St. Luke's University Health Network

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Lehigh Valley Half Marathon

St. Luke's Sponsors Lehigh Valley Half Marathon

Frank Ford, president,
St. Luke's Hospital -
Allentown Campus already
has run the Lehigh Valley
Half Marathon before and
praises it as a way to
promote fitness and health.

Bethlehem, PA (1/12/2010) - The largest competitive athletic event in the Lehigh Valley region will be held this year on April 25. As it has in the past, it will attract about 4,000 runners to the streets and parks of Allentown. But this year, it will have a new name – St. Luke's Lehigh Valley Half Marathon, with St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network stepping up as the presenting sponsor.

Event Promotes Fitness and Health

Frank Ford, president of St. Luke's Hospital - Allentown Campus, said that while St. Luke's has been a sponsor of the event for years, he wanted our Network to play a bigger role for three reasons: “It starts a block away from our hospital. The half-marathon (along with an accompanying 5-kilometer run sponsored by Physical Therapy at St. Luke's) promotes fitness and health, which is part of our mission, too. And, I want to encourage more St. Luke's people to participate.” Ford has been running since the 1980s, has completed seven full marathons (26.2 miles) and has run the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon several times.

Best Organized Event of its Kind

Runners consider the Half Marathon to be among the best-organized events of its kind. It features numerous hydration stations, 12 bands playing along the course and the fanfare of finishing inside the Allentown School District's J. Birney Crum stadium. The event features a post-race lunch and shower facilities as well as free shuttle buses for spectators. There also are a pre-race expo and a pasta dinner the night before the event.

A new race logo has been designed to reflect St. Luke's involvement and it will appear on runners' apparel, bib numbers, banners and other race-related material.

Registration must be made through the Web site, lehighvalleyhalfmarathon.com and registration is limited to 4,000 runners. To see a short video featuring competitors in last year's race, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcsPQiGhpdE