GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Weekend

Disclosure:  I received two complimentary entries into the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon thanks to GORE-TEX, the title sponsor of the event.  As always, all opinions are my own!

Philadelphia Half MarathonThe weekend before Thanksgiving (yes I know I am super delayed in posting!), we packed up the car and headed out of town to Philadelphia!  This was my first trip to Philly in over a decade.  I last visited the City of Brotherly Love to watch an Army Navy football game while Jake was a cadet at USMA…. talk about a long time ago 😉  So, I was really looking forward to exploring the city and having Jake and Cora there to do it with me!

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

We arrived a little bit later than anticipated on Friday, checked into our hotel, ordered some room service before crashing for the night.  The next day, we had breakfast and made our way to the Franklin Institute.  The road closures were already  in affect around this area since the 8k and Kids Races took place there on Saturday morning.  It was nice to get a feel for the walk time to the start and finish line area.  We spent the better part of the day at the Franklin Institute since there were so many interactive exhibits.  Definitely put it on your list of places to visit if you are bringing your kids with you for race weekend!  Although, I will say that I did a lot more walking than I typically do on race weekend.  It was totally worth it because Cora had a blast.

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After that, we headed back to the hotel to regroup and then made our way over to the packet pick-up at the Convention Center.  Our hotel was only two blocks away so it was very convenient.  I was impressed by the size of the Expo and the amount of vendors that were there.  It was pretty crowded and I expected that given that it was just a few hours from closing.  We made quick business of picking up my bib and shirt and were in and out without much fuss.  After the expo, we made sure to get in a swim at the hotel pool.  That was one item that was high on Cora’s priority list.  After that, it was out for a bite to eat with Mar, Jake and Cora at Capital Grille.  It was the only place that we could find that would take us without a reservation… Planning fail on my part! Cora definitely loves Mar and was in “show-off” mode so dinner was interesting! After that, it was a short stroll back to the hotel to lay out my race outfit and get organized for the next morning.

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

Every single race morning is a struggle to wake up.  The night before, I made plans to meet up with Mar at her hotel at 6am.  I was running slightly behind schedule but managed to get to her place by 6:05am.  With a 7am scheduled start, we made it through the long security lines with plenty of time.  Mar and I snagged a photo before heading to our respective corrals.  Once I was in my corral, they announced that there was an accident on course and the race start would be delayed.  If there was no delay, we would have nailed the arrival time perfectly and I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to get so chilly.  I will mention that I loved the color coded corral system and there were plenty of folks at the entrance to check bibs.  However, as with any event, you have people that are willing to hop into corrals and over barricades.  Who wants to risk breaking an ankle before the start?!  It always amazes me to see so many fence hoppers.

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

By the time we started, I wasn’t sure what the day would bring.  Heading into the race, I was hoping to run around 2:00 hours.  Since I ran a 1:55 at the SONO Half {Yes, I still need to recap that too!} a few weeks earlier, I figured that would be a reasonable goal. My goal was to try to run a consistent race from start to finish.  Once things got underway, the corrals moved forward in turn and I crossed the timing mat around the 10 minute mark.

Mile 1:  9:22 / Mile 2: 9:12 / Mile 3: 9:04

Mile 4:  9:25 / Mile 5:  9:19 / Mile 6: 9:33

I finished the 10k at 58:16 (9:22 minutes/mile) and felt like that I was still pretty comfortable and happy with my pacing and thought I would be able to make my goal for the day.  Well, that positive attitude died shortly after the seventh mile.

Mile 7: 9:12 / Mile 8: 10:19 / Mile 9: 10:04 / Mile 10: 10:28

Mile 11: 9:51 / Mile 12:  10:22 / Mile 13: 10:03

Finish: 2:07:59 (9:45 minutes/mile)

From Mile 8 on, I struggled.  You can certainly tell when looking at my splits because my average pace for those miles ended up being 10:06 minutes per mile.  I think the wind was a strong factor but I also had some odd toe pain.  Yes, you heard me right.  Of all things, my toe on my left foot was hurting.  It was the strangest thing but I focused on that and things only got worse for me.  I feel like a broken record; yet, so much of running is mental.  It’s something I definitely hope to work on in 2016.

So, as I made my way down the half marathon finisher’s shoot, I could hear and see the motorcade for the first place male finisher to my left hand side.  Talk about awesome and depressing all at the same time!  So, yea – the winner crossed at 2:17:43.18.  In case you are wondering, that is a 5:15 pace for 26.2 miles.  So insane!

Philly Finisher Certificate

Once I stopped moving, I got very cold very quickly.  I made my way through the finisher’s area as quickly as possible.  I was very thankful for the Mylar blanket as I grabbed a water, pretzel, and a cup of vegetable broth with rice.  I have to say that this absolutely hit the spot and helped warm me up a little bit.  I waited for a little while but then text Mar that I was going to make my way back to the hotel.  I didn’t check a bag and with only the mylar, I could not get warm.  Let me tell you, that hot shower was the best thing ever when I got back to my hotel room!

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

After the most amazing shower in the world, it was off for a little bit more tourist fun.  No rest for the weary here!  We didn’t fit in a visit to the Liberty Bell since we opted for the tour of Independence Hall.  That just means we need to plan our next trip back to Philly!


All in all, despite not hitting my time goal, I really enjoyed our Philly race weekend getaway and the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon.  From race organization to the layout of the course and great vibe of the city, I definitely plan to attend this race weekend again in the future.  Oh, and did I mention that I added the coolest medal to my collection?!  Yes, you should mark your calendars because race weekend will be Nov. 18- 20 in 2016!

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon
Anyone else out there run the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon, Marathon or 8k?  What makes you want to repeat an event?


Disclosure:  I received two complimentary entries into the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon thanks to GORE-TEX, the title sponsor of the event.  As always, all opinions are my own!


  1. That medal! I try to pretend I don't pick races based on the bling but… Glad you guys had a great weekend and thanks for the recap!

    • With all the fantastic bling out there, it is hard to receive a less than stellar medal! Wait until you get your first Ragnar medal! Those are some of my favorite because of the great memories you will make! I wish I decided to run with you guys. After all the unknowns, I don't think we will be quite ready to move then. But, I suppose I had to make at least one mature decision for the year 😉

      • Best to get the mature decision out of the way at the beginning of the year, lol. In case I don't say it as it gets closer: good luck with the moving!

  2. Karen @ Fit in France says:

    That is a fantastic medal. Sounds like the race was cold though…. has your toe thing disappeared ?

  3. This has GOT to be one of my favorite medals ever!! I loved this race and was so happy to spend some time with you, Jake and Cora – she's such a ham, love her! Thanks for the entry and finally posting this recap! I wondered what happened 😉
    My recent post It’s Game On: Week 4 Training Recap

    • Yes, we need to run more races together! A nice girls getaway sounds real good about now. Maybe in a few months I will be ready to commit to something. LIFE is just putting a damper on my race calendar right now 🙂

  4. What a fun medal!!! And seriously – I love the way you described the race. I felt like I was right there running with you!

  5. Great job! I love this race. I did it in 2014, Philly is my favorite city to run in! I will say we did not have any security that year, I wonder what changed.
    My recent post Sometimes you just need a reset button……

  6. runawaybridalplanner says:

    Loved your recap great job in the finish!
    I ran this marathon back in 2012 and loved it, the only thing I didn't like was that they ran the half and the full at the same time and started us both together. It just made it a very crowded first half, to run through. But loved everything else. Couldn't help going back later that night and running up those famous rocky steps, LOL
    My recent post 9 Time Management Tips for Bloggers, Creating and Writing Blog Post Edition

    • I would like to run this as a full one day. I am sure that the first half and second half would be so different because so many more runners were running the half (at least that is how it appeared). Part of me really wanted to go back to the rocky steps after the race! I didn't realize that the finish line would put you well past them. Sigh… I suppose I just have to go back and run this race again!

  7. fitballingrunningmom says:

    Cuuuuute! Medal!!!

    I am running the Philly 15k Hot Chocolate in April….I usually try to run 1 race a state but might have to reconsider this half…..hmmmmm.

    I still have my Rehoboth Half recap from Dec to do….so don't feel bad 🙂

    My recent post I love being in the SPOTLIGHT!!!!

  8. I did the full in 2011, and loved it (although the medal isn't nearly as cool as yours!) Been wanting to go back and do the half — there were so many great things to do in Philly. Thanks for the recap!
    My recent post Why I Run

  9. The medal was beautiful! This half is on my bucket list. I've run the Love Run Philly in March and it is home to my PR. It is nice when races provided soup when it starts to get chilly out.

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