- 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
After a difficult training period where I had to deal with several nagging injuries, the Philadelphia Marathon turned into a wonderful experience. I stayed at the Sheraton on 2nd Street and had walking access to the expo and start/finish line. The Rocky statue and museum steps were about a 15 minute walk away as well.
The expo was good, although smaller than I would have expected for a large race. They had everything covered, though, and there was plenty of branded merchandise for sale. Being someone who enjoys a good expo, this one was fine and had good information about the course available.
Philadelphia runs their half marathon on the Saturday before the marathon instead of running it with the marathon. It was fun to go down and cheer on the half marathoners, something I have rarely had the opportunity to do in the past. I was concerned that this format would mean the marathon wouldn’t have much support because people wouldn’t want to come out two days in a row. Thankfully, this was not the case at all.
The weather in the days leading up to the marathon included snow, drizzle, and lots of cold. Sunday morning started at 34 degrees with no precipitation and virtually no wind, perfect conditions. The sun peaked out a few times but otherwise the clouds kept the sun away. I think this contributed to overwhelming support from the people of Philadelphia. There were plenty of “dead” areas of course, but everywhere supporters gathered they were loud and fun and gave the runners the needed burst of energy to keep going.
The course itself was good, the first half was the same as 95% of the half marathon and passed by plenty of landmarks and interesting sights. The biggest pain in the first half is that you pass the start/finish area around mile 13, not something I wanted to see at that part of the race!
The second half of the marathon was a huge out and back along the Schuylkill River. This was a fairly quiet section of the race, the spectators were widely spread out but again they were loud and fun. With the turn around being at Mile 20, this actually proved to be a nice boost for me at a time I really needed one. As long as you’re OK running 12 miles passing people going the other way, the out and back won’t be a big deal.
The finisher area was great, plenty of food and various drinks of all kinds. This was the first race I have run that had a warming tent and I spent about 20 minutes there after my finish. I never got really cold during the run, but felt the chill big time after the run. The medal is awesome, the bell actually rings which made the finisher area sound like a million little Salvation Army bell ringers randomly ringing their bells.
This race was a lot of fun and after having the injury issues over the summer and early fall, this was a finish that 2 months ago was seriously in doubt. The people of Philadelphia were warm and welcoming and the race was given a ton of attention around the city. I highly recommend this race!