Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Race Review: Happy 25th to the Philadelphia Marathon!

Hi Everyone!

The Philadelphia Marathon, it's 25th Anniversary!

A brief background: Last year (2017), The Philadelphia Marathon was my first full marathon. I signed up for 2018 right away. Plan was to do one more local marathon before venturing out of the area. I entered the lottery for the NYC Marathon thinking it would take a few tries, well, I got in on my first try. I deferred this race. Training for NYC went very well. Was as ready as I could be. Unfortunately, I strayed from my plan on race day and regretted it. Before NYC, I was already planning a spring marathon, but after NYC, I couldn't wait that long. Two weeks between NYC and Philly. I kept a very close eye on recovery. Even found a two week recovery/training plan. I signed back up at the last moment and continued to keep an eye on things.
Starting line, heading away from the Museum. What is everyone looking at?
Just a few famous runners. Bill Rodgers, Meb Keflezighi , and Des Linden!
Image from Philadelphia Marathon
Miles 1-6: are in the city. Relatively flat.
The race start's out in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Of course, you can always do the rocky steps after if you have anything left in the tank. lol.  or at least go say hi to Rocco for a pic. The first mile, you'll pass by the entrance to China Town. They have one of those dragon things cheering you on. In the second mile, you'll be close to Independence Hall. (Constitution Center and Liberty Bell). After a short stint on Columbus Blvd, you go through a few neighborhoods. You pass by a church, the choir is out there singing for you! It was great! Article regarding the choir, here. South Street! Pretty fun being able to run down the street that is usually a standstill with bumper to bumper traffic!

Miles 6-14: We begin to see some inclines.
Chestnut street, heading out of the city. Small bridge. Pass by Drexel University. Looks like they have some nice buildings over there. Pass through a neighborhood and off to the Zoo! Passing by the Philadelphia Zoo. A few people outside the zoo in animal costumes, band playing. A small hill before the zoo and a decent hill after. The worst of the hills is around mi 11, near the Centennial Arboretum, mi 12, you start to see familiar territory again. If you have done any of the Philly half's or 15k's, most go along the Schuykill River. We'll be seeing plenty of the river rest of the day. 11-14, you'll pass by the museum. The ending location of those half/15k races, but we have 12 more miles to go!
Image from Philadelphia Marathon
Miles 14-26.2: Let's go check out Manyunk! (and back!)
14-20: Mile 14 is by the finish line. There are spectators already there showing their support as you leave town again. Pass by Boathouse row. Plenty of crew and college kids cheering us on! The road back and forth to Manyunk has slight rolling inclines/declines throughout. Crowd support thins out a bit, not a ton of places to park. But, as you get closer to Manyunk, there is a party! (mi 18.7-21.5) There is even beer, if you so incline. The town is packed! DJ's, Bands, crowds cheering you on. Mi 20, that dreaded wall, is at the end of town before you turn around. The crowd knows about the dreaded all and offering tons of support. Miles 22-26.2. The crowds sparse until you get close to Boathouse row. There's a few miles where you are on your own, unless with a pace group. Dig deep. Once you get through it, Boathouse Row and the finish crowd zone roars through as you approach/pass that line!

Once through the finish line, you are handled your medal and cape. Shuffled through the food tent. Water, fruit cup, banana, soft pretzel, chicken broth. Not to complain, but something to carry the food items would be nice.
My race:
Did I feel a 100% two weeks after NYC, no way. But thought to myself, going into any of my training runs, did I ever really feel completely fresh? Probably not. Plan was to treat it as a training run and stick to my training plan as long as possible. The first mile was faster than expected, but I continuously told myself to slow down to get into my groove and did so. Was able to maintain my training pace for a while. Even bumped into a running buddy around mile 8 and ran with them through about 15. Starting to feel it around that point, but maintained my pace to about mi 19. Going through Manyunk was the perfect time. Crowd lifts your spirit. Dig deep. Still at my goal pace at mile 21, but knew that wouldn't last. The last 5k was tough, but done. A 15 min PR from last yr!

Going into the race, it was more about taking care of business for me than trying to enjoy the experience. (a few less pics than usual). Once it all started, I was sure to take it all in though. I love the race, scenery, crowd support, and overall experience. Signed up again to do it in 2019!




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  1. Way to go, Joe! Congrats on your second Philly Marathon! I'm considering the half for 2019.

    1. Thank you Meri, appreciate it! The half looks like a blast!


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