Running a race in Philadelphia has been on my bucket list for a long time. When I heard a few of my running friends talking about the Philadelphia Half Marathon, I was not about to have FOMO. Given the fact that it was on my husband’s birthday weekend, it was the perfect time to return to his old stomping grounds and plan a weekend with friends to celebrate.
Philadelphia Half Marathon
If you are a regular reader around here, you are aware that I was not exactly in half marathon shape. A summer of calf issues, pushed me way behind my usual fall mileage. Using 4:1 intervals, I was able to gain back some mileage in September and October. After making it through Ragnar Napa the first week of November without any injury, I knew I would be able to get through the Philadelphia Half. I would just need to readjust my goals. My goal was just to get to the finish line without injuring myself.
We headed up to Philadelphia Friday morning. After checking into the hotel, we headed to the Reading Terminal for lunch. This place is a foodie lovers dream! There must be about 50 different food and dessert options from deli to pizza to Greek to cupcakes and ice cream. I settled on some falafel and salad. I did not want to eat too much because I knew I could not pass up a Termini’s cupcake.
From there, we headed over to the expo for Philadelphia Half and marathon. Kind of a disappointing expo far as large races go. I bought a half zip with the race course highlights on the back and moved on. The hubs and I had a great pizza dinner-my favorite pre race meal.
Our hotel was in walking distance to the start line. Met up with the girls and headed over to the security line. Although I appreciated the effort of having us all walk through metal detectors, it took about 40 min. Once through, we were back in the middle of the city streets where anyone could have entered so not really “secure”.
I stuck with my plan to run 4:1 intervals for whole race. I did not train for this distance and the longest run I had was 10 miles. Therefore, I really had no goals for the Philadelphia Half other than making to the finish line without getting hurt. The race itself was pretty uneventful for me as I stuck to my plan. A few times, especially the second half of the race, I thought about forgoing the intervals and running straight.
This was a fantastic race course that really showcased the sights and feels of the different neighborhoods in Philadelphia. There were a few hills especially in mile 8 and 10 but other than that, a pretty enjoyable course. There was tons of spectator support all along the way. Because our bibs had our names on them, people would yell out your name as you ran by. The Philadelphia Half is a race to add to your bucket list for sure.
Before I knew it, I was approaching the finish line. Having not trained at all for this, I was pretty happy with my just under 2 hours and 30 min finish time. Slowest half ever but I am so okay with that. Found my husband waiting for me just outside of the finisher shoot. The finish tent looked super crowded so I bypassed that we headed back to the hotel.
I was really surprised by how many runners I witnessed needing medical attention during the race. Twice I spotted runners in what looked like serious distress and twice ran ahead to a police officer to alert him there was someone in need of assistance. Definitely a scary sight to see.