Philadelphia Marathon Announces New 39.3-Mile “Rocky Challenge”

Yep: 39.3 miles in one weekend. (Our legs hurt just thinking about it.)

Philadelphia Pressroom

Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

For everyone out there who doesn’t think running a marathon is hard enough, the Philadelphia Marathon — which has been shaking things up quite a bit this year — just announced a new race-weekend challenge: The 39.3-mile Rocky Challenge. My legs hurt just thinking about it.

The challenge takes advantage of the new schedule for race weekend, with the half marathon and the marathon held on different days instead of concurrently, and encourages runners to tackle the 13.1 miles of the half marathon on Saturday, November 19th AND the 26.2 miles of the full marathon on Sunday, November 20th. I repeat: My legs hurt just thinking about.

The badass runners who complete the Rocky Challenge will get medals for both the half marathon and full marathon, plus an exclusive 39.3 Rocky Challenge finisher medal (ohhhh la la). Folks who’ve already registered for either of the distances will receive a $10 discount off of their second race registration fee and those who have yet to register will get a $10 discount on their final registration cost.

So, why is it called the Rocky Challenge? Well, per the press release, the name honors Rocky Balboa (duh) who is commemorated just a hop, skip and a throw away from the races’ start and finish lines with a statue at the Art Museum. And why’d they decide to put the challenge on? Well, as the press release says, “This new feature to Race Weekend partially arose from the enthusiasm of runners and charity partners, including the American Cancer Society and their DetermiNation program, who reached out expressing support for a two-race challenge.” And as race director Jim Marino says, “Separating the races from one day to two days now allows our charity partners additional fundraising opportunities and our seasoned runners the challenge of taking on our two updated Philadelphia race courses.” So now you know who to thank. (Errr, blame? Your choice.)

So, who out there will be tackling the Rocky Challenge? (And psst: If 39.3 miles in one weekend sounds a little too insane for you, know that you can always tackle a slightly — slightly, we said — less intimidating 30.61 miles in the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run this winter.)

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