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

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.

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