Marathon 46 - Philly, for the last time. Story*Training*Injury*Schedule*Spectators*Statistics

I will never run one this again.

I thought my 4th outing at Philly would be like the last, but other than the cool and clear day, it was nothing like the first 3.

Poor race management from before the start has ruined this race. American Express has taken over as sponsor, and is no ING.

The expo had the STUPID walk-all-the-way-to-the-back (to a crowded corner) to pick up your number, but after picking up your number and chip, the race-bag contained your shirt, a coupon, and a magazine. No race instructions. No marathon map. No information of any type.

(Note to race directors: you don't have to do this. The marathoners will look at all of the booths no matter where the packets are).

At the start, there was no indication of where the bag drops were. The PA system could not be heard from mid-pack and beyond.

So the race starts. I assume. We couldn't hear the gun.

Missing Mile Marks. Even the most haphazardly thrown together race has mile marks. I saw a clock at the 5K, 5 and 7. Then Duplicate Mile Marks at 11 and 12 (the half marathon course, but there was no indication that these were different). After the half way, they were there, except for 26.

The finish area was in total disarray. There was one volunteer taking chips off. The people handing out medals were unwrapping them one at a time for the runners. There was no food, only water. There was no directions of any kind, and no medical.

But all of that pales to this: POLICE TRIED TO STOP THE RACE at about mile 5, where the course crossed chestnut, to let traffic pass. About 40 minutes into the race, a SUV police car came screeching up, lights and sirens, and a cop jumped out and yelled to the approaching runners: Stop! He even put up his hand in a halt gesture. When virtually every one ignored him, he screeched in reverse into the intersection, nearly running over the runners. He called for backup. He yelled. He Screamed. The runners ran around him, jumping over cars (that had now inched into the intersection), and onto the sidewalk.

And just to be complete, the web site is very poorly laid out, and going there is painful.

Not to be totally negative, there was plenty of water, and the volunteers where enthusiastic.


Updated Nov 19th, 2006