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home > races/results > usa: pennsylvania > philadelphia marathon, half-marathon, rothman institute 8k, and kids’ fun run – a historic course where runners will make history!

Philadelphia Marathon, Half-Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K, and Kids’ Fun Run – A Historic Course Where Runners Will Make History!
Coming November 21, 2010, a Marathon and Half Marathon, and the Rothman Institute 8K on Saturday, November 20. Each race starts and finishes at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art. Enjoy a culturally rich and wonderfully diverse city, a Health and Fitness Expo, Runner’s Pasta Party and much more

Philadelphia Marathon, Half-Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K, and Kids’ Fun Run – A Historic Course Where Runners Will Make History!

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Active Running

By Traci Joy
Posted Wednesday, 10 November, 2010

Hop into your time machines! It’s time for a race through history in one of America’s first great cities - the City of Brotherly Love in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So set the date for this history-making weekend event: The Philadelphia Marathon, Half-Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K, and Kids’ Fun Run on marathon weekend, November 19 – 21.

Why Run Philly?
Philadelphia is one city that MUST be visited. And a tour on foot is ideal. Just two hours from New York City and the Washington metro area, Philadelphia is one of America’s great cities. And now the great city boasts a great marathon. From 1790 to 1800, it was our nation’s capital before the construction of Washington DC. Today this city has a lot to offer its inhabitants and visitors alike. In addition to the historic draw of Philly, it is a thoroughly modern city and has wonderfully diverse and culturally rich neighborhoods.

Whether you are a runner and history buff, a lover of architecture, an art critic, a music connoisseur, a shopaholic, a foodie, this city is exciting and has highlights for all who make the journey here. It is a city full of interest because it is so entrenched in history, and there is much to see and do. At every turn there is a window through time, with traces of Native American culture, early colonial settlers, and the beginnings of American democracy. And the diversity is amazing. After all, Philadelphia is to America what Rome is to Italy!

This is the 17th anniversary of the Philadelphia Marathon, a world-class athletic event that has grown steadily each year. This marathon is America’s 12th largest marathon, yet it’s prized for its small-town-feel. This event gets extremely high numbers of community supporters and volunteers year after year. Over 2,500 volunteers donate their time and energy to the weekend of racing events, and that volunteer effort is one reason this marathon weekend is so successful.

The race is put on by the city of Philadelphia and they do a fantastic job. It is an event Philadelphians are proud to organize, support and participate in, and it is something to look forward to every November. It isn’t called the City of Brotherly Love for nothing! And this marathon helps keep the tradition of brotherly love in a wonderful community event.

On Your Mark, Get Set...
Runners of all abilities will attempt to reach their goals in Philadelphia. For runner’s wanting to qualify for Boston, this marathon must not be missed. The course is fairly flat, with a starting elevation of 54 feet above sea level, and an ending elevation of 82 feet. There are a few rolling hills, but they are mostly in the first half of the marathon, saving most of your energy for a strong second half and finish. Elevation never exceeds 100 feet, so it is a flat and fast course for those wanting to qualify. If you aren’t interested in qualifying at this time, this race will make it easy to achieve your PB! And remember, all three races are walker-friendly, so walkers are able to participate as well. For all athletes, this is one of few places where you can experience history and make history at the same time!

The marathon and half-marathon do have size limits. There were 20,000 participants last year and the total they can accept is 23,000 across all three events so it is important to register early. This keeps the marathon a manageable size for the city’s streets. There will be plenty of arm space for those all runners and walkers—all paces. There is much more room to breathe in Philly than in the larger races, which is just one more reason to begin your training program and register for this event now!

Along the marathon and half-marathon course you will see a lot of American history, such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall - where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted, The Philadelphia Museum of Art – where Rocky ran the famous steps, City Hall, the Schuylkill River, and beautiful neighborhoods brimming with architecture unique to the area.

The Rothman Institute 8K, kicking off on its new day, Saturday, November 20th, will start on the Parkway and wind along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive along the Schuylkill River and through the beautifully scenic Fairmount Park.

The Course:
Both the marathon and the half-marathon begin and end at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Parisian-style Benjamin Franklin Parkway – so queue the Rocky theme song and get your pictures taken posing as Rocky before or after the race!

You will then criss-cross though Center City, first to Penn's Landing, then west toward University City, where you will pass six colleges and universities including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. You will then head north along tree-lined streets past the Philadelphia Zoo. Along the way you will pass historic Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, and the Liberty Bell before continuing into Fairmount Park. Next you'll pass by the Please Touch Museum and the Civil War Memorial, and the Fairmont Waters Works, a Greek-inpsired masterpiece of early 1900's industrial engineering and architecutre, among other park attractions, before winding along the Schuylkill River back toward the Philadelphia Art Museum.

This is the half-way point, so half-marathoners will be finishing, and marathoners must keep trekking! Marathoners will run to Manayunk. At about fourteen miles, you will re-enter the park park and be on the east bank of scenic Schuylkill River.

When you get to the neighborhood of Manayunk, it's the eighteen mile mark. You will run through this festive town, filled with folks cheering you on, then depart with five miles to go. The last leg runs back through Fairmount park, which should be familiar territory and very flat. At this point, straight-backed, legs strong, get ready for a furious finish at the museum. Just hours ago you began this journey, and now you have completed something few people can do – a marathon! Please see the Race Website for more detailed course information, as well as detail about age divisions, cash and age group awards, hotel partners and special offers, and so much more:

Aid Stations:Water will be supplied at the race start and miles: 2.2, 3.5, 5.25, 7, 9.5, 11, 13.05, 15.5, 16.5, 18, 19.6, 20.4, 22, 23.5, 24.5, and the finish. Gatorade will be offered along with water at these marked stations starting at mile 5. GU energy gels will be available at miles 9.5, 18 and 22.
Cheer Zones: you can expect a lot of good cheer along the course as there are spectator overlooks specifically for your fans. Friends and family are encouraged to go to specified 'Cheer Zones' for unobstructed seated viewing, and to rally on runners and walkers.

Race Weekend Logistics:
Health and Fitness Expo

The Expo will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center located on 12th and Arch Streets in Hall D. This is where you pick up your race packets, T-shirts, Runners’ Pasta Party tickets, and enjoy what the Expo has to offer. There will be speakers on health and wellness, training, expert advice on racing and more. There will be national, regional and local vendors and free samples! Enjoy the Exposition! Please remember there is no race day registration—advance only—and there is no race day packet pick up. That is why there is ample Expo and packet pick up time: Friday from noon to 9:00 p.m. – new extended hours! - and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Runners’ Pasta Party
On Saturday, November 20th the Runners’ Pasta Party will be held at The Spaghetti Warehouse, on 1026 Spring Garden Street. Seating begins at 4:30 p.m. and will continue until 8:30 p.m. Shuttles will provide continuous service from the Convention Center Health and Fitness Expo to The Spaghetti Warehouse and back beginning at 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. What a fun way to carbo-load for your race—and convenient! Meet other runners and enjoy a great meal before your big day. You can purchase tickets when you register for your racing event. Tickets will be available for pickup at the Health and Fitness Expo. Tickets to the Pasta dinner are limited, but there are wonderful restaurants in the area to fill your pre-race needs.

Rothman Institute 8K:
Are you more of a sprinter than a distance runner? Make it a quick getaway and a fast race with the Rothman Institute 8K. This race has been changed to Saturday this year and begins at 7:30 a.m. As with the larger races on Sunday, it starts near the Philadelphia Museum of Art near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and winds along the banks of the scenic Schuylkill River and through lovely Fairmont Park. Runners of all levels are encouraged to participate!

Kids Fun Run:
Bring the Kids! The Kids Fun Run is a short-distance, non-competitive running event for youths ages 4-12. The races will move to the official start finish line of all Philadelphia Marathon Weekend races on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, near the famed Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rocky Steps. Each age group will run age-appropriate distances. Runners will not be timed, it is just for fun; not a competitive race! There will be plenty of prizes, along with activities like face painting, arts and crafts and an obstacle course. This adorable series of races runs on Saturday, November 20th and begin at 10:30 a.m. Note that on site, same day registration is allowed for the kids, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Participants of the Fun Run will receive:
• A t-shirt
• A finisher medal
• Post-race refreshments
• Other surprise goodies!
Note: To join in the run, children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Stuff to See and Do!
Not only will this be a race to remember, it will be a weekend to remember too! Philadelphia has a ton of art museums including The Philadelphia Museum of Art , The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum and School (the oldest museum and art school in the nation -, and the Rodin Museum, where the famous, The Thinker (1880-1882) is located ( And being the City of Brotherly Love, it is only fitting that the first LOVE sculpture (1976) is in the park across from City Hall at 15th and JFK Blvd. For a more historical bent, there is a terrific walking tour, which brings you to over twenty early American historical sites such as the Declaration House, Independence Hall, and Constitution Center - for more information, visit:

Shopping in Philadelphia is fun because there is an array of hip areas with eclectic boutiques: go to Main Street Manayunk for a local shopping experience, Old City is home to some of the hippest boutiques and vintage shops; South Street, between Center City and South Philly, has an awesome collection of shops unique to the area, or for a more upscale shopping experience, Rittenhouse Square in Center City is a very convenient location.

And of course, everything in this city is either walk-able or you can take Philadelphia’s easy and reliable public transit system, SEPTA:

Experience Philadelphia and the Marathon Weekend—one of America’s outstanding races in one of our great cities.

The Philadelphia Marathon:
Philadelphia Websites: And there is a wealth of information on what to see and where to stay at and check out



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