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home > races/results > usa: pennsylvania > philadelphia marathon, half marathon, and rothman institute 8k—historic course, fast times, and a lot to love

Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon, and Rothman Institute 8K—Historic Course, Fast Times, and a Lot to Love
Race Weekend is coming November 18 to 20, 2011, a Marathon and Half Marathon—and 8K and kids’ run too—starting and finishing near the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art with excellent scenic courses. Enjoy a culturally rich and wonderfully diverse city, a Health and Fitness Expo, and so much more.

Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon, and Rothman Institute 8K—Historic Course, Fast Times, and a Lot to Love

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By Traci Joy
Posted Monday, 31 October, 2011

Are you ready runners, to go down in history!? Run some of America’s most historic courses: Philadelphia’s Marathon, Half Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K, or Kids’ Fun Run on November 18th-20th, 2011.

Runners of all ages, it is time to hit the pavement and start training for America’s most historic race program located in one our country’s first and top cities: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The City of Brotherly Love has much love for athletes and you will be treated to a running adventure through historic Philly running the streets of this colonial city. Saddle up with your forefathers, get out your quill pen, and mark your calendar for this history-making weekend: The Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K, and Kids’ Fun Run and Race Expo November 18-20, 2011.

Sustainability at Philadelphia Marathon
The 2011 Philadelphia Marathon announced that, more than ever, it is doing its part to reduce the carbon footprint during Race Weekend, November 18-20, 2011. Host to 25,000 runners, more than 60,000 fans and 3,000 volunteers, the Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend organizers are committed to transforming the races into environmentally-conscious sporting events that strive to preserve the earth's natural resources.

1,776 Reasons to Run Philly
This will be the 18th annual Philadelphia Marathon, a world-class event that has grown steadily. This marathon is now America’s 9th largest marathon (Running USA) with just under 9,000 finishers in 2010. Yet this race has a small-town-feel and no qualifying time, an appealing alternative to races where you must qualify or win a lottery.

The entirety of this race weekend is organized by the city of Philadelphia and they do an incredible job. One reason this event has grown steadily and significantly in the last eighteen years is due to the city's ability to organize such a complex community event with such diligence and detail. Philadelphians are proud to support and participate in this, and is something to look forward to every November. Its no wonder the weekend garners such community support and great volunteers year after year - it isn’t called the City of Brotherly Love for nothing! Running’s best host city has 3,000 volunteers who will devote time and energy to the weekend; the volunteer effort helps make this marathon weekend so successful.

Philadelphia has something special to offer all who journey here. This city is culturally rich because it is entrenched in history and there is so much to see and do. At every turn there is a journey through time, with relics of Native American culture, early colonial settlers, and the beginnings of American democracy, independence and freedom. However, even if you aren’t a history buff, Philadelphia is still a must-see city. Located just two hours from New York City and Baltimore, Philadelphia was our nation’s first capital. Today it is America’s fifth largest city in population, vibrant and diverse. Philadelphia is celebrated for its colonial and modern architecture, thriving art and music scene, top chef-owned restaurants, high-end shopping avenues, and vibrant nightlife.

For runners and outdoor enthusiasts Philadelphia is a haven: there are hundreds of acres of trails, wildlife preserves, gardens, and parks. For running and hiking, go to Fairmont Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, the Mason Dixon Trail, Sadsbury Woods Preserve, and of course the famous Schuylkill River Trail, part of the marathon and half marathon course. There are also other adventures in the area including zip lining, hot air ballooning, kayaking, biking and more!

The Declaration of Incredible Racing
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that runners of all abilities can achieve their goals in Philadelphia. For elite runners, beginners, and everyone in between, the city has thoughtfully planned a mostly level course with subtle elevation changes throughout. For runner’s wanting to qualify for Boston, this marathon must not be missed. The course is fast, with a starting elevation of 54 feet above sea level. There are small rolling hills, but mostly in the first half of the race, allowing you to save most of your energy for a strong second half finish. Elevation never exceeds 100 feet, so this is an extremely fast qualifying course. This race can help you achieve your Personal Best! And remember, all races are walker-friendly, so walkers are encouraged.

The city caps the number of participants at 25,000 for the three main events. This keeps the marathon, half marathon and 8K at manageable size for the city’s colonial avenues and byways. There will be plenty of room for runners in Philadelphia, a testament to how well the events have been mapped out by the city’s planners. This is just another reason to begin your training program and register now!

Along the marathon and half marathon courses you will see a lot of American history: the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall - where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted, and the Betsy Ross House, where the first American flag was conceptualizd and sewn. You will run through gorgeous 19th century Fairmount Park and past City Hall , along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and through ecclectic University City and the European-style district of Manayunk.

The Course—simply Wonderful
Both the marathon and the half marathon courses begin and end at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Parisian-like, flag decorated Benjamin Franklin Parkway. After an inspiring start, you will cross through Center City; first to Penn's Landing, then back west toward University City, where you will pass six colleges and universities including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel. You will then head north along tree-lined streets past the Philadelphia Zoo. At around mile ten there is a minor hill to climb. Runners pass the Please Touch Museum, the Civil War Memorial, and the Fairmont Water 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 finish here, and marathoners will keep on running on the east bank of the scenic Schuylkill River. When you reach the neighborhood of Manayunk, it will mark the mile eighteen. This picturesque area will be filled with folks cheering you on, and then there will be just five miles to go. The last leg runs back along the east bank of the Schuylkill River, now familiar territory and very flat. At this point, legs strong, get ready for a champion-like finish at the museum. Just hours ago you began this journey, and now you have completed something few people can do – a marathon! For course maps, visit >

Aid Stations: For the marathon and half marathon there will be water, Gatorade and port-a-johns available at the starting line 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 at the finish line. Additionally, Clif Shots will be available at miles 9.5, 18 and 22.
Cheer Zones: There will be over 25 Cheer Zones set up for friends, family and fans to help cheer you on. If you thought volunteer support was strong, you will be amazed at the amount of fan support along the course. Cheer Zones will also make it easy to meet up with friends and family for that added push.
Temperatures: You can expect chilly temperatures in the morning, and as the sun comes up, it will get to the upper 40's, lower 50's--ideal.
Make it more meaningful: The Philadelphia Marathon has a very extensive charity running program. Team up with one of these very worthy charities and put meaning in those miles.
Runner’s World Challenge: Check out the Challenge on the Website—geared for first-timers as well as those looking for some training and race day TLC.

All Marathon and Half Marathon Finishers Receive:
• A Philadelphia Marathon T-shirt
• A Finisher's Medal
• Post-Race Refreshments
• A Virtual Finisher's Certificate
• And an unforgettable experience

Marathon Awards
Cash prizes for the first five male and female finishers of the marathon will be as follows:
• 1st Prize $3,500 one male & one female
• 2nd Prize $2,000 one male & one female
• 3rd Prize $1,000 one male & one female
• 4th Prize $750 one male & one female
• 5th Prize $500 one male & one female
• 1st Masters $1,000 one male & one female
• 1st Philadelphian $1,000 one male & one female
Additionally, the top five male and female finishers in each age group will receive awards.

Race Weekend Logistics, a.k.a. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Running:

Health and Fitness Expo
The Expo will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center located on 12th and Arch Streets in Hall A. Go there to pick up your race packets, t-shirts, timing chips, and enjoy what the Expo has to offer. More than 80 vendors will be showcasing the latest in running apparel, shoes and accessories, handing out samples, and offering tips on health and fitness. You will also find helpful information about Philadelphia attractions, restaurants, activities, including where to find Fan Pass Discounts throughout race weekend. The Fan Pass provides discounts and special offers at participating Philadelphia shops and restaurants throughout event weekend. Explore Philly! Enjoy the Exposition!
Expo Hours:
Friday, November 18 12:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturday, November 19 10:00am - 7:00pm

Rothman Institute 8K—Saturday
The 8K offers a terrific course for those shorter-distance runners. It begins at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and winds past the scenic Philadelphia Museum of Art, and then follows the scenic banks of the Schuylkill River into beautiful Fairmount Park. Make it a quick getaway and a fast race with the Rothman Institute 8K. This race begins at 7:30am on Saturday, November 19th. To view the race map, visit: >
Rothman Institute 8K Finishers Receive:
• An 8K T-shirt
• Post-Race Refreshments
• A Virtual Finisher’s Certificate
There are also cash prizes for the top five male and female finishers, as well as age group awards.

Kids’ Fun Run
Make it a family affair and bring the kids along for some running fun and travel adventures. The Kids’ Fun Run is a short-distance, non-competitive running event for youngsters ages 4-12. Each age group will run age-appropriate distances. This race is all about FUN, so these runs will not be timed. At the Expo there will be plenty of prizes, along with enjoyable kids’ activities like face painting, arts and crafts, and an obstacle course. This adorable race begins at 10:30am on Saturday, November 19th.
Participants of the Fun Run Receive:
• A T-shirt
• A Finisher's Medal
• Post-Race Refreshments
• Other surprise goodies!

Come for the Run, Stay for the Fun!
Philadelphia has so much to offer you might forget your visit was initially about RUNNING.
For American History expeditions, you can take a Constitutional Walking Tour ( ) where you will get an up-close look at some of the historic sites you will be running by on race day. If you want to save your miles for race day, you can hop on a double-decker and tour the city on wheels ( ). Any way you experience it, you will find this city filled with special sites and adventures for the entire family.

You can’t leave Philly without having a famous Philly Cheese Steak Hoagie. Try John’s Roast Pork or Gooey Looie’s in the Pennsport neighborhood, or Jim’s Steaks on 431 N 62nd St. Vegetarians may also rejoice, there is a faux cheese steak option for you too at Govinda's Vegetarian in Rittenhouse Sqaure. And of course, everything in this city is either walk-able or you can take Philadelphia’s easy and reliable public transit system, SEPTA:

Where to Stay
Each year, the Philadelphia Marathon partners with several local hotels to offer special rates exclusively for Philadelphia Marathon participants. Please check the website for an updated list of participating hotels:

Be part of the running revolution and make history in Philadelphia! Wheather you are a native Pennsylvanian or an out-of-towner looking for a family-friendly weekend adventure, this racing event is for you! So celebrate the sprit of independence and register now for this history-making event! This terrific city will put you at liberty for your best marathon!

The Philadelphia Marathon:
Official Philadelphia Visitor's Website:



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