Guide To The 2014 Philadelphia Marathon

Guide To The 2014 Philadelphia Marathon

Want to run an exhilarating 26 miles through the streets of Philadelphia? Yeah, me either.

Apparently, though, a lot of people do, because the Philadelphia Marathon is back in 2014, and there are more than 50,000 spectators, 30,000 runners and 2,500 volunteers expected to descend on the City of Brotherly Love just for the occasion. Here’s your guide to taking it all in—spectator-style, of course. – Chelsea Karnash


WHAT: The Philadelphia Marathon was first founded in 1954 and takes place on the third Sunday of November each year. Runners travel all throughout the city, from the Art Museum to City Hall to Old City and then along both sides of the Schuylkill River, through Manayunk and back to Center City along the 26.219 mile course. Cash prizes are awarded to the first five male and female finishers, and the top five males and females in numerous age groups receive awards. Additionally, the Philly Marathon serves as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

WHEN: This year’s Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend runs from Friday, November 21st through Sunday, November 23rd. Race Day is Sunday, November 23rd, starting at 7 a.m.

WHERE: The Philadelphia Marathon takes runners on a tour through the city’s historical sites, starting at 22nd Street & Ben Franklin Parkway near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and winding through Center City and Old City before continuing along MLK Drive, around the Philadelphia Zoo, then back down and up Kelly Drive. It then continues through Manayunk, then back along Kelly Drive before finishing up back near the Art Museum. Phew—I’m tired just thinking about it!


The Philly Marathon has more to offer than just the race itself. In addition to the marathon, there will also be a two-day Health + Fitness Expo, a kid’s fun run, dining specials, an 8K and finally, a half-marathon that takes place during the full marathon. For more info on any of the events listed below, click here.

Friday, Nov. 21

Health + Fitness Expo
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall A
12th & Arch Sts.
12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The Health + Fitness Expo kicks off for the eighth year in a row, featuring more tons of vendors showcasing the best, of-the-minute running apparel, shoes and accessories. There will also be free samples and health and fitness tips and advice. FYI, this is also where runners pick up their race packets.

Saturday, Nov. 22

Rothman Institute 8K

Start at 22nd St & Ben Franklin Pkwy
7:27 a.m. for wheelchairs and handcycles, 7:30 a.m. for runners

The Rothman 8K is a 4.97 mile race for those who want to run, but aren’t ready for a full of half marathon just yet.

Kids Fun Run
Start at 22nd & Ben Franklin Pkwy
9 a.m. registration, 10:30 a.m. races begin

The kid’s fun run is a short, non-competitive race for kids ages 4-12. It’s not timed. Nearby, there will also be activities for the little ones like face-painting, an obstacle course and arts and crafts. Kids must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Health + Fitness Expo
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall A
12th & Arch Sts.
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Day Two of the Health + Fitness Expo includes the same stuff as the first.

Sunday, Nov. 20

GORE-TEX Marathon & Half Marathon
Start at 22nd and Ben Franklin Pkwy
6:57 a.m. for wheelchairs and handcycles, 7 a.m. for runners

The main event! Cheer on friends, relatives and strangers alike as they push themselves to their physical limits during the 13.1 or 26.2 mile race. Post-race, there will be a live concert, featuring tons of local musical acts.


Know someone who’s running or just want to cheer on the brave souls who’ve chosen to challenge themselves? Take your pick from more than 20 Cheer Zones. Here are some of our faves.

Start/Finish Line at Ben Franklin Parkway
City Section: Art Museum, Fairmount
5 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

You’ll want to see your family and friends at the two most important parts of the race: start and finish. Take your place in this Cheer Zone – just make sure to arrive early to go through security.

16th & Arch Streets at Capriccio at Café Cret
City Section: Art Museum/Fairmount
6:55 a.m. – 7:40 a.m.

Warm up with some coffee or tea from Café Cret as you cheer from near the city’s iconic Love Park.

21st & Chestnut St
City Section: Rittenhouse
7:10 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Enjoy a hot treat from Caffeination at this pretty Rittenhouse area spot.

Kids Cheer Zone at the Philadelphia Zoo, 34th & Girard Ave.
City Section: West Philly
7:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Show up bright and early at the Philadelphia Zoo, where you can cap off watching the race with a visit to the animals…as if you needed an excuse to go to the zoo!

Main St in Manayunk
City Section: Manayunk
7:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.

Hang out anywhere on Main Street and watch the runners go by at one—or all—of three Cheer Zones. In addition to Main Street’s vibrant shopping and dining scene, there will also be music, and runners who show their bibs can get a discount at Winnie’s Le Bus.

Philly Sounds Post-race Concert
City Section: Fairmount/Art Museum
2:30 p.m.

Be the first to welcome marathon finishers to the end of the race! Expect a lineup of Philly bands playing live music, as well.


Want to volunteer during Marathon Weekend? Click here for more information.