20 July 2016

An Open Letter to the Philadelphia Marathon

Dear Philly Marathon Organizers:

Today, you previewed a new "exciting" (your words) course map for the half marathon. Like many other runners, I am extremely disappointed with this new course.

Since I began running the 13.1 distance, Philly Half has been on my list of races I wanted to complete. I had wanted to do so last year, but life conspired against me, so when it came time to register for 2016, I did so eagerly.

At the time of my registration, the only change that was advertised on your website was that the half was now moved to Saturday. No biggie - it just meant that I wouldn't be able to run the Rothman 8K that day.

The course description at the time, and as of 4:43 PM today, was as pictured below.

This new course is anything but scenic and historic. It's reminiscent of other 13.1 courses run in the city. 

Part of why I wanted to run the Philly Half was because the course was not the same old, same old.  The former route was unique to any other half in the city and it's why I talked it up to friends --and convinced several out-of-town friends to come run Philly with me.

I feel deceived. Had I known the course change would be this significant, I would not have registered. Based on the social media activity I've seen today, I am not the only one who feels this way. 

I doubt that you will offer any refund to me and the myriad other runners who feel duped by this announcement so long after registration opened. In that case, I will simply run this less-than-exciting course and cease to promote the Philly Half as a must-run race. 

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