Bethlehem resident Jeff Bogardo signs up for this year’s local St. Luke’s Via Marathon.
Set to once again take place later this year, the annual St. Luke’s Via Marathon supports children and adults with disabilities in and around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and across Lehigh and Northampton counties and further afield. Recently signed up for the event, medal-winning runner Jeff Bogardo provides a closer look at the race and the work of Via of the Lehigh Valley.
“Scenic, nicely shaded almost throughout, and with a net descent drop of 240 feet, St. Luke’s Via Marathon is deservedly popular year in and year out,” explains Bogardo, a resident of the marathon’s co-hosting city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It’s also an attractive qualifying run, he says, for the famous Boston Marathon.
The average runner’s time for the St. Luke’s Via Marathon is just shy of four hours. “In fact, for the past few years, the average runner’s time has been almost exactly three hours and 59 minutes,” reveals medal-winning road racer Bogardo.
St. Luke’s Via Marathon is also a fantastic opportunity to fundraise for a great cause, according to Jeff Bogardo. “By getting involved with St. Luke’s Via Marathon, people are joining a 68-year-long tradition, courtesy of Via of the Lehigh Valley, in supporting those with disabilities, in retirement, and much more,” Bogardo reveals.
“Since 1952,” he continues, “Via of the Lehigh Valley has supported vital services for people and their families ranging from early childhood developmental support to helping people with disabilities and those in retirement to lead the best possible life our community can offer.”
Via of the Lehigh Valley is a nonprofit organization that provides services for adults and children with disabilities in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Pike, Monroe, Berks, and Bucks counties. Via has now overseen the marathon’s host cities of Allentown and Bethlehem’s annual racing events for more than a decade.
The event is sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network. Founded almost 150 years ago, St. Luke’s is a nonprofit, fully integrated, regional network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at over ten different hospitals and upwards of 300 outpatient sites.
Closer to home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, meanwhile, more than 45,000 people, Jeff Bogardo reveals, have now benefited from the services that Via provides. “With support, St. Luke’s Via Marathon can continue Via of the Lehigh Valley’s legacy of excellence,” he adds.
Interested parties can get involved by either running, volunteering at, donating to, or sponsoring the St. Luke’s Via Marathon, according to medal-winning road racer Bogardo. “This year’s St. Luke’s Via Marathon, in and around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,” he adds, wrapping up, “takes place on Sunday, September 13.”
To learn more or to register for the 2020 St. Luke’s Via Marathon, head to https://www.viamarathon.org/.