I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 as a guest of race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Run and Sisterly Endurance for the second time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 and I was back to give the Philadelphia Half Marathon a go on Sunday, November 23. Meanwhile, my husband Phil was out to run his fastest marathon ever.
The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly, mostly flat and fast course.
Nearly 25,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 12,795 finishers in the half-marathon, another 10,364 in the marathon, and 1,699 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on.
Phil and I stayed at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, which was perfectly located for the race and touring the city. We arrived late Friday night, and ate breakfast on Saturday at the delicious Dutch Eating Place at the famous Reading Terminal Market right across the street from the hotel.
It isn’t a trip to Philly without Amish baked treats like a grilled Sticky Bun. Yum! Then we were off to the expo just next door.
I headed back to the market later in the day for a blogger meet-up with Katherine at Food, Fitness, Fantasy, Jen at The Final Forty, Mer at Scoot a Doot, and Vic at Scoot a Doot. It was so great to finally meet these ladies after reading their blogs over the years!
The Marriott was about a mile to the start of the race, so you could easily walk or cab if you wanted to save your legs like we did. On Saturday after the meet-up, we headed to the Rodin Museum near the start and then out to dinner in Center City.
It was all walkable from our hotel (though we cabbed to the museum because it was raining).
On Sunday after the race we walked back to the hotel, showered, and returned to the market for some post-race cheese steaks, cannolis and other goodies. It really was a great location to stay as a running tourist.
GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 Expo
We got the expo when it opened at 10 a.m. on Saturday to get our bibs and check out the vendors. Read the rest of this entry →