Registration opens at midnight on Black Friday for the 2021 Path of Flood Historic Races, presented by the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) and the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority (CCCRA). The races include a 14 miler, 8 miler, and 5K, all taking place on the Path of the Flood Trail on May 29, 2021.
“Like so many other events, the races were canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, so it’s especially exciting to bring them back for 2021,” said Deb Winterscheidt, JAHA development director and race coordinator. “We are planning with current COVID-related restrictions in place, so that we can ensure the safety of all our runners and volunteers.”
Thanks to the underwriting of the event’s presenting sponsor, the 1889 Foundation, youth 17 years of age and under can participate at no cost. This effort is to support the health and wellness of youth in our region, and to encourage more youth to get outdoors.
COVID-related restrictions are:
1) Registration is capped at 250 runners per distance.
2) There will be NO bib transfers allowed.
3) The park will not be open to spectators and there is no after-race festival planned, per current CDC and PA Department of Health COVID guidelines.
4) Any changes to these restrictions will be noted on the Active registration page, the Path of the Flood website, JAHA and CCCRA Facebook pages, and will be emailed to any pre-registered participants.
5) There will be NO day of race registrations allowed for any distance.
“We plan to remain flexible in the coming months and hope to be able to revisit our plans as the situation warrants,” said Cliff Kitner of the CCCRA. “For example, if the coronavirus vaccine rollout results in less restrictive statewide guidelines, we would love to be able to reinstate the post-race festival and increase the cap on the number of runners.”
The course follows the Path of the Flood Trail, which traces the path of the historic 1889 flood and highlights the communities of South Fork, Mineral Point, the City of Johnstown and its boroughs. It also gives runners the opportunity to pass through the Staple Bend Tunnel, the first railroad tunnel in the U.S., which is owned and operated by the National Park Service: Western Pennsylvania Sites. The races begin in South Fork and end at Peoples Gas Natural Park in Johnstown.
There are a few improvements to the race’s path. Runners who choose the 14 mile distance will have the opportunity to “be the water,” facing the new trail and its steep initial 80 foot ascent, which provides a view of the town of South Fork from a whole new perspective before rejoining the previous course and continuing towards the finish.
All runners will have the opportunity to experience the new Trolley Line Extension from East Conemaugh to Woodvale Heights. This new trail eliminates the exposed stretch of road that ran from miles 10.5 to 12.0 in previous years.
“The Path of the Flood Historic Races committee was excited to start the planning for 2021’s races after the disappointment of having to cancel this year’s event. Although there are presently necessary changes that we have had to plan for due to the current state of the world, we aim to provide the same high quality of an event to give the community of runners and the surrounding areas something positive to focus on. Embracing change, remaining adaptable and flexible, we all look forward to May 29, 2021,” added Mark Voelker, race director.
Registration begins with a Black Friday sale that lasts through Nov. 30.
If you are a JAHA member, you get a $5 discount off your race registration fee. Contact Deb Winterscheidt at 814.539.1889 ext 315 for more information.
If you are a Cambria County Friend of the Trails member, you get a $5 discount off your race registration fee. Contact Caytlin Lusk at 814.472.5440 ext 4020 or email@example.com for more information.
The POTF Historic Races would not be possible without the support of community partners and sponsors, including the National Park Service: Western PA Sites and the presenting sponsor, 1889 Foundation.
Online registration for races closes on May 10 at midnight. Register on active.com (search for ‘2021 Path of the Flood Historic Races’), www.potfraces.com, and the event’s Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/POTFraces.