Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Philadelphia Marathon Race Report and Video

I was really looking forward to this marathon. It would be my last marathon of the busy fall racing season and one that I wanted to do for quite a while. This year they moved the date up a week (so it didn't conflict with our Thanksgiving travel) so I was able to finally do it. We got into Philly Friday night and met up with our good friend Joe and then my marathon buddy Eddie flew in and we had a fun night.

Saturday we played tourist in the morning, hitting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We then headed to the Expo and did some serious shopping and met up with the rest of our crew: Rich, Helen, Matt, and Susan. We had a fun lunching at Triumph Brewing and hitting Yards brewery and then had a great pasta dinner (Pietro's) and cheered Auburn on to a nail biter of a victory (check this post for more details).

Sunday morning was an early wake up as we weren’t sure what the crowds would be like with the new security. We had no problems getting into the secure area, but the lines for the Port-O-Potties were enormous. We made it through finding our friends Barb, Bob, Sue, and Matt whom were running the half, and just as the anthem was being played and got right in our corral.

We were all super excited, as this would be the first marathon ever for Joe. Dave was in charge of taking Joe’s wife Maria and daughter Olivia around the course. Joe’s story is quite remarkable. In the last year he has lost over 120 lbs. thanks to diet and exercise. He is very inspiring to me and I was honored to share this moment with him.
It took us a while to get across the start line, but once we did we started our tour of Philadelphia. We were having fun stopping and taking pictures at all the famous sights. One lady runner snottily asked me if we were sightseeing or running a marathon. BOTH!!!!
I was excited for this course as I heard it took you by all the sights and that it was mostly flat. Sights, yes. Flat not so much. The hills started when we left the city proper and never let up. I loved running through Frat House Row. They were all out cheering and I think most of them hadn’t been to bed yet. You have to love the smell of stale beer. Running along the Schuylkill River was gorgeous. I ran in to an old friend of mine who had the best sign ever! It was so great to see you Craig!
Dave was doing a great job following us around and it was fun to see Joe’s family’s excitement. We finally made it into famous Manayunk. Home of the famous hills! Not exactly what you want at Mile 21 or so. My Mom was there with Dave and it was great to see her.
After Manayunk is when the real whining started. We were all tired. I just didn’t feel good. I was really excited going into this race as I felt I was in good shape and was expecting a much quicker time, but today was just not my day and it seems a lot of us felt that way. It was warmer than we thought it would be which could have played into this. However, none of that mattered, as we got back closer to the city.

We could see the Art Museum and knew we were close. We all got very emotional as Joe approached his family and gave them all a big hug and kiss. Not a dry eye around. We then got to high five the Mayor of Philadelphia! He stays out there all day and high fives every runner! We crossed the finish line with arms held high and Joe was now a marathon finisher. We all hugged each other, got our medals and Joe got his first Cape of Awesomeness!

Despite how I felt physically, this is one of my most favorite marathons. This is due to running with my great friends, Rich, Eddie and Joe! Thanks to you all for putting up with my whining and sharing this marathon with me.

Dave's Comments: I grew up less than 3 hours from Philly and have never visited this great city. I had a lot of fun seeing it from many different locations.

Our friend Helen is a veteran of this race and warned me I would not be able to get around much. With that in-mind I worked with Joe to formulate a plan and presented it to a volunteer at the expo. "Good luck" was what he told me. Ha! We made it to 8 spots (one of them in a nick-of-time).

It was such an honor to be trusted with guiding Joe's family along the course. I mean, he really just met me a month before the race and had probably never heard about taking the rental car airborne Starsky-and-Hutch-style in Little Rock. I had a lot of fun with them. I have to say this is probably the most I had to walk along a marathon course and I was pretty wiped by the end of the day. Viewing locations were Mile 1, 5, 9, 11.5, 14, 19, 20, and the finish.

for snacks, I bought these great chocolate chip/walnut cookies at the Reading Terminal Market. I thought Joe's daughter would love them. Yeah, she has a tree nut allergy. "A" for effort, "F" for execution......I think Eddie enjoyed the one he had at Mile 5.

I need to send a shout-out to our friend Craig for coming out there to cheer on the team, and for getting us into the zoo for that all important bathroom break.

Two videos from the race our below. The first one is our race video and the second one is the video Eddie put together that really does a nice job of chronicling Joe's journey and his first marathon. Eddie and Dave shared some video files so don't be confused if you see a scene or photo twice. We share photos all the time so why nor video!  We hope you enjoy!

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