Races: Philadelphia Marathon
Philadelphia Marathon- Philadelphia, PA: 26.2 miles
I give it a 10!
Description: The Philadelphia marathon takes you from busy Center City, up through the beautiful and peaceful Fairmount Park, and into the wild and crazy neighborhood of Manayunk, and than back down to end in front of the famous and beautiful Philadelphia Art Museum- where after the run you can take a picture next to the Rocky Statue!
Likes: The marathon is very well put on, there are plenty of water stops and food/power gels at just about every other one. The support is great for the race, just about the whole way spectators line the course cheering you on. Another great part of the race (at least in my opinion) is that mile 14 is also the finish, so as you are running up Kelly drive you see the first place people running back down- I have always found this very entertaining. The fact that mile the start, mile 14, and the finish are all relatively in the same place make it a great spectator course- my family didn't have to move much and they got to see me start, half way, and finish!
Dislikes: Fairmount Park and Kelly Drive, although beautiful can get a little lonely. There aren't many spectators in the park, which isn't too bad since it in the first half of the race, but you go up Kelly drive mile 14-19 and back down Kelly drive 21-25, and without many fans this part can get pretty hard. The good news is although 14019 are hard, you than hit Manayunk, which is a crazy party with people trying to give you everything from beer to cookies! Most of them are dressed crazy and screaming for you- it definitely gives you a burst of energy! And if you can make it back down Kelly drive from 21-25 there is a great party waiting for you at the finish!
Overall: An excellent experience, the race is well organized which makes it easy on both runners and spectators. They give you a finishers metal, in the shape of the liberty bell, to remember your experience by. The expo and the after race are very well put on as well.
Best for: Being pretty flat, with the exception of a few small hills, this is a great race for those just starting out. I would suggest running with a friend to help you get through those hard miles on Kelly drive- but even without someone you know I think you will be fine, most people running will give you the encouragement you need.
And if you really want to make it memorable, try running up the Art Museum Steps after the race, just like Rocky!
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