Philadelphia Marathon marks 25 years this weekend

Paul Kurtz
November 16, 2018 - 4:00 am
Philadelphia Marathon 2011

Sarah J. Glover/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT/Sipa USA


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — One of the most popular races in America is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend. 

A record number of runners will be out for the Philadelphia Marathon — close to 30,000 — and to mark the anniversary, some legends of the sport will be at the finish line to greet the runners. 

That's a far cry from the marathon's humble beginnings, an event created by the runners. Race Director Jim Marino said the courses are flat, fast and blend in with Philadelphia's backbone.  

"We really hit a lot of key spots in the city for runners to embrace our Center City, embrace our historical areas and get a true feel for what Philadelphia is all about by running through some of the neighborhoods, especially," he said.

Some of the neighbors go all out, too. 

"There's one group of people at Front and Kenilworth where they have a giant party on Front Street," Marino added. "Every year they're out there, and they got a big morning breakfast going on."

In Manayunk, race fans hand out beers to runners as they pass by. But with all that foot traffic comes the inevitable road closures, so be aware.

"The roads are going to be opening and closing throughout the day," Marino advised. "SEPTA's been on board for years with us making sure all the detour routes are posted ahead of time."

Race weekend begins Saturday morning with the half marathon, followed by the 8K and the children's run. Sunday is set aside for the big one, the 26.2-mile marathon.  

For more information on the races, click here.