- 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
The Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half is one of two major events during the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend. The half marathon was created in 2006 to offer an alternative distance. In 2017 the race route was changed so participants may run through most of the same scenic neighborhoods as the full distance.
The race is a manageable 13.1 miles, with the biggest inclines coming around miles 6, 7, and 10. (Of which 10 is the biggest.) The race starts in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum and runners head down the Ben Franklin Parkway, towards City Hall. From City Hall you head to Independence Hall where you may see Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin cheering the racers on. Then we headed past the US Mint onto Race Street. As you continue through the Old City section, you will run parallel to the Ben Franklin Bridge on our left hand side towards the water front area. In a city that is always bustling, it was calm and cereal. The route then makes a right onto Columbus Boulevard.
After continuing running Columbus, you will go around Gloria Del-Old Swedes Church Historic Site, was the first water station and conveniently we were directly across the street from John's Roast Pork. Traveling up Front Street hitting mile marker 4, there was the Mile 4 Cheer Party. Music, games, signs, fan fair galore. The incline was slight from being at water level just moments before. Then we headed north on South Street. While on South Street you will see various shops, restaurants, and night life hot spots.
At about mile 5 you will make another right onto Lombard Street and pass the Starr Garden Park and the fire station. From this point you will continue to follow the street making a few turns weaving through the city until about 6.5 miles into the race. You will soon come up to the base of the Walnut Street Bridge which passes over the Schuykill River. Once you cross the bridge, seeing the FMC building on the right and Penn Park on left is a really good view. You will be approximately 7 miles into the race at this point.
Continue on Walnut Street until about mile marker 8 for the next water station. This portion will take you through University of Pennsylvania campus and turning onto 33rd Street the next thing I knew we were running past Drexel. University City is really nice day or night. Mile 9 we passed Powelton Village and headed toward the Philadelphia Zoo and the dreaded final inclines. After passing the Zoo, you will make a right and run across the Girade Avenue Bridge. From this vantage point, the Philadelphia city skyline looks fantastic.
You will continue on this portion of the route and make a left into Fairmount Park hitting mile marker 10 and the next hydration station. Participants will follow the race course through the park and after hitting approximately 11 mile marker, the course is gradually down hill. You will follow the course back to Kelly Drive, where you make your final left turn for the final kick to the finish.
The final hydration station is located at mile marker 12.5. After the hydration station the Philadelphia Art Museum will be on your right hand side and you will start to see people gathering by the Rocky Statue. You will continue straight on Eakins Oval to the finish line. As you are in the final .3 miles the fan fare is huge with everyone shouting from all directions. There is so much energy it will carry you to the finish.
1. Make use of the warming tent before and after the race. This helps keep your muscles loose and from causing injury due to cooler fall temperatures.
2. Make use of the massage tent that is also offered fo recovery post race. Recovery starts as soon as you done running.
3. There is a "Meet Up" area in the race village. Actually with a sign and everything. It is easy to find so you can meet up with your runners before and after their distances.