from April’s Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run to the national park.
With the 13th Annual Rev Run
Getting tough on turnpike toll dodgers
When law-abiding motorists are constantly asked to pay more, it’s only right to crack down on scofflaws.
on April 22 drawing ever closer, the county’s eventsponsoring tourism agency is aiming to outrun that amount in more ways than one.
“We’re not just hoping to top last year’s record of giving $54,000 to the park, we will definitely exceed it,” said Mike Bowman, President & CEO of VFTCB. “So, by the time we’re done with this year’s event, we’ll have given back more than $350,000 total to the park over the course of Rev Run’s lifetime. Valley Forge is known nationally and internationally, so we’re beyond proud to keep supporting key programming, and improvement projects at this gem of a destination.”
The 2017 run itself had drawn an all-time high of 1,500-plus participants, noted Bowman at the July check presentation.
“More than 17,000 people have participated in the Rev Run,” he said. “Valley Forge National Historical Park is one of the region’s most visited destinations, and we are thrilled to present our largest-ever donation to help support key programming and improvement projects in the Park with funds from this year’s Rev Run.”
Since 2005, runners of all skill levels have trekked the five-mile, USATF-certified, closed course that follows the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail, and follows the scenic and hilly terrain of the park with steady climbs and descents, a mix of roads and trails, and ends with a tough uphill climb over the final quarter-mile to the finish line at the park’s Visitor Center. The event also includes a three-mile walk along the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail. The 1.776 kilometer Young Patriots Run for kids ages 6-13 passes the Muhlenberg Brigade huts.
Cash prizes are awarded to the top three overall male and female winners, with custom medals being awarded to the top three finishers in each age bracket. Funds raised are part of various infrastructure improvement projects and programming to enhance visitor experience at the park.
Park Superintendent Steve Sims had elaborated on the many “high-priority projects” that would be made possible by last year’s $54,000 donation, including future maintenance needs of Sullivan’s Bridge, the new pedestrian span over the Schuylkill River; design and construction of a public trail head and improvements as part of a new meadow trail and management plan; expansion of the outdoor garden with several varieties of perennials in front of the visitor center entrance, and design of new park information and orientation kiosk panels between the Visitor Center and parking lot.
An avid runner who joined in the Rev Run for the first time in 2016, Sims said he wasn’t prepared to face such a mighty obstacle so close to the finish line.
“That last hill is a doozy,” he said privately after the check presentation. “You have to save up a little energy over the course of the five miles so you can make it up the last 100 yards of that hill. But during my first Rev Run I developed an emotional connection to Valley Forge National Historical Park. It caused me to reflect on the determination and resolve of the patriot soldiers and what it means to overcome diversity. “I believe Gen. George Washington expected me to give it my all and run up that hill. It is certainly no comparison to the trials faced by the soldiers of the Continental Army during the winter encampment here,” he added, “but each time I run the Rev Run and reach that last 100 yards I will give it my all. It is one way to honor the sacrifices of the Continental soldiers who exemplified resolve and determination. And as superintendent, I will give my all to serve this park.”
The Rev Run kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at 1400 N. Outer Line Drive on April 22.
To register, visit www. valleyforge.org/revolutionary-run/registration.
Officials gather at the National Memorial Arch for a presentation of the check for $54,000, whch was raised during last year’s Rev Run.