Yesterday was the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon. The Philly Half was the first half marathon I ever ran and I have run it every year since.
The first time we ran Philly in 2008 was because my friend Erin had asked if we wanted to run for a charity for her cousin. The charity was NF, which stands for Neurofibromatosis. I had actually never heard of the disease before but I told her I would love to run and help out a great cause. The run was originally called the Philadelphia Distance Run and it was sponsored by ING.
After running my first half marathon I was pumped to keep running, and I have been doing it ever since. I gauge my running on Philly every year. I have tried to get faster and faster, but over the past few years I haven’t trained as well as I should have.
This year because Cheryl now works at Self we got VIP opportunities we never had in the past. The race starts at 8am so you need to get up early to get to the start line on time. This year we work up at 5:30am so we could be down at the start before they closed the roads. We got to park right by the start/finish village. We also usually grab bagels and coffee at Wawa before the run and have to stand in super long porta-potty lines. This year the VIP area had coffee, bagels, power bars and other things for us to eat as well as it’s own porta-potties.
One of Cheryl’s coworkers also came down to run. It was her first ever half marathon.
The weather was pretty cold in the morning. Compared to past years when I am fine in a tank top and shorts I was wearing long sleeves and capris. I toughed it out and took off the long sleeve for the run. Luckily the weather had heated up a little bit. Last week Competitor announced it would no longer pay elite athletes the appearance fee for races. Once I realized that we would have been in the same place as all the elites I got bummed. Only problem with that was they got to cut in front of the porta-pottie line since they had to go first and the line in VIP was very backed up for all us regular folk.
The run is awesome for first time half marathoners. Their pacing requirements are low so that even if you walked the whole race you could finish it. You start out in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum and run toward city hall. There are a few twisty streets in between. Then you run around city hall and down toward the liberty bell. In past years we ran all the way downtown in old city through cobblestone streets, but the course was a little different this year.
Then you head back up toward the art museum and run past it with it on your left. The rest of the race is around the Schuylkill River. They had a lot of inspirational signs this year along the course. Cheryl took a picture of this one.
This year I finished the race in 2:11:37. My fastest time on this course was in 2010. I finished in 1:56:49
This year was especially nice post race. The VIP tent had a lot of food and mimosas for us.
I have vowed that next year I will train properly again for this run and try and get under 2 hours again!