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Via marathon benefits families in the Lehigh Valley

The Via Walk was held Sept. 12 at the Hoover-Mason Trestle at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Bethlehemm.

A 5K Run was also held at ArtsQuest Sept 12 as well as a kids race.

The marathon, team relay and half marathon were held Sept. 13 at Lehigh Valley Health Network - Cedar Crest.

The Via Walk raises money for Via’s services for children and adults with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.

Via has served the community since 1954.

Bart Yasso, chief running officer at Runner’s World Magazine, designed the course which included the Lehigh River running through it. As Yasso likes to say; it’s a course designed by a runner for a runner.

The Sept. 13 course started at Lehigh Valley Hospital to the Lehigh Parkway, past the Fish Hatchery, across a covered bridge and headed toward the Lehigh River. At mile seven, runners entered the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. Mile 12 placed the runners in Bethlehem with a run through the 18th Century Industrial Quarter. Canal locks, a boat launch and several parks made up the run to Easton. At mile 25, the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers was right before the runners.

Yasso said the scenic, shady route and a net elevation drop of 240 feet make it an attractive qualifying run for the Boston Marathon. The average runner’s time in 2014 was 3:57 hours.

Since 1954, Via has provided vital services for people and families in the Lehigh Valley. Services range from early childhood developmental support to services for people in retirement. Via has a rich history of helping people with disabilities lead the best possible life our community can offer. More than 45,000 people have benefited from the services Via provides.

For 2015 race results, visit www.viamarathon.org and click on results.

Randy Nunemacher and Elizabeth Abel, both of Orwigsburg, prepare to run in the Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon Sept. 13. The race began 7:10 a.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest and ended at Scott Park, Larry Holmes Drive, Easton.