24 November 2009

2009 Philadelphia Marathon Race Report

Running for twenty six point two miles gives you a lot of time to think. It gives you time to question things, ponder things, and even have an epiphany or two.

I have decided to make this race report a list of things that went through my head, and lessons learned, while running my first marathon. Here goes...

  1. Stay near the back of my corral. Don't start too fast, and we're off.
  2. Okay... first mile was good. Slow down a little, we got a ways to go.
  3. Penn's Landing is nice from this point of view.
  4. GU goes down better if you hold it in your hand for a mile or two first.
  5. Why is that guy wearing a Wonder Woman cape?
  6. Someone just yelled my name... oh yeah, it's on my bib.
  7. South Street is cool. Why didn't I hang out here more?
  8. The body thinks that it is weak. The mind has to prove otherwise.
  9. Just keep moving forward.
  10. Counting steps along the dashed center lines helps your running.
  11. Running skirts are sexy... wait... that's a dude!
  12. 1..2..3..4.. 1..2..3..4.. 1..2..3..4..
  13. My knee is really hurting... you can walk at the next water stop.
  14. Keep moving forward.
  15. That's the 5:00 pace group pulling away from me... crap.
  16. It is okay to be passed by a 50 year old woman, as long as it's her birthday.
  17. Who defines "fast flat course"... there seems to be a lot of hills.
  18. 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..
  19. I should have brought Motrin.
  20. My knee is going to explode... keep moving, you can walk at the turnaround.
  21. How can anyone drink beer while running?
  22. Don't ask for a ride... just keep moving forward.
  23. It is not cool being passed by an 80 year old, but still inspirational.
  24. People yelling your name when cheering is awesome... even if you do not know them.
  25. This is sure different than the Philadelphia Distance Run.
  26. The finish is almost there.... run hobble until the end.

The marathon beat the hell out of me. It was worse than I expected. If my knee did not give up I could have run a much better marathon.

But you know what? I finished! Next year I am coming back with a vengeance.


Lucas said...

I ran this as my third marathon. They're addicting and you just can't stop. Finishing a marathon is a major accomplishment, so congrats!

-I thought the same thing while running on South St. It seemed really cool.
-Getting our names printed on the bibs was a great idea. Hearing total strangers cheer you on personally is a major confidence booster!

Tips: GU every 4-5 miles, (or 45 minutes, whichever comes first). Make sure to incorporate as many hills into your training runs as possible, even if it isn't a hilly course; they helped me avoid a lot of knee and muscle pain from this race.

If you're looking for a less hilly course, think about doing the Hartford Marathon. Its smaller, but the post-race food is a million times better.

Rookie on the Run said...

LMAO about the running skirt dude! I SO relate to the mixed feelings you get when elderly people pass you up. When I did my Marathon, I actually got passed by a legally-blind, elderly lady. Really.

You did great, especially since your knee was giving you so much trouble. Congratulations!!

Oh, and I was offered beer by some fraternity-type guys when I did mine... the thought of beer 18 miles into a run made me want to puke!

Pat said...

congratulations. Great race report, I've thought of many of the same things. You should google Mt. Lemmon Marathon if you want more hills. There's only one, but it's called Mt. Lemmon.

Some guy named John said...

Awesome race report! Funny and eloquent. And true. Congratulations!

FLYERS26 said...

Great job & congrats!!
Nice race report.
Best of luck in the future.
No matter what you do from now on, you have earned the title "MARATHONER"!

Lori said...


Stacey said...

Great Job Bill!!!

You should be very proud of yourself. Kudos on taking the time to take in your surroundings. You only get one first time, and it's nice to have those memories.

Now that you've done your first marathon you'll have to update the name of your blog.

Keep on running (after you take care of that knee)... can't wait to hear about your next quest!

billdowis said...

Thanks everyone!

I always looked in awe at the marathon, but you really have no idea until you actually run one. Now I still look at it in awe, but it looks a lot different!

lindsay said...

congrats! loved the random thoughts mid-race - always entertaining :) hope your knee is doing alright now and that you had a good thanksgiving. glad you are looking ahead to your next marathon!

joyRuN said...


Philly's not-so-flat course took me by surprise as well, but I guess it keeps things interesting.

Awesome work, marathoner!

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