Thursday, January 15, 2015

Race Recap: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Continuing on through my backlog of race recaps, up next is the Philadelphia Half!

Philadelphia Half Marathon
November 23, 2014

State: Repeat (Pennsylvania)
Lifetime: #50

After the success of the Baltimore Half, I debated racing this one.  It was in the back of my mind until race morning.  But waking up race morning, my legs just felt tight and no amount of warm up was loosening them.  Since I had just run Wine & Dine the weekend before (and did a ton of racing throughout the year), I decided to just take it easy.  Plus my friend Kasey was running the full so I wanted to be able to support her along the end of her race.

The weather was warmer then in previous years, which was nice since there is a lot of waiting around.  After arriving and checking our bags, we got into the bathroom time, which moved pretty slow and afterward just went right to the corrals. 

The corrals here are not quite as strict as with other races, so it was easy to get lined up.  I parted ways with Kasey and headed to my corral. 

The first part of this race is always my favorite - the first 7ish miles take you right through downtown Philly.  You run along the water, down South Street and past the most famous landmarks.  These miles went by pretty quickly as there is a lot to look.  My pace was averaging about 9:00 minute miles (except for a bathroom break!) so I was pleased. 

The second half is not quite as scenic but you still get some good sights.  You run through University City, past the Zoo (the Philly Zoo is one of my favorites!) and Fairmount Park before heading towards the Art Museum along the water.

I managed to pick the pace up a little (to about 8:50) during this section.  It wasn't quite super easy for me, but wasn't too tough. 

I love the finish of this race as it goes right past the Rocky stairs!  They even put a race shirt on the Rocky statue in front of the museum every year.  It always makes me smile!

After I finished, I collected my bag and got back out to the course to catch Kasey.  I saw her right around 13 as she headed towards the second half out and back.  I tried to catch her heading towards the finish but missed her!  She had a great race and set a new PR.

Overall, I continue to love this race.  The course is flat with some rolling hills and goes past some great sights.  It's well organized and the expo is manageable. 

Official: 13.1 mi, 1:59:13, 9:06 pace
Garmin: 13.24 mi, 1:59:14, 9:00 pace

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