12 Philly-Area Long-Distance Races You Can Still Register For This Fall
Ready to get back to in-person races? Here are all of our favorite local runs still taking sign-ups this season.
After months of rescheduled or canceled races and swaps for virtual runs, in-person road races are back, Philly. Whether you’re a lifelong runner looking to get back to it or a newbie hoping to put yourself to the test, there’s a race for you on the calendar this fall — from full-on marathons to 10Ks and 10-milers. Haven’t registered yet? No fear! Below is a list of the Philly-area fall long-distance races you still have time to register for. Happy training!
October 16th and 17th
The Atlantic City Marathon is the third oldest continuing marathon in the United States and is certainly one of the most beautiful. Pass through the beach towns of Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport and see the signature boardwalk casinos, ice cream shops, and arcades. Register for the October marathon, half marathon, 10k, or 5k by October 9th to secure your spot.
No race is more Philly than the Broad Street Run. This ten-mile race takes runners down historic Broad Street, from North Philly straight down to the Navy Yard. Broad Street is the largest, fastest, and most popular 10-mile race in the country and draws thousands of onlookers every year. While the race is usually run in May, this year it’s happening in October, due to COVID-19. The lottery to snag a bib is now open through August 7th. Selected runners will be notified on August 9th.
November 13th and 14th
Delaware’s favorite marathon is back and is inviting runners from all over to experience the beauty of Rehoboth Beach. The flat and fast 5K, 9K, half marathon, and marathon courses include the beach and boardwalk, Delaware State Parks, historical landmarks, and the streets of charming Lewes, Delaware. No matter whether you’re just starting out or you’re a pro competitor, Coastal Delaware Running Fest has options for any runner. Runners can register up until November 13th or until events sell out.
The Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Half Marathon is not just a race, it’s a real-life history lesson. This 13.1-mile trail along the Lehigh River starts at Northern Lehigh High School and continues onto the Slate Heritage Trail, the former site of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, an 1800s rail line which saw its height in America’s Gilded Age. As you run, pass through lush autumn forests, hear freshwater creeks, and spot stacks of old railroad timbers. Registration ends Tuesday, November 2nd.
In the olden days, mule drivers, or “muleskinners” would walk beside their animals as they traveled up and down the Delaware River, distributing important supplies across the region. Muleskinners preferred mules to horses because mules (just like marathon runners) paced themselves in order to not get overheated and overtired. Today, the Muleskinner Endurance races (a marathon, a 50-mile race, and a 100-kilometer race) take runners through that same beautiful Delaware River valley. This out-and-back course follows in the footsteps of Bucks County history right as the leaves start to change. Registration ends September 30th.
Not sold on this fall’s woodsy Pennsylvania races? Ocean City, New Jersey is welcoming runners for their half marathon and 5K. The races pass through Ocean City’s lovely streets, downtown business district, and beaches and boardwalk. Experience the Shore off-season and run to the sounds and smells of crashing waves and salty water. Register online for the half marathon, 10-mile noncompetitive run/walk, and 5K until 4 p.m. on September 23rd or in-person at the pre-packet pick-up location from September 24th to the 25th. Runners can also register on race day for the 5K.
Think you can go the distance? This September, the historic (and Best of Philly winning!) Philadelphia Distance Run is back. After its start in 1978, the race quickly became a favorite for record-breaking runners. After a stint under the direction of the Rock ‘n’ Roll race team, local groups are relaunching the race for the first time in years, hoping to bring its energy and history back into the Philly running scene. Runners can register for the race until September 15th.
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The official Philadelphia Marathon started as a small, local race with 1,500 participants back in 1994. Today, it’s one of the top 10 marathons in the nation with a lively urban course and thousands of participants. Join some of the nation’s top runners as you wave hello to the rowhomes of Rittenhouse, traverse the Schuylkill, and channel Rocky at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Registration closes on Tuesday, November 16th.
Wissahickon Valley Park is a Philadelphia favorite and a green oasis in the city’s concrete jungle. This 2,042-acre park will host a marathon and half marathon in October. Runners will complete a 13.1-mile loop (marathoners will run the loop twice) over hiking trails, short uphill climbs, and the gravel road of Forbidden Drive. Registration ends October 10th or when spots sell out.
The Pocono Half Marathon and Fall Running Spectacular is located at Promised Land State Park in Greentown, Pennsylvania, right in the heart of the Pocono Mountains. While the park is about 2.5 hours away from Center City by car, it’s certainly worth the drive. This race takes runners through oak, maple, and hemlock trees, two lakes, bubbling streams, and the vibrant colors of fall in the mountains. Registration ends October 10th.
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Run the Bridge is a great run with an even better mission. This 10K starts at the base of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the New Jersey side, crosses the Bridge, doubles back, and takes runners through the waterfront area in Camden. All proceeds go to supporting the Larc School, a local New Jersey nonprofit that serves children with severe disabilities. Registration ends October 22nd.
The Run the Vineyards Half Marathon is like no other race in the Philly area. Run through Blue Cork Winery and Vineyard, an Italian- and Greek-owned vineyard, located right in heart of South Jersey. While this race route is only 35 minutes from Center City by car, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Italian countryside or Napa Valley. Afterwards, sip complimentary glass of (what else?) wine and enjoy fare from food trucks. Registration ends when spots are filled, usually around mid-October.