10 Hilarious Spectator Signs From the Philadelphia Marathon

signs lead

This past weekend, some 30,000 runners took over the streets to tackle either 13.1 or 26.2 miles on foot. Philadelphia Marathoners and Half Marathoners, you can’t see us, but we are giving you virutal high-fives while handing you congratulatory beers right now.

Another group that deserves a round of applause is the spectators — on Saturday, they had pretty nice weather, but Sunday was a whole different story. Case in point: This porta potty that toppled over due to the wind. Has any image ever been more scarring? Still, wind and all, spectators came out to support, screaming their hearts out and, of course, toting hilarious signs. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorites that were posted to Instagram below. (And forgive us, but we will never, ever get tired of a “Smile, you paid for this” sign.)

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You Can Get a Vitamin-Loaded IV Treatment at the Philly Marathon Finish

Fun fact: The first time I had to have blood drawn, I bit the nurse who tried to stick me with a needle. And before you think, “Oh, well, you were probably a toddler. Totally normal,” just know: I was 12 years old. So me and my needle-fearing self will let you be the judge of the IV treatment trend. This Sunday, RestoreIV, the East Falls medical practice that specializes in IV vitamin and nutrient therapy, will be at the Philadelphia Marathon finish line administering IV vitamin treatments designed to help runners rehydrate and avoid dreaded muscle cramps.

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Why This Guy Is Running the 39.3-Mile Philadelphia Marathon Rocky Challenge in Head-to-Toe Fireman’s Gear 

Steve Bender at last year's Philadelphia Marathon | Photo courtesy Steve Bender

Steve Bender at last year’s Philadelphia Marathon | Photo courtesy Steve Bender

Remember Steve Bender? He’s the volunteer firefighter who ran last year’s Philadelphia Marathon in 50 pounds of fireman’s gear. Yes: he ran 26.2 miles in head-to-ankle (no boots — that’s taking things too far, he says) fireman’s gear. And this weekend, he’s doing it all over again … AND he’s running the Philadelphia Half Marathon decked out in his firefighter get-up the day before, too. (The race has dubbed running both events the “Rocky Challenge.”) We have a sneaking suspicion he may be a tiny bit crazy — or just really, really motivated.

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The Complete Philadelphia Marathon Guide for Runners and Spectators

Photo courtesy GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

Photo courtesy GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

The Philadelphia Marathon is exactly one week from today — and the half marathon is a day sooner! — with 10s of thousands of runners expected to participate and thousands of joyous, screaming spectators coming out to support them. Whether you’re running the marathon or half marathon this year (bless your soul) or planning to cheer on a friend (or, you know, 30,000 of them), we’ve got you covered.

This year, we’ve once-again compiled what is arguably the exhaustive Philadelphia Marathon race-day guide, with all the wheres, whats and hows to get you to the right spot, plus need-to-know info, like where to find coffee before the race (file this under Essential Information, people) and the best spots to celebrate with brunch and a beer afterwards. May the Philadelphia Marathon countdown officially begin!

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Very Important Question: Are You Eating Enough Carbs?

I’m going to state the obvious here, but running a marathon and half marathon are very different than running a 5K or 10K. I’m not talking about the difference in distance — I’m talking about the difference in nutrition needs. For the most part, nutrition isn’t a limiting factor to performance for the 5K and 10K, but once you get over two-hour mark in racing, nutrition plays a vital role in how well you perform.  Read more »

Psst: This Is the One Skill You Absolutely Need to Run a Successful Marathon

Photo courtesy GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

Photo courtesy GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

Nearly every long-distance running record, from the 1500-meter record to the marathon record, has been set by running negative splits, which is running the second half of the race faster than the first. But you can’t do this without knowing how to pace yourself. Pacing is the single most important skill in running and is absolutely crucial for a successful marathon. It also happens to be one of the more difficult skills to master.

In today’s world of GPS watches, treadmills and headphones, it’s easy for our internal sense of pacing to become clouded. These external distractions become background noise, affecting our senses and our ability to truly assess our pace. But here’s the good news: Pacing is a skill and, like most, it can be learned with practice and patience. Below, how to perfect your pacing skills. Read more »

Why This Is the Absolute Best Day to Do Your Long Run, According to a Running Pro

The weekly long run, the most important single run of the week and probably the one run you think about most: What route will I take? Is the weather going to cooperate? How will I feel? Can I finish it?

For most, the long run is a Sunday morning ritual. It’s set in stone, like some unspoken rule. I mean why not run long on Sunday? It seems perfect: Sunday is the last day of the week and last day of the weekend; You can relax and get loose Friday night after a long workweek and recover by Sunday; Also, most training plans have the long run set on Sundays and odds are most of your running partners run long on Sundays.

These are all good reasons to run long on Sundays. But the thing about a Sunday run is, given most people have work on Monday, you must get it done on Sunday or skip it. And skipping a weekly long run can have a negative effect on your training — and skipping a few long runs will definitely have a detrimental effect.

But the nice thing is, this is super-easy to steer clear of. You can avoid setting yourself up to skip your long run by scheduling your long run on Saturdays instead of Sundays. Below, four very convincing reasons to move your long run to Saturdays. Read more »

The Biggest Running Mistakes You’re Making (And How to Fix Them)

Raise your hand if you are training for the Philadephia Marathon in November — or for any race, for that matter. Okay, first, let me just say: You are a beast. And second, you’re going to want to take note of this running advice to remedy the biggest and most common running mistakes out there, according to Charles Scogna, owner, trainer and running coach (he’s quite the renaissance man) at CHARGE Performance and Wellness in Bella Vista.

And speaking of running advice, you’ll find plenty more of it at CHARGE Running, Scogna’s new training group for runners who are looking for regular input from a pro. The group will meet three times weekly starting October 3rd, with sessions covering everything from agility and weight-training (Monday evenings) to gait and speed work (Thursday mornings) and gym training sessions followed by long runs — followed by brunch (Saturdays). The cost to join CHARGE Running ranges from $54 per month to $150, depending on how often you attend. He also has a slew of Charge Running events on the roster. You can learn more here.

Now, back to that advice we were talking about: Below, you’ll find the top five running mistakes, according to Scogna, plus how to stop making them once and for all.

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Philadelphia Marathon Training: Why You Need Rest Weeks, Not Just Rest Days

Marathon training is exhausting. There’s really no way around it. Week after week you head out the door on tired, achy legs preparing your body for the 26.2-mile journey. Run too little and you’ll crash and burn come race day, but run too much and you’ll also crash and burn come race day.

Running a great marathon means knowing how to fight off fatigue — being able to manage your energy throughout the race so that when you cross the finish line, you’ve just started to “run on empty.” Marathon training needs to prepare you for this long battle with fatigue and just as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The best way to prepare is to practice running in a fatigued state. This not only includes a weekly long run but also accumulating fatigue over an extended period of time. For intermediate and advanced runners, this accumulated fatigued state is just as important as the weekly long run. Since virtually no marathon plans include running 26.2 miles at goal marathon pace, this accumulated fatigue helps prepare you for tackling 26.2 miles at goal pace without actually doing it in training.

However there is a huge risk that comes with training in an extended state of fatigue: Overtraining. Overtraining, caused by stressing the body too hard, too often, with not enough rest, can completely wreck marathon training. The key to balancing this fine line between an optimal fatigued state and overtraining is letting the body rest so it can adjust to higher workloads.

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