Obsessive Runner Race Preview: The Philadelphia Marathon

Race Preview: The Philadelphia Marathon


Right now I’m supposed to be a basket-case of anxiety. I’ll be running my third marathon tomorrow and, if history repeats itself, I’m going to need summon my inner Hulk to get through a wall of cramps to finish on my own two feet. But instead of being nervous, I’m excited. Through the past couple of days in the city and a great pre-race expo, I can’t help but be impressed at Philadelphia’s ability to put on a top-notch running experience. I’m psyched to be running this year’s Philly Marathon, and here’s why:

  • A course steeped in history and scenery
    As a visitor to the city and first-time participant in this race, I’m looking forward to weaving through the historic sites such as the Franklin Institute, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. My frugal sensibilities are appreciative of the fact that I will not need to purchase a separate trolley tour after this race. I’m also looking forward to the serene fall colour views of Fairmount Park and the Schuylkill River which will serve as a scenic distraction to make it through the latter half of the run.
  • Well-informed logistics
    My primary gauge for evaluating a run’s logistics is based on the quantity and quality of the information – the more that is documented, diagrammed and shared with runners in an easy-to-digest way, the better. Leading up to the event, my confirmation e-mail provided me with detailed instructions on how to facilitate an easy packet pickup as well as essential race day information. The race guide provided in the race kit is a testament to the thoughtful planning put into this event with detailed maps of the start and finishes areas, descriptions of course neighbourhoods and cheer zones, and even a list of nearby parking garages with their daily rates.
  • A welcome embrace of runners
    On Sunday, I will be toeing the marathon start-line with nearly 16,000 runners despite the fact that it was originally sold out with a cap size of 14,500. Why? It’s because the Philly Marathon expanded its field size to welcome the displaced runners from the cancelled New York Marathon. Philly loves its runners and it shows from the special city discounts for race participants to the presence of Philly Mayor Michael Nutter high fiving runners at race start.
  • Kickin’ it like Rocky Balboa
    And what else can be more exciting than running along the steps of Museum of Art to relive that triumphant Rocky moment we’ve played over and over in our heads? The museum serves as a fitting backdrop towards race end where we can all declare ourselves as champions in our own right. Yo, we’re going to do this!

So now it’s time to rest up and cue “Eye of the Tiger” on my playlist so that I can be less like Hulk and more like Rocky on race day.

See you on the other side,




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