The Philadelphia marathon today announced major changes to 2016 race weekend. The marathon and half-marathon will now be held on different days with the half set to take place on Nov. 19 and the marathon the following morning on Nov. 20. The marathon also sees a significant increase in prize money.
Jim Marino, from the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, will take on the role as race director. The race is a popular destination race for Canadians, and one of the last opportunities of the calendar year to run a personal best. The race is especially attractive for those in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
“Each year, the Philadelphia Marathon works to enhance the participant and spectator experience, and our new collaboration with Parks and Recreation will allow us to make this Race Weekend the best yet,” says executive director Sheila Hess.
Beginning with race weekend 2016, the half-marathon, which has traditionally been held concurrently with the marathon on Sunday, will be held on Saturday.
“Creating a rewarding experience for participants is our number one goal,” says Marino. “I believe splitting the half-marathon and marathon between two days will greatly benefit both events in many ways. Half-marathon participants will be able to take on a challenging but scenic course on Saturday, and marathoners will have the course all to themselves on Sunday as they strive to set their own personal records on our fast but historic course.”
For race weekend 2016, both the half and marathon courses will be updated to make them even more runner-focused. The most significant change on the marathon course is the elimination of the “out-and-back” section of the race on the East Falls Bridge, which will allow faster times on more portions of the course.
The half-marathon start will remain on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the race will continue down Arch Street, then head south on Front Street and return back to Center City via Chestnut Street. After returning up the Parkway, half-marathoners will continue on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive into the beautiful but challenging hills of West Fairmount Park, before crossing the Strawberry Mansion Bridge into East Fairmount Park for a short portion of the famous Boxers’ Trail.
Participants will then travel back on Kelly Drive for a flat and fast finish at Eakins Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
This year, the overall prize purse for the 2016 marathon will more than double, awarding US$10,000 to first-place finishers, US$5,000 to second-place finishers, and US$2,500 to third-place finishers in both the male and female divisions.
Pricing and Fees
Registration for the marathon (Sunday, November 20, 2016) has been open since April 1 and pricing is currently US$115, increasing to US$125 on May 1.
Registration for the half-marathon, Rothman Institute 8K, and Kids Fun Run (Saturday, November 19, 2016) opens Monday, May 2 at midnight (12 a.m. EDT).
First 500: US$65
May 2 – May 15: US$95
May 16 – May 31: US$105
June 1 – June 30: US$120
Excerpts from a press release.