Route: Boalsburg Memorial Day Run
Mileage:  "4 miles" (actually 3.8 miles).
Hillage: Gentle grades with two challenging uphills in the middle of the course. The last mile-and-a-half is downhill.

Total elevation change: 197 ft.
Average Grade: 3%. Notable hills:

W. Main St Hill:  Most of the first mile-and-a-third of the race is a gentle uphill grade. The last bit, from the 1-mile point to the turnaround on W. Main St, is a 70 ft rise, a 3.6% grade.
Bailey Lane: A rise of 134 ft in 0.6 miles, a 4.1% grade. The last quarter mile ascends 68 ft. for a 5.2% grade. It's a relief to turnaround and glide the rest of the way.

Description:  The Boalsburg Memorial Day Run starts in Blue Spring Park near downtown Boalsburg, a small village outside of State College, Pennsylvania. The run heads out of the park on Pine St. At the village square, the course goes right on Church St. The run makes a right two blocks later on Chambers Alley and a right on Tennis St. two blocks later. After circling downtown in this fashion, the course heads left and out of town on W. Main St. After a long gentle climb up W. Main St., the course turns around at the turnout to Shingletown Rd. and heads back down the hill. The run makes a right on Bailey Lane and starts the long climb up the hill. After a 0.6 mile climb (that seems longer), the race turns around at the drive into a farm shelter building. After the descent down Bailey Lane, the course turns right on W. Main St. Cheering crowds get thicker as the course heads back into town. At Tennis St, the course makes a left. At Pine St., the course goes left again and heads back to the finish line in Blue Spring Park.
Remarks: Boalsburg is one of a handful of towns in American that claim to have started the Memorial Day tradition. Pennsylvania's sacrifice in the Civil War was greater than that of any other Union state, and the state is steeped in military history. Boalsburg is home to the Pennsylvania Military Museum and the Shrine to the Army's 28th Infantry Division. 

The beginning and end of the run courses through the narrow streets of downtown Boalsburg, a village with many nicely kept 18th and 19th century homes. The remainder of the race is on suburban lanes. The climb up Bailey Lane is practically "out in the country". The course is fairly difficult, with gentle to steep uphills dominating the first 2.3 miles. The last mile-and-a-half is all downhill. The people of Boalsburg (those who aren't running) turn out to cheer and encourage the runners.

The Boalsburg Memorial Day Run is a community affair held in conjunction with many other Memorial Day events and activities. The race has grown to be one of the largest regular races in the Centre Region. Nearly 500 runners of all ages and abilities participate.  The race can be described as a serious fun-run. A larger than normal proportion of the participants seem to be not-so-serious runners, which is odd because the course is not easy. On the other hand, though some fast runners participate as well (for nice prizes), the race is not for purists. The course was called a "4-miler" for a long time. The quotation marks were added to the race's application form in recent years in recognition of the fact that the course is not certified, and it's been known for some time that the course length is more like 3.8 miles. There are no mile marks, let alone timers calling splits. If you care about these things, you'll just have to lighten up for the Boalsburg Memorial Day Run and join the party!



Added: 6/01