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May 11, 2021

Philadelphia Marathon to return in 2021 with 50% reduction in runners

A preliminary date for race weekend has been set

Fitness Marathons
Philadelphia Marathon M. Edlow/Visit Philadelphia™

The City of Philadelphia has announced a scaled back Philadelphia Marathon weekend will take place from Nov. 19-21.

The Philadelphia Marathon was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but the event is gearing up for a return this fall.

The City of Philadelphia recently shared that a preliminary date for race weekend has been set for Nov. 19-21.

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"While city officials continue to monitor COVID-19 case trends closely, planning for the 27th annual running event is underway as event organizers are working closely with the City of Philadelphia on race weekend plans that align with Philadelphia’s COVID-19 safety policies," a press release stated.

There will be a 50% reduction in runners this year for each of the four races: AACR Philadelphia Marathon, Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon, Rothman 8K and the Dunkin’ Munchkin Run.

Online registration opens to runners on Thursday, May 13, beginning at 2 p.m.

There is potential for runner participation to increase, depending on current COVID-19 restrictions, race organizers said.

Event day precautions will include restricted access to start and finish lines exclusively for runners, and spectators will be limited to spectator zones located throughout the course of the race.

Runners will be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose in the start line corral, and after crossing the finish line. High-fives and celebratory hugs at the finish line won't be permitted, as runners will be asked to remain socially distanced from others at the finish.

At the start, runners will be funneled into eight corrals with 10 runners starting in waves every 10 seconds to allow for more distance between participants. Runners will be spaced three feet apart in the starting corrals.

There will still be hydration and nutrition stations along the course, which will follow public health and safety guidelines.

Ahead of the race, the expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center will be modified and there will be no registration or packet pickup on event day. Also, a pre-event questionnaire will be sent to all registered participants assessing their exposure risk in advance.

"While canceling the 2020 Philadelphia Marathon Weekend was necessary, it was still a difficult announcement to make," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "Today, we’re filled with hope as vaccine distribution continues to increase, making announcements like today’s possible. We are excited as we plan for the return of an iconic Philadelphia event, and we’re committed to creating the safest environment for our staff, athletes, volunteers and partners. Safety is our top priority, and we continue to work closely with public health experts to plan and execute a safe, successful marathon weekend."

Runners who are registered for in-person races scheduled on Nov. 20 or Nov. 21 will be given the option to participate virtually if they wish to, or if they are unable to run in-person due to illness.

Those who register for a virtual race also will be given the option to transfer their participation to an in-person event through their RunSignUp account for an additional fee, space permitting.

Runners who deferred their 2020 race registration will receive an email with instructions on how to register for the 2021 race using their deferred entry. Runners who were registered for 2020's canceled race who choose not to participate in the 2021 race may defer to 2022 or 2023 in the race category associated with their 2020 registration. 

If this year's event is canceled, all 2021 participants will be given the option to defer their registration to a race in future years, or to receive a partial refund dependent upon the cancelation date.

The most up-to-date info will be shared to the Philadelphia Marathon’s website.

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