Philadelphia Marathon weekend kicks off with half marathon

Runners lined up to start the half-marathon.
Photo credit Mike Dougherty/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The 2019 Philadelphia Marathon weekend has officially begun, and the festivities started on a chilly Saturday morning with the half marathon. Thousands of runners embarked on a 13.1-mile journey throughout Philadelphia. 

Everyone had a different reason for running the half marathon. Some, like Reid and Sarah, did it with a group and used strength in numbers to push them to the finish.

"We got a group of college friends supporting our friend who got sick with leukemia senior year of college, so we're out here to support him today," Reid said. "He's running the 8k later."

"For me, it's all supporting all of our friends because we were all so close senior year," added Sarah. "It's just awesome to get everyone back together in the same place on the same weekend."

Others, like Darnell Brooks, were on a personal journey. She came to cross an item off her bucket list.

A chilly start but a beautiful morning for the Philly Half Marathon

— Mike Dougherty (@MicDougherty) November 23, 2019

"Because I'm in my 50s," Brooks said, "and so my goal is to have a marathon, so I figured I'd do the half and work up to the whole marathon."

She said her goal for the race was to finish without stopping.

Of course, there are a lot of road closures. It's best to stay away from Center City and parts of Old City, West Philly and the area near the Art Museum.

The full marathon begins Sunday at 7 a.m.