Overall, I must say that the Rhode Runner Running Club trip to Philly was pretty amazing and definately a memorable first marathon for me. So many aspects of the race were amazing from the race itself to the tremendous croud support and the time spent with friends.
Having started planning just over a year ago, everything on the trip came together so well including the travel arrangements, reservations at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District and all the months of training leading up to the race. If I were to organize a trip to Philly again for the Marathon I would definately reccommend the Wyndham Historic District since its just about 1.5 miles from the start of the marathon and because of its close vacinity to the expo and their willingness to accomidate our needs for the marathon.
The race itself was very well organized and easy to maneuver during marathon weekend because of the numerous emails leading up to marathon keeping you informed as well as out excellent run club members Serge McKann and Alex Spigelman who did a fabulous job organizing hotels, transportation and wonderful pre & post race activities (including a pasta dinner and recommendations about local attractions).
The expo leading up to the race was located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center just a short walk from the hotel. It was well laid out with minimal lines and had many vendors such as Nuun and Sweaty Bands. Another advantage of the expo was extended hours which made it easy for those of us traveling to make it.
Raceday itself is always exciting and it can be stressful too. Too minimize stress at the Philly marathon I would highly reccommend raceday meal prep the night before and an early arrival to the start of the race. Since the race goes off at 7am, you should definately pick up your food the night before and coffee because nothing is open that morning. I would also suggest getting to the race at least two hours ahead of time to make sure that you are able to get through security, use the bathrooms and get into your corral with time to spare. If you need to check a bag and have a commute to that start than I would build in additional time because we barely made it (although you would be in luck because it does go by chip time)!
Overall, I would say that I truly enjoyed the course. It enables you to see the various parts of the city from the museum and downtown Philly to Fairmount Park and a run along the river, c'mon what more could you ask for? The course was pretty flat except for some rolling hills at mile 7 or so and from miles 18 to 22. If you are looking for a more detailed map of the course I would suggest that you check out the article "How to run a personal record at the Philadelphia Marathon." Before the race, Jason Ashley had recommended that we look at this article and I found it to be very helpful and indicative of the course!
Philly Marathon- Race Results
The Rhode Runner running club did a really wonderful job at this race! There were several first timers including myself as well as many friends who run marathons all the time and shared their wealth of knowledge. There were even some PR's and Boston Qualifying times too!!
Philadelphia Half Marathon
Philadelphia Half Marathon