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Valley Forge Battle to the End O' Marathon



Valley Forge, PA
Dec 15, 2007

Next entry deadline: Dec 12, 2007

Type: Orienteering - Other

event website

added by: angelica


An Orienteering race of full Marathon distance - 42.2km/26 miles.
  • New on 12/11: Course Setter's Notes
  • This is the first known Orienteering event to be held in the US that is of full Marathon (42.2km) distance.
  • A half-marathon option is available.
  • This is a fundraiser for the US Orienteering Team & DVOA.


Saturday 12/15.
  • Normal mass-start is 9AM, early-start at 7AM available on request, course closes at 4PM.
  • Cutoff times will be in place to make sure everyone is done before dark (which comes around 4:45pm.)
    • 1/2-way-point: 12:30pm
    • 3/4-point: 2:15pm
  • Please arrive at the event and check in at least 30 minutes prior to the start.
  • Please contact angelicariley at if you'd like to request an early start.


The start & finish (and halfway point of the marathon) will be at Washington's Headquarters, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Valley Forge, PA. (Just northeast of the intersection of Routes 252 and 23.) From the end of 252 North, turn right onto 23, then left into the parking lot.


All 3 Valley Forge Park Orienteering maps (1:10,000) & 2 adjoining hybrid photo/O' maps (sample) (1:15,000) will be used.


  • New on 12/11: Course Setter's Notes
  • Half: 21.10km, 370m climb, 24 controls
  • Full: 42.20km, 615m climb, 49 controls
  • Length Orienteering-measured distance (minimum permitted* distance) is the full 21.1km on each half of the marathon. Actual distance of the ideal route appears to be ~23km on each half. *(Note you are not permitted to cross into private property marked on the map, or cross freeways, swim wide rivers, or cross high fences or cliffs. Route is measured around such obstacles.)
  • Climb is less than 2%.
  • The half marathon is the 1st half of the full marathon, so you can change your mind and stop halfway if you don't make it.
  • The navigational difficulty ranges from beginner (White) to intermediate (Orange) level, usually on the easier side of that range. The goal is to allow many people to finish this marathon w/o the need for advanced navigational skills. Figuring out what trail you are on, and planning which to take next is sufficient for the vast majority of the course, with further 'advanced' level optimizations possible in some cases.
  • The best route is ~30% paved trail*, 40% dirt trail, and 25% off-trail (mostly fields, a little forest), with <5% on the side of roads. (*dirt shoulder usually available if you're really pavement averse)
  • As of 12/11, the course is wet, but free of snow & ice, and will probably remain this way for race day.
  • Course Setter is Wyatt Riley.


  • You probably don't want to wear metal spiked shoes due to the amount of pavement.
  • Full leg covering would be good through the fields and forests if you choose to run through these.

Aid Stations

  • At 13km, 21km, 28km, 31km, 35km, there will be aid stations with water, Gatorade, Coke, Mt. Dew, and bananas.
  • Additional water at winterized drinking fountains will likely be available at 9km, and 38km (we drop water at these if they freeze up.)
  • The halfway point (21km) is the same as the start/finish, so feel free to leave further aid items for yourself there, e.g. in your car..


  • Controls will be a mixture of wire flags & regular orienteering bags, some of which will have Epunching for splits and the rest of which will have normal pin punches.
  • You must either epunch, or pin-punch each control.
  • You will be using one control card - boxes for punch numbers 21 to 49 are printed on the back. You'll only punch in about half the boxes because the other half are epunch.
  • Control descriptions will be printed in a side-by-side fashion, that you can fold in half to 'normal' size.


Contact if you'd like to reserve some floor space to sleep on the night before/after, just 2 miles from the start/finish. There are also plenty of hotels nearby.

Registration & Cost

Online pre-registration is available for $26 at On-site, day-of-event registration is also available at a cost of $42, for the first dozen or so non-pre-registered arrivals. We encourage to you email the event director angelicariley at by Thursday morning, 12/13, to make sure we hold a set of maps for you! Additonal contributions to the US Orienteering Team are welcome.


Some info also available via

The background

The course setter, his wife, and some friends have never run a Marathon, and aren't particularly interested in doing so on a paved road... So we thought - how about an Orienteering Marathon, mostly on trails? This is it! Your chance to do so! Quite possibly your one chance, as we do not plan to make this an annual event...

Are you going?

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80.4 ebone (log) Cool! I wish I could go!
73.1 ✓ Wyatt (log) course setting + running unofficially, starting late, I think
71.8 ✓ Joe (log) viktoria and pavlina too
68.6 ✓ speedy (log) Start-Halfway-Finish-Rescue-and-Search if needed :)
59.3 ✓ angelica Event Director & running too
58.4 ✓ Cristina (log) temptation won
54.4 jjcote (log)
54.3 ✓ cmorse (log)
52.6 ✓ PG (log) I think this is one that shouldn't be missed.
52.1 ✓ coach (log) Some one has to carry the food....
51.0 div (log) Would be good reason to run marathon
49.3 ✓ PBricker (log)
40.7 ✓ Charlie (log) and Rhonda, too. early start!
39.2 ✓ barb (log)
37.0 ? furlong47 May attempt half
36.2 Bernard Have to see what this might conflict with
35.7 ✓ bishop22 (log) Very tight travel schedule
35.2 levitin Sounds great. Too bad it's a Sat.
32.3 ✓ fredder (log) full marathon? maybe
30.2 ✓ vmeyer (log)
✓ jfredrickson Yahoo! What a way to start the Winter season!
✓ cporter (log) not sure if i'll finish, but i'm gonna try
✓ j-man (log) Assistant event director and running
✓ McDowell
✓ playnq
✓ Maryann (log) Trying the half
✓ triple-double (log) Hope to do the half-marathon
✓ CHand I am in for the full..sounds awesome
✓ Tom O (log) Is a complementary pineapple included in the entry fee?
✓ yoyonateo looks like a lot of fun
✓ orienteeringmom Halfway/finish station chef
✓ Kswede
✓ mforbes mforbes
✓ TimGood (log) Maybe I will try the full distance afterall.
✓ allnoise3rd Half Marathoner
✓ Sswede (log) Volunteering
✓ L-Jackson (log) half sounds about right
✓ wilburdeb Zac & I are doing the 21 km
✓ the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...I'm doing the full marathon...Actually I'm not....but I will do the half...
✓ viktoria (log)
✓ Bswede
? rkinsley Will check with the holiday calendar - but I too have not run a marathon & trail option is appealing
? Swisstoph (log) Aaarrggghhh Need more money!
? Nikolay (log) Nice. I want.
? Samantha (log) Doesn't look so certain now. I'm falling apart already.
pkturner unable to cancel out on becoming a grandpa
hkleaf (log) recovery from injury, bummer!

See also:

Nov 2–4, 2007US Champs
Nov 11, 2007DVOA - Ridley Creek
Nov 18, 2007DVOA Hickory Run
Nov 18, 2007Philadelphia Marathon
Nov 18, 2007WCOC Wooster Mtn Meet
Nov 25, 2007Mid-Atlantic Championships - Rocky Ridge
Dec 2, 2007DVOA Batsto
Dec 9, 2007DVOA Valley Forge Misery
Jan 19–21, 2008Georgia Navigator Cup
Jan 20, 2008Chilly Cheeks 7 Mile Trail Run