By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The big race isn’t until Sunday, but Marathon weekend here in Philadelphia officially kicks off today as many of the over 30,000 runners and 60,000 spectators arrive in town.

This is the 19th annual Philadelphia Marathon, ribbon cutting to officially kick off events this morning at 11 a.m. at the Convention Center, with the Health and Fitness Expo.

See Also: Philadelphia Marathon Weekend 2012 Fan Preview

City spokeswoman Melanie Johnson says the 26.2 mile course touches all parts of the city from the Art Museum to Old City to Manayunk.

“It’s a really big event for Philadelphia, it really gives us a chance to showcase our beautiful city.”

Not only is this a very popular course for runners, it’s also considered one of the best for spectators.

But, of course with the marathon comes all kinds of road closures, especially during the race on Sunday.

An announcement from the Philadelphia Streets Department says, “Delays can be expected and motorists are advised to avoid these areas, or proceed with extreme caution during race weekend.”

Some of the major areas impacted include:

        The inner lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18.

        Citywide along the 26.2-mile route of the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 18

The inner drives of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed, from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., on Friday, November 16. At 3:30 p.m., two of the westbound lanes will be opened for the afternoon rush hour. At 6:30 p.m., the inner lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed continuously, from 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16 through the completion of Marathon Weekend on Sunday, November 18, and will be reopen on Sunday, November 18 at 4 p.m.

Street closures will be in effect — from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 — in the vicinity of Eakins Oval (on the  Benjamin Franklin Parkway (from 18th Street to Eakins Oval) and also near Martin Luther King Drive.  

On Sunday, November 18, streets will be closed, from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. near Eakins Oval and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from 20th Street to Eakins Oval (23rd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway).

The following streets will be closed at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, November 18, and will reopen, as runners pass through the race course. All race routes will remain closed until 4 p.m.


        21st Street, from Spring Garden to Arch streets

        22nd Street, from Spring Garden to Arch streets

        Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from 22nd to 16th streets

        Arch Street between 16th to 4th streets

        4th Street Arch to Vine streets

        Race Street, from 4th Street to Columbus Boulevard

        Columbus Boulevard (Southbound lanes), Vine Street to Washington Avenue

        Southbound off-ramp, from I-95 at Washington Avenue

        Washington Avenue, from Columbus Boulevard to Front Street

        Front Street, from Washington Avenue to South Street

        South Street, Front to 6th streets

        6th Street, Bainbridge to Market streets

        Chestnut Street, 6th to 34th streets

        34th Street, Chestnut Street to Girard Avenue

        Lansdowne Drive, Girard Avenue to South Concourse Drive

        South Concourse Drive, Lansdowne Drive to West Memorial Hall Drive

        West Memorial Hall Drive, South Concourse to Avenue of the Republic

        Avenue of the Republic, West Memorial Hall Drive to Centennial Circle

        Old Lansdowne Drive to the Sweetbriar Loop

        Black Road

        Martin Luther King Drive

        Kelly Drive

        The Falls Bridge

        Ridge Avenue, Schoolhouse Lane to Manayunk Avenue

        Main Street, Ridge Avenue to Green Lane

Motorists and pedestrians can expect significant delays when trying to cross roads on or adjacent to the course. Police will allow traffic through intersections along the course, when possible, depending on the flow of the race participants. All streets that are not a part of the official marathon race route will be reopened by at least 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 18.

See Full List Of Closures And Detours

The race is also forcing SEPTA to detour service. The following bus routes will be affected:

·         Saturday, Nov. 17, Philadelphia Kids Marathon: Bus routes 7, 32, 33, 38, 43 and 48 will be detoured from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

·         Sunday, Nov. 18, Philadelphia Marathon: Starting at 6 a.m., bus routes 4, 7, 9, 12,16, 21, 25, 27, 32, 33, 35, 38, 40, 42, 43, 48, 57, 61, 64, 65, 124/125 and R will be detoured. Buses will resume regular service as soon as possible after the race.

To get updates in real time, go to

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