"Revolutionary Runners" Take To Park's Trails this April
Many of Same Grit as Continental Soldiers
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. Courage, determination and perseverance are words more likely to be associated with George Washington's historic winter encampment at what's now Valley Forge National Historical Park, than a "run in the park." But participants in the annual Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run there often exhibit the same qualities.
Much like Continental Army soldiers more than two centuries ago, some of today's runners strive to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Maribeth Marburger, of Royersford, was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital after being involved in a serious automobile accident in 2007. She clearly wasn't and, in spite of multiple injuries, a lengthy hospital stay and suffering a subsequent seizure, she began a challenging road to recovery.
"I was at my local gym and saw a flier for the Revolutionary Run at Valley Forge," Marburger said. "It was right then and there that I decided to use the Run as a goal in my recovery."
Nearly a year after her accident, she triumphantly crossed the event's finish line. "I had the biggest smile on my face," she said. "Now, with anything I do, I don't let fear stop me."
Others, like graduate student Olivia Edlund, of Philadelphia, run to attain a sense of peace while balancing work, school and family. Edlund's hectic lifestyle often makes healthy choices difficult.
"I love running because it's a way to take an active break," she said. Valley Forge's lush landscape is one of her favorites. "I have a chance to enjoy where I'm running while taking some time to think. My body speeds up, but my mind slows down."
Marburger and Edlund will take to the trail of this year's fifth annual run at 8:30 a.m. on April 18. The race benefits recreation preservation initiatives at Valley Forge National Historical Park and, in its four-year history, runner registration fees and corporate sponsorships have contributed more than $100,000 for the cause.
The event also includes a three-mile walk and one-mile youth fun run. This year, kids can even "Join the Continental Army" and learn how to march and drill as the troops did during the encampment.
"Running is an active way to overcome obstacles, which makes the hallowed ground of Valley Forge a fitting location for this event. Runners often train for months with the same determination and drive those brave soldiers exhibited so long ago," said race director Martha Mayo. "Whether novice or seasoned runners, the 'Rev Run' is a great way to get outdoors, exercise and challenge personal limitations."
The Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run is produced and sponsored by the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau. At a family expo to be held throughout the event, participants, supporters and the general public can enjoy refreshments, visit health, exercise and running club exhibits and find park and area visitor information.
For more information and to register for the run, visit www.revolutionaryrun.org. To learn more about local attractions, events and overnight accommodations in the Valley Forge area, visit www.valleyforge.org.
The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ltd. is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that aggressively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 500-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Bureau's Web site, at www.valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents.
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