Monday, November 23, 2009

Philadelphia Loves Its Running

Maybe you were hoping for some marathon loving from the city of love. Maybe a nice change of pace from gusts pushing against you in the Windy City or an Arizona heat wave or snow falling in the Colorado mountains. A Boston Marathon qualifier or a personal best? Or redemption to close out the marathon year after having a lackluster race earlier in the season. Whatever the case, you signed up to run the Philadelphia Marathon on November 22, started or continued training, and then toed the line to turn your marathon dreams into reality.

In return, Philly really turned on the charm. Not only did you get a tour through the historic city complete with Liberty Bell and Rocky statue (yep, it even donned a race tee for the occasion) but you also got a taste of pristine weather conditions--41 at the start and 58 for a high--and a flat course. Maybe not as flat as Chicago or downhill and nearly flat like California International, but it draws crowds, even some closed out of Chicago, Marine Corps or New York. Only problem was that Philadelphia was so popular this year that registration closed roughly 60 days before race day, so if you ran a fall race and wanted to redeem yourself a few weeks later, you couldn't unless you figured out a loophole to get in. Plus driving distance around the East Coast is reasonable if you live in New England or D.C. and flights from elsewhere tend to be inexpensive. Were you among the race's approximately 7,464 marathon finishers and 7,188 half marathon finishers? Did you run the 8K? Whether you're checking on your times or want to see how a runner did, check out all the results on the Philadelphia Marathon's website.

Unfortunately if you did register for the Philadelphia Marathon after a so-so Chicago (or insert-city-here) race in hopes of qualifying for Boston, you can't run online to to sign up the prestigious race's 114th running on April 19, 2010. The race filled earlier than usual this year and the two fast November races that normally draw those on the hunt for BQs, Richmond and Philly, fell after Boston closed. The California International Marathon on Dec. 6 has the same fate--drawing runners for its downhill and high BQ statistics. If you're in the mix, you'll have to wait until registration for the 2011 race, and 115th running (wow!), opens next September. But consider yourself lucky...when hotels start reservations for 2011, you can have prime pickings. Photo grabbed from the Philadelphia Marathon. Posted by Kate

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