Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap and Race Report, Part 1
Race: Philadelphia Half Marathon
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Distance: 21.1 km (13.1 miles)
Distance Travelled to Compete: Negligible – 1.8 km (1.1 miles)
Weather conditions: Forecast as it stands is a start temp of 38F (3C) and rising to about 52F (11C). No rain in the forecast yet, clear to partly sunny.
Course conditions: Flat through most of Center City and South Philadelphia. Turned into Powelton Village and Mantua, where a hill picked up at Mile 8 and another at Mile 10 leading into the concourse at Fairmount Park. Wrapped around MLK Drive and finished back at Eakins Oval, in front of the Art Museum.
Preview: Fourth time’s a charm, right? The usual routine end to the running season for Philly, and nearly everywhere else. This race potentially could be my last here, but itching to do the full, I may have to come back here next year even if I have already moved out of Philly. For sure though it will be the last time I run the Philly Half.
Part 1 of my recap will cover the expo. Part 2 will cover the race itself.
The expo is held at the usual venue of the PA Convention Center; last year’s expo had much more to offer goers than before. Additionally, what makes things more exciting is that this year, I have a solid group of friends that I’m running with, thanks to City Sports, and a solid group of supporters. So I am very happy and grateful for that.
I walked into the usual Hall F of the convention center on 11th and Arch, and honestly this year’s expo was even bigger and better than the last. More race reps to check out local/regional races, more vendors, more freebies (and some pretty awesome ones too!), and caught up with quite a crowd at the expo. Couldn’t go wrong in any aspect.
The hall had ample room even for the big crowd. Packet/kit pickup was seamless.
The shirts in my opinion were awesome, although I have seen some complaints on social media about the make of the shirt (Leslie Jordan, versus last year’s Endurafit) and the cheesy slogan. Yeah it’s probably cheesy if you’re a local. But honestly I didn’t care. I have so many winter long sleeve shirts I didn’t care as much.
There were a lot of different vendors, including race reps from both local and national and even Canadian races as well. Asked many questions about the course, transportation for point-to-point courses, and such.
Food giveaways included quite a few food freebies, including Food Should Taste Good, Larabar, Nirvana water, but most importantly, seasoned organic beets by Love Beets. SO good.
The other new product that caught my taste buds was the Mamma Chia snacks, tried the apple cinnamon paste and it was pretty darn good.
For those of you questioning nutrition on the course, you will have the opportunity to try the gels at the Clif Bar station: 2 caffeine (citrus and mocha) and 2 without (vanilla and raspberry).
I caught up with some friends from the run club and met some of them in the Gore-Tex booth. Everyone seemed quite relaxed going into the weekend, and I had gotten a few invites for post-race parties. Beers, lounging around, a well deserved lazy Sunday after all those weeks of training.
In the middle at the Gore-Tex station, runners could try on shoes with Gore-Tex waterproof technology, if they wanted and they could enter a raffle to win shoes and such.
The speaker lineup featured a lot of local running leaders including Philly Runner’s Ross Martinson, and a former Olympian, whose name I couldn’t remember. Ah if I could only remember the name
Overall, Philly Marathon expo just keeps getting bigger and better. If you are travelling in from out of town or just getting to the expo Saturday, this will not disappoint!