Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is your policy when runners withdraw from the race?
  • I’m registered for Steamtown but have not been receiving pre-race e-mails. What’s going on?
  • When will I receive my information packet in the mail?
  • If I can’t make it to the Race Expo, can I pick up my packet on race morning at the starting line?
  • Can a friend or family member pick up my race packet?
  • Where can I park in Downtown Scranton on race morning?
  • Am I required to take a bus to the start or can someone drop me off?
  • If I did not indicate on my entry form that I plan to take a bus to the start, can I still board a bus on race morning?
  • Do I need to show my race number to board a bus?
  • Will you be providing return transportation to the starting line after the race?
  • Can I “check” some belongings at the starting line?
  • How many aid stations will be on the course and what will they have available?
  • Will you have any port-a-lavs on the course?
  • Will you have any energy gels on the course?
  • Since there is so much downhill in the first half of the course should I try to run faster than my usual pace in order to “bank” time?
  • Will you have official pace groups?
  • Can a friend pace me during the race?
  • Can I wear my I-pod during the race?
  • What if I get sick or injured during the race and cannot continue?
  • Is Steamtown an official Boston Marathon qualifying race?
  • Do you use clock time or chip time to determine award winners?
  • Do I need to make reservations in order to attend the Pasta Party?




    Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is your policy when runners withdraw from the race?
    Runners who send an e-mail to racecommittee@hotmail.com by or before September 7 will be offered a partial refund of $25. The refund will be applied to the credit card that was used to register the runner. Runners who withdraw after September 7 will not be eligible for the partial refund. The marathon ended its carry forward policy after the 2011 race.

    Requests to transfer entries should be sent to racecommittee@hotmail.com and will be handled on a case by case basis.

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  • I’m registered for Steamtown but have not been receiving pre-race e-mails. What’s going on?
    We send our blast e-mails through the Active.com system. If you are not receiving them they are probably being blocked as spam on your end or might be ending up in your junk file. We can’t do anything about that. However, we re-post all of our e-mails to our Forum. Click here to access the Forum and to read copies of all e-mails: http://www.realbuzz.com/forums/the-steamtown-marathon/.
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  • When will I receive my information packet in the mail?
    We mail an information or “confirmation” packet to all registered runners in mid September. The packet will contain specific information about the race, directions and maps. We also post a pdf of the information packet to our Web site in early September.
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  • If I can’t make it to the Race Expo, can I pick up my packet on race morning at the starting line?
    For a number of reasons, we strongly prefer and respectfully request that you attend the Race Expo. However, if you absolutely cannot attend the Expo, you will be allowed to pick up your bib number, timing chip, and souvenir shirt inside the main entrance to Forest City High School at the starting line on race morning.
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  • Can a friend or family member pick up my race packet?
    Yes. However, please be advised that we will ask the “picker upper” to show us their I.D. and sign for your packet.
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  • Where can I park in Downtown Scranton on race morning?
    The Steamtown Marathon finishes in Downtown Scranton on N. Washington Avenue between Linden Street and Spruce Street (Courthouse Square). Bus transportation to the starting line also departs from Downtown Scranton about a block from the finish line. Therefore, many runners choose to park Downtown on race morning. All parking meters are free on race day. You can park at any meter that does not have a No Parking sign on it. There are also several Scranton Parking Authority garages that are favorites of Steamtown runners and their families. All are pay to park garages and none have attendants on duty. They all use automated pay stations. There are two pay-to-park garages on Adams Avenue between Lackawanna Avenue and Spruce Street and one at the corner of Linden Street and South Washington Avenue (enter from Linden Street). Click here for a 2014 Map of Downtown Scranton. Click here to visit the Scranton Parking Authority web page.
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  • Am I required to take a bus to the start or can someone drop me off?
    You can have a friend or family member drive you to the starting line on race morning. However, please be advised that shortly before the start of the race, the main roads leading to Forest City (the start) will close to traffic. If your driver stays to watch the start, they will need to follow a somewhat tricky “escape route” to get out of Forest City. See the Directions page for more information. Note: about 80% of all runners take one of our buses to the start.
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  • If I did not indicate on my entry form that I plan to take a bus to the start, can I still board a bus on race morning?
    Yes, just hop on board.
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  • Do I need to show my race number to board a bus?
    No, but pleased be advised that only registered runners should board a bus. Under no circumstances should family or friends board a bus.
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  • Will you be providing return transportation to the starting line after the race?
    NO! Please DO NOT leave a vehicle at the starting line. We will not be providing return transportation to the starting line!
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  • Can I “check” some belongings at the starting line?
    Yes. You’ll find several baggage stations both inside and outside Forest City High School. You will be given a clear plastic bag for your extra clothes, etc… Your bib number will be written on the bag. UPS trucks will transport all bags to the finish line. When you cross the finish line, walk (if you can) to baggage pick up on Courthouse Square and show a volunteer your race number. The volunteer will hand you your bag. Please don’t place anything of great value or anything that’s breakable in your bag.

    IMPORTANT: Due to the Boston Marathon tragedy, the Steamtown Marathon race committee has banned knapsacks, gym bags, duffle bags, drawstring bags and any and all similar non-transparent bags and sacks on the event buses, at the starting line and at the finish line. Please leave such bags at home. Clear bags will be available at the race expo and at the baggage stations at the starting line.
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  • How many aid stations will be on the course and what will they have available?
    There will be 13 aid stations on the course. Each will have water and a sports drink. A few will offer snacks. The aid stations will be at miles 2.6, 4.2, 6.5, 8.6, 10.7, 13.1, 15.6, 17.5, 19.2, 21.0, 23.0, 24.0, and 24.8.
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  • Will you have any port-a-lavs on the course?
    We will have 90 port-a-lavs at the starting line, 24 out on the course and 10 at the finish. The port-a-lavs on the course will be at miles 4.2, 4.5, 8.8, 10.0, 13.1, 15.6, 19.2, 21, 23 and 24.6.
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  • Will you have any energy gels on the course?
    No. Please carry your own.
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  • Since there is so much downhill in the first half of the course should I try to run faster than my usual pace in order to “bank” time?
    Many excellent runners have answered this question by advising you to run an even split for both halves of the race. They strongly advise against trying to bank time. Although there is a lot of downhill at Steamtown, especially during the first eight miles, there are several challenging uphills in the final three miles. Going out too fast in the early part of the course will put tremendous strain on your quad muscles and will use up the energy you will need to tackle the tough uphills. First time Steamtowners would be wise to attend a presentation about the course given by our race director and several other runners, which will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Race Expo site (Scranton High School). Please visit our Training Page for more information about running.
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  • Will you have official pace groups?
    No, but we will make it possible for you to form unofficial pace groups. When you get to the starting line go inside Forest City High School. In one of the larger rooms (probably the cafeteria) you will see lots of signs with finish times taped to the walls. Find “your sign” and introduce yourself to the other runners who have gathered there. It will be up to you to form an unofficial pace group with your fellow runners in hopes of hitting your goal time. We’ll have a sign for each Boston qualifying time as well as a few more for good measure.
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  • Can a friend pace me during the race?
    Only officially registered runners should be on the Steamtown course. Please do not ask a friend or family member to run or bike alongside of you. We reserve the right to disqualify you if you disregard this rule.
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  • Can I wear my I-pod during the race?
    A few years ago, we banned the wearing of I-pods and similar listening devices at Steamtown because we are a USATF-certified event and USATF had banned the use of such devices. However, when USATF ended its ban, we did too. Although you will not be disqualified if you wear a listening device, we nonetheless ask that you refrain from doing so. We do our best to close roads and/or control traffic but there are still spots on our course where you will be running close to moving vehicles. We are very concerned about your safety and we want to make sure you can hear our volunteers and your fellow runners at all times. Therefore, we respectfully request that you leave your I-pod home.
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  • What if I get sick or injured during the race and cannot continue?
    We will have several bike clubs patrolling the course searching for runners in need of assistance. We will also have sag wagons (Lackawanna County vans) stationed at points along the course. If you cannot finish the race, flag down a bike volunteer or tell the volunteers at an aid station. They should be able to call a sag wagon to your location. As a sag wagon gets a few runners on board, it will proceed to the finish line. Also, we will have about one dozen ambulance companies available to help runners in need of medical assistance. The ambulances and sag wagons will be coordinated through the 911 system.

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  • Is Steamtown an official Boston Marathon qualifying race?
    Yes, we are USATF-certified and an official Boston qualifier. In fact, on average, 28% of Steamtown finishers qualify for Boston. Once our race results are made official, we forward them directly to Boston’s registration department. Click here for more information about Boston qualifying: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/qualifying.aspx.
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  • Do you use clock time or chip time to determine award winners?
    Like most major road races, Steamtown uses clock time to determine prize money and age group award winners. However, the Boston Marathon uses chip time to determine whether you have posted a qualifying time.

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  • Do I need to make reservations in order to attend the Pasta Party?
    No, reservations are not necessary and in fact, they will not be taken. You will be seated upon your arrival. The Pasta Party will be held on Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Montage Ski Lodge, 100 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic, PA 18507.
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