In 23rd year, Philly Marathon expands events to two days

Philadelphia Marathon Executive Director Sheila Hess holds up a medal that will be awarded to finishers of the Rocky Challenge

Philadelphia Marathon Executive Director Sheila Hess holds up a medal that will be awarded to finishers of the Rocky Challenge

The Philadelphia Marathon takes place this weekend and, after 23 years, the city is making some changes.

For the first time, the events involving 30,000 registered runners will be split over two days: the shorter 8k and half marathons, as well as the Kids Fun Run will be held on Saturday, and the full, 26.2 mile marathon will take place on Sunday.

“By having them on two separate days, they’ll both be allowed to grow, and it won’t be elbow-to-elbow for the first 12, 13 miles, so that’s why we did that change,” said race director Jim Marino.

Those looking to further test their endurance have been invited to participate in both the half and full marathons — a new, 39.3-mile event called the “Rocky Challenge.”

The starting line will still be on the 2200 block of Ben Franklin Parkway. But the city is moving the finish line to the north side of Eakins Oval to allow more space for an estimated 60,000 cheering fans and 3,000 volunteers.

On Saturday and Sunday, runners and spectators staying at certain hotels in Philadelphia will be able to catch shuttle buses to and from events. Click here to see a full schedule. 

Two days of races also mean two days of road closures. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed for much of the weekend, as well as the I-676 off-ramps at 22nd Street (westbound) and 23rd Street (eastbound).

Here are more details according to the city:

SaturdayFor the Half Marathon, due to enhanced security, City of Philadelphia “no-parking” regulations will be enforced strictly and all vehicles on the race route will be relocated, beginning at 2 a.m. on Saturday. Drivers impacted are encouraged to contact Philadelphia Parking Authority at 215-683-9550.

Street closures will be in effect for the Philadelphia Half Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, from 2 a.m. until 3 p.m., along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 20th to 25th streets, and also on Kelly Drive, Martin Luther King Drive, and numerous other roads in Center City (see complete list below). Signage labeled “no parking” will be posted in the Parkway area, and elsewhere, along the race course in advance. On Saturday, the vicinity near 18th Street and the Parkway, and the Logan Circle area will be closed to vehicular traffic until 11:30 a.m.

The following streets will be affected across the city on Saturday

18th Street, from Arch to Callowhill Streets
19th Street, from Arch to Callowhill Streets
20th Street, from Arch to Callowhill Streets
21st Street, from Spring Garden to Arch Streets
22nd Street, from Spring Garden to Arch Streets
Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from 16th to 22nd Streets
Arch Street, from 6th to 16th Street
6th Street, from Race to Market Streets
Market Street, from 5th to 17th Streets
East Penn Square
John F. Kennedy Blvd., from Juniper to 17th Streets
15th Street, from Race to Chestnut Streets
16th Street, from Chestnut to Race Streets
Lansdowne Drive, from Girard Avenue to South Concourse Drive
Lansdowne Drive, to Centennial Circle
Black Road
Martin Luther King Drive
Green Drive, Ford Road, Chamounix Drive
Strawberry Mansion Drive, Dauphin Drive, Reservoir Drive
Edgely Drive, Randolph Drive, Mt. Pleasant Drive, Fountain Green Drive
Kelly Drive

Motorists and pedestrians can expect significant delays when trying to cross roads or streets that are adjacent to the course. Police will allow traffic through intersections along the course, when possible, depending on the flow of the race participants. All streets are scheduled to be reopened by 2 p.m. Saturday.

SundayFor the Philadelphia Marathon, due to enhanced security, City of Philadelphia “no-parking” regulations will be enforced strictly and all vehicles on the race route will be relocated, beginning at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Drivers impacted are encouraged to contact Philadelphia Parking Authority at 215-683-9550. In addition, on Sunday, the Parkway, from 20th to 25th Streets, will be closed, from 2 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other streets along the race course will reopen as runners pass by and the streets are cleaned.

The following streets will be affected across the city on Sunday:

18th Street, from Arch to Callowhill Streets
19th Street, from Arch to Callowhill Streets
20th Street, from Arch to Callowhill Streets
21st Street, from Spring Garden to Arch streets
22nd Street, from Spring Garden to Arch Streets
Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from 22nd to 16th Streets
Arch Street, between 16th to 3rd Streets
4th Street, between Arch to Vine Streets
Race Street, from 6th Street to Columbus Boulevard
Columbus Boulevard (Southbound lanes), from Vine Street to Washington Avenue
Southbound off-ramp, from I-95 at Washington Avenue
Washington Avenue, from Columbus Boulevard to Front Street
Front Street, from Washington Avenue to South Street
South Street, from Front to 7th Streets
6th Street, from Bainbridge to Market Streets
Chestnut Street, from 6th to 34th Streets
34th Street, Chestnut Street to Girard Avenue
Lansdowne Drive, from Girard Avenue to South Concourse Drive
South Concourse Drive, from Lansdowne to West Memorial Hall Drives
West Memorial Hall Drive, from South Concourse to Avenue of the Republic
Avenue of the Republic, from West Memorial Hall Drive to Catholic Foundtain
Belmont Avenue, Montgomery to Parkside Avenue
Black Road
Martin Luther King Drive
Kelly Drive
The Falls Bridge
Ridge Avenue, from Schoolhouse Lane to Manayunk Avenue
Main Street, from Ridge Avenue to Green Lane

Motorists and pedestrians can expect significant delays when trying to cross roads or streets that are adjacent to the course. Police will allow traffic through intersections along the course, when possible, depending on the flow of the race participants. All streets are scheduled to be reopened by 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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For more information, visit PhiladelphiaMarathon.com.

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