The GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 registration is now open for the race on Sunday, November 23.
Though less famous than its bigger fall siblings like the TCS New York City Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon, the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon has the distinction of being a world-class fall marathon that you can simply register for. No complicated lotteries, no qualifying standards, no registration drama. So if you got shut out of any of the aforementioned lotteries, I recommend Philly as a great alternative. In fact, I’ve sung its praises to many a runner looking for a big city race with a small town feel.
I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 to a 17-minute personal best. I would definitely call this a PR-course in general if you’re trained for a few hills. I ran that year with about a dozen friends and teammates, including my husband. Most of us walked away with personal best times. And it’s a race I would absolutely consider running again.
The Philadelphia Marathon 2014 weekend includes the marathon and half marathon on Sunday, November 23, the Rothman Institute 8K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 22, and a two-day Health & Fitness Expo that’s free and open to the public on Friday, November 21, and Saturday, November 22. The race often sells out its 30,000 bibs, split between the three race distances, anywhere from a month to a few weeks before race day. More than 25,000 runners finished races in 2013 race, and organizers say 60,000 spectators came out to cheer them on.
The course is a scenic tour through the city in the first half and an out-and-back along the Schuylkill River in the second half.
The spectator support is fantastic through the first 13 miles, which marathoners share with half-marathoners. The back half is a bit lonelier. But since it’s an out-and-back you’ve got runners on both sides of the road coming and going.
The course isn’t pancake flat, but it’s not super challenging either. The early miles are level with just a few hills to climb. The late miles are laden with oh-so-gentle rollers.
For a detailed breakdown of the race, read my full Race Report: Philadelphia Marathon 2012.
Registration for the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 opened Tuesday, April 1. The marathon fee is $105 through April 30, when tiered pricing kicks it. At its most expensive, after July 1, the marathon is $145. For more information or to register, visit philadelphiamarathon.com.