On Sunday, I ran in the Philly Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. It was a great races and I am so glad I decided at the last minute to do it. I don't have the best memories of Philly. My daughter spent a lot of time in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We did not have the best experience there, so my memories of Philly are very tough to think about. Honestly, I was very reluctant to every go back there again. I am very lucky that I have some amazing friends who talked me into making some good memories in Philly.
My runDisney buddy, Chelsea, offered me to stay with her for the night. She had a room with the Team in Training group from Texas. It was so weird going to a race that started at 8 am. I am so used to Disney races where you have to be at the start by 4 am. We are usually done by 8 am.
We walked to the start where I meet my local friends Michelle, Lish and her momma. We did the usually pre-race potty visit, bag check, then headed to the start. One thing I really like about RnR races is that they use many, many small corrals. I believe for this race in Philly there were 20+ corrals, each with around a thousand runners. They let off a new corral about every two minutes. This greatly allieviates the start line bottleneck. I started in corral 17. Each corral got their own "Ready, Set, Go!"
I think this race had the most spectators I had every experienced. Maybe not most in total number, but for sure most spectators in the area they covered. At the other races I have been in, spectators were very concentrated in major areas, like the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. In Philly, there were spectators for the entire first five miles, like a parade.
The first five miles of the race were in historic Philadelphia. We passed all the historic places--the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall etc. Then four miles up the Schuylkill River, over the bridge and back to the finish line. Running by the river, I saw something very strange to me. The road we were running on was at the bottom of a 3-4 story cliff. On top of the cliff was a huge cemetery. It seemed so out of place to me. The run along the river was very pretty. The race ended on a huge up hill right in front of the Rocky steps--classic Philly.
This was a good race. Thanks to my friends for convincing me I should do it!