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home > races/results > usa: pennsylvania > philadelphia marathon, half marathon and rothman institute 8k -- history lives on in one of america’s great cities

Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon and Rothman Institute 8K -- History Lives On in One of America’s Great Cities
Get ready to experience the legendary Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon on November 22, 2009. Philadelphia, one of America’s great cities, famous for its history and culture, is a unique blend of old and new, trendy and traditional, historic and hip, and it promises to deliver an experience of a lifetime. Race to a Philly finish on an exciting course brimming with historical landmarks, eclectic neighborhoods and scenic views along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.

Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon and Rothman Institute 8K -- History Lives On in One of America’s Great Cities


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By Noreen Cohen
Posted Tuesday, 21 July, 2009

It is easy to see why the Philadelphia Marathon stands head and shoulders above most. Now in its 16th year, it is not only one of the nation’s premier running events but it also has been rated as one of the top 15 largest marathons in the country. Runners of all abilities, from first-timers to elites, will take to these historic streets. Enjoy a memorable marathon weekend complete with plenty of amenities and activities, including a Health and Fitness Expo and Runner’s Buffet Dinner. Explore this dynamic, cosmopolitan city and discover your own reasons to love Philadelphia.

This fast, fairly flat course (highest elevation 100 ft.) is often noted as a great place to run a Boston qualifier. But even if you are not a marathoner or don’t have time to train, you can still get in on the action of Philadelphia Marathon Weekend with racing options that include a full marathon, a half-marathon, and the Rothman Institute 8K Race. And remember, all races are walker friendly. What a great way for runners of all experience and skill levels to satisfy their competitive spirit and join the excitement and fun!

Don’t forget about the kids! Round them up on Saturday, November 21 at 10:30 a.m. for the Kids Fun Run, a short distance, non-competitive event for ages 4 to 12. Each age group will run age-appropriate distances. Kids will receive a t-shirt, finisher’s medal, post-race refreshments and more. Don’t miss a terrific fun-filled opportunity for young Marathon hopefuls to experience simulated marathon conditions while being introduced to the benefits of running and fitness.

The Course
With 26 miles and 385 yards of history, there is simply no other marathon course like it! Here, along these venerable streets, Americans began their quest for freedom and independence. Every inch of the course is alive with excitement and inspiration that is unparalleled. You will be wowed by the diversity of your surroundings from start to finish. The Marathon begins and finishes on Parisian-style Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a world-class cultural corridor. The scenic Ben Franklin Parkway is adorned with flags of the world. It leads to the crowning jewel of the Parkway, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which in itself is a wonder to behold, with its cascading steps that were made famous in the film Rocky.

The course highlights include the lively neighborhoods of University City, home to six colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. These tree-lined streets feature fabulous architecture and are a fine example of a diverse urban community, where education and culture are thriving.

The sights along the popular riverside community of Manayunk, nestled on the banks of the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal are sure to delight runners. The marathon course is a fine way to celebrate our Revolutionary heritage, as runners zip past landmarks such as Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the Liberty Bell, as well as the waterfront at Penn’s Landing on the banks of the Delaware River. The list continues with the idyllic landscape along the Schuylkill River -- home to Fairmont Park, one of the largest landscaped city parks in the world and a true urban escape. The Fairmont Water Works, a Greek-inspired masterpiece of early 1800’s industrial engineering and architecture, is guaranteed to impress runners as they continue through the second half of the marathon.

The Philadelphia Marathon is a world-class athletic event. With more than 2,000 volunteers on hand to support both pre-race activities as well as race day activities, you can be assured that all of the essential race details are covered to make this an outstanding racing experience for runners.

Participants are encouraged to at the starting point at 22nd Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway by 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 22. The course is fast, with digital splits provided at each mile. Hydration stations are set up throughout the course.

Be sure to bring your own cheering section, because spectators are a big part of this race. Fans can catch the wave of marathon excitement while cheering on their favorite runners with great spectator overlooks throughout the course at key venues at various designated Cheer Zones. These areas feature unobstructed, transportation-accessible, fan-friendly perches to watch all of the race activity.

Participants in the marathon and half-marathon will receive a technical shirt, finisher’s medal, post-race refreshments and a finisher’s certificate that is obtained online. All Rothman Institute 8K runners will receive an 8K t-shirt and post-race refreshments. The top five male and female finishers receive cash awards. The top age group finishers receive awards as well. See the race website for more details on prizes and awards:

Annual Runner’s Buffet Dinner
This is one Philadelphia Marathon tradition that you won’t want to miss. Join the fun at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street, on Saturday, November 21st for two seatings (5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.) featuring a delicious array of pre-race favorites sure to prime runners for their optimum performance on Marathon day. Enjoy the live entertainment including music to set the mood for the race. Please visit the race website for more details and to ensure your reservation.

Health and Fitness Expo
Start looking forward to this year’s Health and Fitness Expo, which promises to be bigger and better than ever! It is all here, located in the spacious Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets, the two-day Expo will feature the latest in running apparel, shoes, accessories and products, tips on health and fitness and information about Philadelphia attractions, restaurants and activities. If you are looking for the latest news in running, fitness, travel and nutrition, don’t miss out on this event. It also is your headquarters to pick up all the race essentials -- bib, timing tag, t-shirt, bag and not to be forgotten, buffet dinner tickets and all of your official 2009 Philadelphia Marathon merchandise. Please visit the race website at for dates and times.

Explore Philly
There are so many reasons to love Philadelphia right now! Rich in history and the arts, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has a sense of style and grace that is all its own. A destination for iconic symbols such as the Liberty Bell, it also has its share of off-the-beaten-track treasures. You will be amazed at what you can discover; everything from vibrant neighborhoods, fabulous restaurants,and trendy nightspots, to museums and cultural events. Sightseeing, tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes, entertainment, sports and architecture, you name it and Philadelphia has it. The marathon partners with local businesses and features a special Fan Pass with special discounts for shoppers during Philadelphia Marathon Weekend. Use it explore Philadelphia’s many retail attractions.

Philadelphia is very walker-friendly and easy to navigate, even for first-time visitors. Many attractions are readily accessible by foot thanks to a smart and simple grid street design. The city also offers an accessible transit system that includes buses, trains, subway, trolleys, and of course taxis to help you get around town and make the most of your visit.

Thanks to William Penn, the city’s founder, there are several green spaces that provide tranquil relaxation where you can grab a bench and take in the sights and sounds. Be sure to check out the popular park, Rittenhouse Square, for the ideal city break. Located in the Rittenhouse Square District, between 18th and 20th streets touching Walnut, Locust and Spruce, the park features a European-style plaza and fountains. For more ideas and recommendations on what do see and do, please visit the official visitor site for Greater Philadelphia at for itineraries, maps and daily updates.

In addition to all that Philadelphia has to offer, this wonderful city that just screams fun is easy to get to by train, plane or car. Accessibility is just another of its many assets. New York, Washington and Baltimore are just around the corner. And while you are there, you will find scores of top-rate options for lodging in the Philadelphia area that are sure to please, whether you prefer to get cozy in a historic bed and breakfast or a luxury suite. The Philadelphia Marathon partners with more than 20 area hotels to offer special rates exclusively for marathon participants. Check the race website for more details. Why not get your family and friends together to start planning a weekend getaway now? You will be glad you did.

Register Now
Great course! Great city! Great Marathon! Don’t delay, registration is moving at a record pace and is filling up quickly. Register now for the Philadelphia Marathon, Half-Marathon, or Rothman Institute 8K and see for yourself what makes these events such a special tradition in such an exciting location. In the nation’s birthplace on freedom’s soil, it is only fitting that the marathon course reflects all of the historical and cultural grandeur of the past blended with the richness of today. Come for a fantastic Philadelphia Marathon Weekend in one of America’s great cities. Be a part of one of America’s great marathons.



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