Pennsylvania is a state with a number of really great marathons, but I’m happy that I chose Philadelphia for my BQ effort. The race promised to be fast and scenic, and I feel like this was an accurate representation. Furthermore, my trip to Philadelphia was really everything that I wanted my New York experience to be: A large New England city with lots to see and do that is also very pedestrian friendly. Philly has the added advantage of being far less congested and having much nicer people. (In my opinion.) Whereas I was overwhelmed by New York, I was easily able to navigate this downtown for eating and sightseeing. I also had the opportunity to visit with some friends from Jim’s residency class, and a trip that includes a friend visit is always the very best kind.
The race started downtown near the art museum and was an easy walk from my hotel. (Though I did get lost on my way back.) The first half of the marathon took us around the historic portions of the city and Fairmount Park. It was scenic with only a few small hills. The second half of the race was an out and back along the Schuylkill River. This section got a bit more monotonous, but the turnaround in Manayunk had a ton of crowd support. I like out and backs and thought that it was fun to watch the frontrunners on my way out and the crowds of runners behind me on the way back.
I enjoyed this race a lot more than New York, which I ran two weeks prior. It had that big city feel without being so incredibly loud and overwhelming.
A note on the weather to future Sadie: It was 35 degrees when this race began and in the low 40’s when you finished; the sky was overcast and there was little wind. You weren’t sure what the hell to wear, so you went with a pair of capri pants and a long- sleeved shirt with a tank top. It was pretty chilly during the out and back portion along the river, so this combination ended up working well. However, had you been running through a city the entire time, you would have been hot. Present- day Sadie recommends shorts and a t- shirt in those conditions.
Race Highlights: The first section around the city was lovely.
The Downside: The out and back along the river got a bit boring.
Sub 4:00 State #35, BQ State #34, Sub 3:30 State #15
Finish Time: 3:29:14
Overall Place Within My Gender: 305/ 4151
Favorite Race Day Song: “Broken” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” (Carried over from the Broadway mix.)
Total Training Miles: 7,199.6
Shoe Total: 23