Philadelphia Marathon Announces Big Changes to Race Weekend

Philadelphia Marathon | Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia Marathon | Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

The Philadelphia Marathon, going down the weekend of November 18th, sent out a press release earlier this afternoon announcing some big changes. Below, the three most important changes to note. (And don’t forget: Registration for the Philadelphia Half Marathon opens May 2nd.)

1. Jim Marino is coming on as race director. 

The Office of the City Representative, which has produced the Philadelphia Marathon for the past two decades, is teaming up with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to put on the race, bringing Jim Marino, who is the race director for the Broad Street Run, on as race director for the Philadelphia Marathon while City Representative Sheila Hess takes on the role of executive director.

2. The marathon and the half marathon will be held on different days. 

Traditionally, the half marathon and the full marathon have been held at once, but this year, they’ll be splitting them up, holding the half marathon on Saturday, November 19th and the full marathon on Sunday, November 20th. As Marino said in the press release, “I believe splitting the Half and Full Marathons between two days will greatly benefit both events in many ways. Half Marathon participants will be able to take on a challenging but scenic course on Saturday, and Full Marathoners will have the course all to themselves on Sunday as they strive to set their own personal records on our fast but historic course.”

3. Speaking of the course, they’re making some changes to it. 

As the press release says, there will be updates to the course for both the marathon and the full marathon, with the most notable for the full marathon being the absence of the out-and-back portion on East Falls Bridge.

When it comes to the half marathon, they outline what runners can expect from the course below:

The Half Marathon start will remain on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the race will continue down Arch Street, then head south on Front Street and return back to Center City via Chestnut Street. After returning up the Parkway, Half Marathoners will continue on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive into the beautiful but challenging hills of West Fairmount Park, before crossing the Strawberry Mansion Bridge into East Fairmount Park for a short portion of the famous Boxers’ Trail. Participants will then travel back on Kelly Drive for a flat and fast finish at Eakins Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

You can check out the full press release here. If you’re looking to express your opinion about the course changes, which race organizers say will make the courses more runner-focused, there’s plenty of chatter happening over on Run215’s Facebook page.

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