Relay Participant Information

The Harrisburg YMCA Race Series is presented by
Saturday, November 13th
City Island, Harrisburg, PA
Thank you for being a part of the 2021 Enders Insurance Harrisburg Marathon Relay, presented by Donegal Insurance Group!
Please read through this email for important information about the event.
You may receive additional updates as we get closer to race day!
We appreciate your participation sincerely. This race is organized by and supports the East Shore YMCA in downtown Harrisburg. Your participation in this event and support for the YMCA mission is greatly appreciated. 
If you are feeling sick or ill in the days leading up to the race, play it safe and stay home! Please reply to this email if that is the case and we will work with you on options for future participation. This is not something we normally do but we want to be extra cautious this year for the safety of all our participants and volunteers!
Race Communications
It is our desire that every participant has a wonderful experience and is equipped with all necessary information for race day. This is why race staff made this pre-race email as comprehensive as possible. If you have additional questions that cannot be answered within the contents of this email, please refer to the guidelines below!
Phone Calls: Due to extensive time out of the office in the days prior to the race getting the course and other things ready, we kindly request no phone calls after Wednesday, November 10th. We will not be able to return phone calls after this time. 
Emails: If you have any questions, please hit reply to this email and let us know as soon as possible! Any email submissions after Thursday, November 11th may not be returned in a timely manner.
Following the race: Please note that our race staff is mostly out of the office the Monday after the race getting things wrapped up, so any communication may not be returned in a timely manner. We will get back to you as soon as possible!
1. FLEET FEET MECHANICSBURG (Silver Spring Square, 6416 Carlisle Pike #700, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050)
  • Thursday, November 11th - 10am-7pm
  • Friday, November 12th - 10am-6pm
  • *Please note that pick up Friday, November 12th at Fleet Feet ends at 6:00 PM
Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg is offering the following specials for anyone who picks up at the store on Thursday the 12th or Friday the 13th!
•  Buy 3 get one free socks
•  Buy 3 get one free nutrition
2. RACE DAY ON CITY ISLAND (Saturday, November 13th)
  • 6:45 AM–7:45 AM for Saturday relay participants
  • 8:00 AM–2:00 PM will be open for Sunday participants to pickup for the marathon. 
When one person picks up, they will pick up for the whole team. We will give that person the ankle strap (1 per team), bibs, pins, and shirts for all members of the relay team. Please coordinate this ahead of time with who will be picking up and how the bibs will be given to the rest of the team. This eliminates the confusion of giving out one individual bib for a team member and then someone else picking up and thinking that one bib is missing.  
Team Running Water Note: The lead organizers will pick up and distribute all race bags, hoodies, and bibs for everyone. These items will be distributed at the team rally. See email from team organizers for more information. 
  • Finding your bib number: There will be bib charts at the race. You will find the bib number beside your last name and give that number to a volunteer, who will then get your race bib and shirt. You can also look up your bib number by team name. 
  • City Island Entrance/Exit: Please note that the south entrance/exit of City Island will close in the morning to accommodate runners coming across the Market St Bridge sidewalk. The north entrance will remain open all day (which is directly across Market St from the south entrance).
  • Picking up on race morning: If your team is picking up your race bib/shirts on race morning, please arrive early so you can get parked, get your bib and race shirt, and have time to the starting line.  
  • Extra small hoodies. Please note that unfortunately there are no extra small hoodies available. All extra small hoodies will be replaced by size small. 
City Island Address: 245 Championship Way, Harrisburg, PA 17101 
The Relay will start at 8am | The course will close at 1:30pm
There are two legs of the relay, the North Leg (8.1 miles) and the South Leg (5 miles). 
Both legs start and end in the north parking lot of City Island where there is room for distancing. Unlike previous relay events, no one will have to travel off City Island to go to a relay exchange. 
We will have volunteers throughout the course, so please take the time to thank them as you go by! We could not make these races happen without our wonderful volunteer crew on the course and start/finish line area.
Please note that there will be some pedestrians using the same paths the course uses. There may be some people on bikes, with strollers, walking dogs, etc. 
There are four people to a relay team, so the relay leg sequence for all teams will be:
  • Leg 1 - North Leg (white bibs)
  • Leg 2 - South Leg (maroon bibs)
  • Leg 3 - North Leg (white bibs)
  • Leg 4 - South Leg (maroon bibs)
Each team will be assigned one ankle strap with a number that matches your team bib number. 
The ankle strap will be worn by each participant as they are running their leg, then will be exchanged to the person running the next leg in the Exchange Zone on City Island. 
The ankle strap has a timing chip, which is what the race timer will use to time your relay team. 
When you registered, you selected an order for each team member for legs 1, 2, 3, 4. 
The race bibs will have the name of the leg (North or South) and the order already printed on it (leg 1, 2, 3, 4). 
There will be one bib number per team. This means that all four bibs will have the same bib number on it, just like the one shown below. 
All you need to do is look at which leg you are running and the order and you will be all set. Each bib will be labeled with the name, shirt size, team name, and age for each participant, so it will make it even easier to see who is running which leg. 
Your Exchange Zone will also be listed on your race bib (more on this later).
As you can see below, bibs are labeled in order:
  • North Leg, Leg 1 (white bib) - upper left
  • South Leg, Leg 2 (maroon bib) - upper right
  • North Leg, Leg 3 (white bib) - lower left
  • South Leg, Leg 4 (maroon bib) - lower right
Please take a moment to look at the writing on each bib and look at where it is labeled North/South Leg and the sequence of Legs 1,2, 3, and 4.  
Now that you have an idea of how the bibs will be printed and customzied so that each person knows which leg they are running (North or South) and which sequence, Leg 1, 2, 3, or 4), let's take a look at the North and South legs in more detail. 
The North Leg is 8.1 miles. 
There are a total of 21 turns, which will be marked with arrow signs and some turns will have volunteers to direct you. 
This leg starts and finishes in the North Parking Lot on City Island.
The first 1.3 miles (from the starting line to the end of the Walnut St Bridge) will be the same for the North Leg and the South Leg. At the end of the Walnut St Bridge, the North Leg turns left and the South Leg turns right. 
The North and South leg merge in two areas, which will be marked with signs and will have volunteers on hand. The volunteers will be able to see the color of your race bib and will know which direction to send you, plus there will be signs as well. 
There will be course markers and volunteers onsite to help you navigate the course. 
The South Leg is 5 miles. 
There are a total of 17 turns, which will be marked with arrow signs and some turns will have volunteers to direct you. 
This leg starts and finishes in the North Parking Lot on City Island.
The first 1.3 miles (from the starting line to the end of the Walnut St Bridge) will be the same for the North Leg and the South Leg. At the end of the Walnut St Bridge, the North Leg turns left and the South Leg turns right. 
The North and South leg merge in two areas, which will be marked with signs. The volunteers will be able to see the color of your race bib and will know which direction to send you, plus there will be signs as well. 
There will be course markers and volunteers onsite to help you navigate the course.
The Relay Exchange will be very simple and convenienty located at the start and finish of the race. 
Each team will be assigned an Exchange Zone. This will be listed on your race bib. 
The Exchange Zone will be where the ankle strap contains the timing chip) will be exchanged between legs. 
Leg 1 (North Leg) will begin the race at 8am.
Shortly thereafter, the team member running Leg 2 (South Leg) will go to their assigned Exchange Zone and wait for them to finish.
When Leg 1 finishes, they wiil run to their Exchange Zone, exchange the ankle strap with Leg 2. 
Leg 2 then begins the South Leg. 
Leg 3 (North Leg) then goes to the assigned Exchange Zone and waits for Leg 2 to finish. When Leg 2 finishes, they will run to their Exchange Zone and exchange the ankle strap with Leg 3. 
Leg 3 then begins the North Leg. 
Leg 4 (South Leg) then goes to the assigned Exchange Zone and waits for Leg 3 to finish. When Leg 3 finishes, they will run to their Exchange Zone and exchange the ankle strap with Leg 4. 
Leg 4 then begins the South Leg.
When Leg 4 finishes, the team has completed the relay and the race timer will add up their cumulative time. 
There will be mile markers set up for both the North and South legs of the race. 
In the areas of the course where the two relay legs merge, the mile markers will be labeled accordingly. 
Water will be served in bottles like the one below. You will run by and pick it up (try not to touch the table or anything but the bottle you pick up).
The caps will be on and you will have to twist them off. There will be trash cans staggered after the water stops so you will have some distance to run and drink before you dispose of them. 
North Leg - There will be water available at mile 4.75 and mile 5.25 (on the Greenbelt Path at Front St/Maclay St)
South Leg - There will be water available at mile 2.16 and 3.61 (Greenbelt Path by the I-83 Bridge)
Course Marking: There will be arrows signs throughout the course. The arrow signs will be yellow signs with black arrows. Some course signs will be just arrows and others will have specific details. The course is pretty simple to navigate, but please pay attention to signs and instructions.
The course is on paved path and sidewalk. There is a section of gravel path at the southern part of the course. Most of the course is in fairly good shape except for some of the uneven parts of City Island, which is where the start/halfway point/finish is. When you are running these areas, just be aware for rough areas of the parking lot. 
If you want to change who on your team is running which leg, you must email Tom Gifford at by Monday, November 8th by 5pm. 
Otherwise, you can feel free to change legs on race day and email the address above the week following the race so the results can be adjusted accordingly. 
If you are a team with 2 or 3 people, please wear the bib according to which leg you are running.
For example, if you are running Leg #1 and Leg #3, wear the white bib that says North Leg, Leg 1 and then change bibs for the 3rd leg and use the maroon bib that says South Leg, Leg 3. Please refer above to the pictures of the race bibs and look at how they are customized for each leg. 
This also lets the volunteers on the course know which leg you are running. 
Please note that teams of 2 and 3 are not eligible for awards. 
There will be porta-potties at the starting line area and throughout the course. We will place hand sanitizers in each unit. Units will be located adjacent to all aid stations shown above. Other units will also be spread out along the course. 
The City of Harrisburg has some porta-potty units located around the City Island area, which are all public units. We are also having units delivered just for this race.
Please note that any of the units there specifically for the race will have the sign below on them. 
If you see the sign below on a unit, it means that it is for you as a race participant.
We are working to deter others from using them, so we will be zip-tying the units before and after the race. 
Chip Timing: The race is being timed using a disposable chip system and we will have both a starting line mat and finish line mat in place.  Please make sure you cross both mats during the race. There will be another set of timing mats on the course for the purpose of ensuring full completion of the course for accurate awards. Your time will not start until you cross the start line mat and will stop when you cross the finish line mat.

Normally we have this race on one day and all awards are gun timed, but we have had to take new measures this year due to the parameters we have to operate in.

Timing mats: There will be timing mats at the start/finish line on City Island. The person running the first leg must cross the timing mat. Each person finishing a leg must also cross the timing mat. 

PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THE TIMING TENT TO REQUEST YOUR TIME OR ASK QUESTIONS OF THE TIMING STAFF. Our timing staff will not be able to assist you as they will be managing starts, stops, and checkpoints. 

We will not be issuing prize money.

All awards will be scored using cumulative chip time for each team. NO EXCEPTIONS.

RELAY AWARD CATEGORIES (1st place for each category)

  • All Male
  • All Female
  • Mixed
  • All Male Masters (cumulative age of 160+)
  • All Female Masters (cumulative age of 160+)
  • Mixed Masters (cumulative age of 160+)
  • All Male 50+
  • All Female 50+
Only teams of 4 will be eligible for awards. 
We will have an awards ceremony at 12pm by the DJ table. 
Results will be uploaded as soon as possible following the race. 

Our race timer will be updating results throughout the morning via the links below. After you finish, check the links and your official time will be up shortly. 

Please do not go to the race timer tent to inquire about your race time, they will be updated on the website quickly!

Results will be listed on
The final results will also be posted on our Harrisburg YMCA Races Facebook page, so please follow our page or check back following the event. 
All participants who complete the race will receive a finisher medal!
Please note that we will have a photographer at the finish line only. 

All photos will be free to download thanks to our photo sponsor, Premier Eye Care!

Once photos are ready, we will post them on our Harrisburg Area YMCA Races Facebook page, so be sure to check back!

Please allow 1-2 weeks to process.
The Harrisburg Marathon does not have an official host hotel, but the Penn Harris Hotel (formerly the Harrisburg Radisson) has offered a special rate for Friday, November 12th and Saturday, November 13th. The rate is $99/night plus tax. You can also request a late checkout. Just call the Penn Harris Hotel at 717-763-7117. The deadline for booking a room is Monday, November 8th. 

The Penn Harris Hotel is a short drive to City Island (approximately 6-8 minutes), which is where the race starts and finishes. 
After you cross the finish line, you will go through the finish line chute on the outside area of the north parking lot on City Island. You will receive a bottle of water, a finisher medal, and refreshments will be available.   
EMS utility vehicles will be available along the course. EMTs will be available near the finish line on City Island. EMTs will be in contact with each water station and course volunteers in case of emergency.
Medical personnel will have the full ability to make a decision if it is not physically safe for a participant to continue the event. 
Should a participant require transportation to a hospital and hospitalization for any reason, the race is not liable for medical costs incurred. 
There will not be a bag drop option at the event this year. 
Click here to visit the Harrisburg Marathon page on
Click here to visit the Harrisburg YMCA Races Facebook Page.
Can I wear headphones?
If you wear headphones, be aware of your surroundings, especially if someone is passing you and gives you verbal notice before doing so. Also please pay attention to all volunteers who will help direct you to make the correct turns. If your headphones are turned up too much, you might miss a verbal cue and go off course.  
Can I run with my child in a baby jogger or with my dog on a leash?
No. Unfortunately we do not allow baby joggers or animals on the course for safety reasons.
Are awards chip-timed or gun-timed?
All relay awards are scored using cumulative chip-timing. 
Thank you for your support and good luck on race day!
The 2021 Harrisburg Marathon Relay is sponsored by ENDERS INSURANCE

Race photos are free to download thanks for our photo sponsor, Premier Eye Care Group!

Medical Services sposored by UPMC!
Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg is the Official Training and Apparel Store of the Harrisburg YMCA Race Series
Thanks to our Race Bag Sponsor, Cynthia Forry!

Our Healthy Living Sponsor is Select Physical Therapy

Edgar Snyder Associates is the Entertainment Sponsor!

Our Potato Chip Sponsor is Martin's Potato Chips

Thank you for supporting the East Shore YMCA!

Over the last decade, more than $600,000 has been raised from the Harrisburg YMCA races, including the Harrisburg Marathon. The money raised benefits the East Shore Branch YMCA, which, in turn, awards scholarships for youth, childcare, membership and other programs.
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