Good marathon for first-timers/PR-chasers (about: 2000)|
Suku from Princeton, NJ (11/21/00)
I just ran Philly this past Sunday and had a blast.
I have run Chicago three times before, and
did enjoy Philly a lot. It's a medium-sized
marathon (5K-6K), which is just about the
right size for one. Race organization is good;
expo was a tad-crowded, but given that
the marathon is not (yet) big-time like
NY, Chicago or Boston, it was adequate.
The course is not hilly (I have not done any
hill trg so far), and if one is tad-conservative
in the first-half, one can have a good second-
half. There's a short hill at mile 9 or so, and a
few inclines (ramps) off and on. Mile 14 to the
finish is an out-and-back along
the Schuykill river; ~mile 20 (Manayunk) is the
turnaround point. For the most part from mile 14 to
mile 20 is downhill (or so I felt). Don't go all out
on the way down, for you'll have to come-up on
the way back (a gradual incline; not a hill really).
My only peeve this year was why did they use
plastic cups for water, and not paper cups which
are a lot easier to drink from.. The crowds in Philly
are few and far between and are not all that
enthused (vis-a-vis Chicago for instance) in
terms of encouraging runners, etc. That
notwithstanding, the race is a good one for a
first-time or even for one whose chasing a PR.
The weather in Philly was also a lot kinder (mid-
late 30s) than Chicago this year, but that would
vary from year-to-year.