By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Marathon is still six weeks away but it’s already setting records. The largest number of runners in its history has signed up and it sold out earlier than it ever has.

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27,000 runners will take over the 26 mile course through Center City, both river drives and Main Street Manayunk.

City Representative Melonie Johnson thinks the scenic, and more importantly, flat course has a lot to do with the race’s popularity.

“Our course is one of the best in the country. When runners come here they know they’re going to have a course they can do their best time on,” Johnson explains.

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The race has gotten so popular, in fact, that the city’s been approached by private event managers to take it over.

In 2011, the city took bids for the race but Johnson says it was growing and making money so her office retained control.

“It is a promotional and marketing tool for the city of Philadelphia. People who come here, who might not have known anything about Philadelphia, they check out our restaurants, they go to our museums, they explore our history,” Johnson says.

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The race is November 18th.