The Philadelphia Marathon Celebrates 15 Years

*Editor's Note: This is an event preview for the 2008 Philadelphia Marathon and refers to the event details and descriptions from that year.

The historic City of Brotherly Love is set to host the 15th anniversary of the Philadelphia Marathon. The course--filled with more landmarks and significant historical locations than any other--is truly a run through history.

Organizing the Philadelphia Marathon--the nation's 12th largest marathon--requires exceptional planning. This year the event is looking to be even bigger and better than ever with the marathon, a half marathon, an 8K and a kids fun run. Add to that, a weekend of family events focused on fun and fitness and you have the makings of a truly memorable experience.

Participation is capped at 18,000 (10,000 for the marathon, 6,000 for the half, and 2,000 for the Rothman Institute 8K) for this sold-out event. Total prize money will be $34,200 ($19,500 for the marathon, $10,200 for the half, and $4,500 for the 8K). All races award the top five in youth and five-year age groups through 70 plus.

These three races run on Sunday, November 23, starting and ending near the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art; the marathon and half marathon share the first 13.1 and step off at 7 a.m., with the 8K incorporating some of the same course and beginning at 7:15. The rapidly growing and highly acclaimed kids' runs (distance according to age and all non-competitive) are on Saturday, November 22.

Except for the B.A.A. Boston Marathon itself, Philadelphia has traditionally sent the highest number of qualified runners to Boston. Exciting, fast and flat, this course is supported by a highly organized and dedicated volunteer effort. The course will remain open for a full seven hours, allowing the participation of a variety of runners and even walkers.

The Treasure of Philadelphia

In the last decade, Philadelphia has undergone a major transformation offering a variety of things to do and see. Philadelphia has a unique blend of past and present and is rich in history and the arts. A mecca for iconic symbols such as the Liberty Bell, Philly has its share of off-the-beaten-track treasures including charming neighborhoods, fabulous restaurants, museums and cultural events. SEPTA, the city's public transit system, makes it easy to get around. Check out for more information on lodging, transportation, and restaurants.

On Your Mark ... Get Set Feast

One Philadelphia Marathon tradition you won't want to miss is the annual Runner's Buffet Dinner scheduled for Saturday, November 22, (5 p.m and 6:30 p.m seatings) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Enjoy a fun atmosphere and a delicious assortment of fresh meats, pastas, salads, vegetables and desserts. There will also be live entertainment and music to set the mood for the race. Be sure to get your tickets early, as the dinner usually sells out fast. Online registration is available.

Health and Fitness Expo

The Philadelphia Marathon Expo will be housed in the state-of--the-art Pennsylvania Convention center. Packet pickup is available throughout the expo beginning Friday at noon and running to 7 p.m.; and starting at 10 a.m. right up to 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 22. Please note there is no race day registration and also no packet pickup on race day, Sunday, November 23. Packets--including shirt, bib, and chip--must be picked up prior to the end of the expo on Saturday.

The expo is well worth a visit for runners and spectators alike. Exhibits will include information and products on health and fitness, apparel, accessories, nutrition, hydration, related products, and shoes. There will be information on Philadelphia attractions, restaurants, hotels, travel, and available activities to help guide your visit in the City of Brotherly Love. You can also purchase official Philadelphia Marathon merchandise. Enjoy several very informative seminars by experts in long distance racing and preparation. You may also purchase your valued tickets for the runners' buffet dinner.

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