CITY HALL (CBS) — Last weekend’s Philadelphia Marathon introduced a number of new features. Chief among them: separating the marathon from the half-marathon and running the races on two different days.
As with anything new, race director Jim Marino said there were bumps in the road.
“We were on a learning curve this year too,” he said.
But overall, Marino said splitting the races made the marathon not only more pleasant for the runners, but faster, because the course didn’t have to accommodate being at the finish line twice.
“We had three or four gentleman that broke the course record.”
What it did not do was boost registration, which was the primary purpose. 500 fewer marathoners signed up, but half marathon registration increased by 400, so it didn’t hurt either.
Marino thinks city costs were a wash, too, so he expects to keep the races separate next year and beyond. He hopes registration will start to grow again too.
“Philly is one of the top ten marathons in the country. We’re going to try to make it the top five, and go from there. That’s what my intention is.”