Get the National Park in Gettysburg to Allow Races Again

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2L Race Services started this petition to U.S National Park Services and

I started the Gettysburg North-South Marathon back in 2011 because I wanted to bring a runner friendly and well organized event to an area deep with history (I have a master's degree in American history).  It was a bumpy start with denied permits and changes to the event, but we were able to pull it off.  Since that first marathon, this event has grown to include a half marathon, 5K and criterium race and become the Gettysburg Festival of Races.

Since that first year, we have been able to bring over 10,000 people to Gettysburg to take part in our unique themed event and help them enjoy and appreciate the historic beauty of Gettysburg.  There have been times when the National Park Service or other entities put up roadblocks to the event, but we have always been able to work around those with creative solutions and stubborn determination to not take the easy way out.

This year we faced a worldwide pandemic in the COVID-19 virus which forced us to re-schedule the event and make significant modifications to comply with local, state, and federal health recommendations and requirements.  It wasn't easy, but we pulled it off and were able to safely bring 725 runners to Gettysburg in mid-October for our 10th annual event.

Now the National Park Service has a policy that prohibits races within their jurisdictions (which with Gettysburg is a huge % of the area).  We have been warned for several years that major mistakes by another race put on by a different organization have led to a change in park policy which now denies us our efforts to make the Gettysburg Festival of Races happen in 2021.

We recognize that races of any kind are a burden on local residents, traffic, and in the case of our event park visitors.  However, we make conscientious efforts from the first planning phase to avoid going into the busiest parts of the Gettysburg National Military Park because we did not want to hinder the observation and enjoyment of the park by other tourists and visitors paying respect and learning about the history of the area.  Our course was laid out to balance an exposure to the park with runner safety and minimizing park impact, and we feel that was done.

This event benefits the Paralyzed Veterans of America as well as local non-profit groups, generating over $70,000 in contributions to those groups over the years.  It also provides a competitive opportunity to members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America racing team who take part in the mobility impaired division as well as the criterium event.  The loss of the Gettysburg Festival of Races will take away this competitive opportunity as well as fund raising event.  It also robs the local industry of valuable tourist revenue as the majority of participants travel with family/friends and stay overnight.

Please consider reaching out to your elected officials in Congress and urge them to let your voice be heard if you want this event to happen.  Gettysburg National Military Park is operated by the National Park Service, but it is ultimately owned by the American people and operates under Act of Congress.  Our national representatives have the ability to convince the Park Service that our event is a good thing for Gettysburg and the park and should be allowed to continue.

Lowell Ladd (Race Director)

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!