The Philadelphia Marathon Starts At The Ben Franklin Parkway

The Philadelphia Marathon is the most popular race in Philadelphia. Ample evidence is the fact that for its 17th running, on Sunday, November 21, 2010, over 50,000 spectators and 11,000 participants are expected to descend upon the city in general, and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in particular.

We’ve found it best to answer common questions about the Philadelphia Marathon, in Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format.

When Does the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon Begin?

The 2010 Philadelphia Marathon begins on Sunday, November 21, 2010, at 7:00 AM. The same is true of the highly challenging smaller sibling, the 2010 Philadelphia Half-Marathon.

Where Does the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon Begin and End?

The 2010 Philadelphia Marathon will begin and end in the same place. Namely, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

It is a particularly apropos setting, as the fictional Rocky Balboa ran up the Museum of Art’s steps in the popular series of Rocky films, rendering them world-famous as the Rocky Steps.

(But even Balboa wasn’t running the Philadelphia Marathon! And he couldn't have. It didn't start until 1994, after the first five movies had already been made, and by the time Rocky Balboa was made in the 21st century, he was too old.)

To be completely specific:

The Philadelphia Marathon will begin at 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and you can use the flags of the world that line it, as guideposts. It will begin between the flags of Lithuania on one side and Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) on the other. Conversely, it will also end on the Parkway – at the Cote D’Ivoire flag post, exactly. (It wasn’t clear why it begins between both flags and ends at only one, but that’s the official map.)

What Do the Winners of the Philadelphia Marathon Take Home?

There is a cash prize of $3,500, for each of the male and female winners.

What Route Does the Philadelphia Marathon Follow?

How Should I Travel To Center City Philadelphia?

We generally would recommend taking SEPTA service. There will be tens of thousands of spectators, many of whom will be taking up ordinarily available parking spots. But there also will be significant road closures of major arteries, due to the Philadelphia Marathon route. Many roads will be closed from 6:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday, November 21, 2010.

Fortunately, most of the race course snakes through areas of Philadelphia, which are easily accessible via SEPTA. (And hey, SEPTA's better than walking 26.2 miles, or 13.1 miles, to reach your destination!)

What Route Does the Philadelphia Marathon Follow?

The Philadelphia Marathon starts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. From there, the runners travel down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, over Arch Street, down to the Delaware River. They head south on Columbus Boulevard. After a good distance heading south, they reverse direction, coming up north to South Street, then to Chestnut Street, traverse all of Center City, cross the Schuylkill River, up through University City, onto Martin Luther King Drive, into Fairmount Park, recross the Schuylkill River onto Kelly Drive, head all the way up to Main Street in Manayunk, then all the way back down Ridge Avenue and onto Kelly Drive, once more, until finally culminating as it started, in front of the Rocky Steps at Eakins Oval.

Schedule of Events for the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon

All of the events at the Pennsylvania Convention Center can be easily reached, via SEPTA Regional Rail to Market East Station, located at 11th and Market Streets. To reach the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets, you don’t even have to go outside. Just follow signs for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, throughout the concourse at Market East and the Reading Terminal Complex.

However, if you'd like to be on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the end of the race, your best bet is to take your SEPTA Regional Rail train to Suburban Station, not Market East Station. Suburban Station is located at 16th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, which is much closer to 22nd and the Parkway. You can just exit out the back of Suburban, reach the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, make a left turn onto the Parkway, and continue until you reach the Art Museum at 22nd Street and the Parkway.

Friday, November 19, 2010

12 noon – 9:00 PM – Health and Fitness Expo / Race Packet Pickup, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

7:30 AM - Rothman Institute 8K (on a different date and time); 7:25 AM for Wheelchairs and Handcycles.

10:30 AM - Verizon Kids Fun Run

10:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Health and Fitness Expo / Race Packet Pickup - Pennsylvania Convention Center (note the differing hours from Friday)

4:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Runners' Pasta Party @ Spaghetti Warehouse, 1026 Spring Garden Street (Note: This is on Spring Garden Street between 10th and 11th Streets, on the de facto northern border of Center City Philadelphia.)

Sunday, November 21

Philadelphia Marathon + Half Marathon

Both races start at 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, as noted above. The times are 6:57 AM for wheelchairs and handicycles, 7:00 AM for runners.

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