The Rothman 8k was my first ever road race in 2011.
Since 2011 I’ve volunteered, I’ve run the half distance for a few years, I returned to the 8k last year and made a last minute decision to run the 8k again this year.
Lucas was coming off the high of running his first 10k, I had a great coupon code, so we registered together at the beginning of this month.
The Rothman 8k has changed a lot since 2011 and so have I.
My thoughts about this race are all over the place; I think a PRO/CON list is the best way to go about it for the purposes of this recap.
- The 8k distance is a great middle ground for someone who isn’t looking to run a half or full marathon but still wants to be involved with race weekend.
- The Rothman Orthopedic 8k starts at 10:45am. This is done so that people who are running the half marathon have the opportunity to run in both races (they added the race “challenges” a few years ago). What this meant for us was not having to head out of the house at the crack of dawn!
- Over the years, the Philly Marathon has added more bells and whistles to the 8k distance. When I ran in 2011, I got a cotton t-shirt. Now there is a tech t-shirt and a medal at the finish line.
- When I ran the 2011 race there were just over 2,000 participants. This year there were 5,200 participants. There are no starting corrals, but there should be. To put it bluntly, people don’t know how to self-seed. With the huge influx in participants, it would be helpful for the race directors to provide guidance.
- The 8k race feels like it’s the forgotten stepchild of the weekend. There’s a lot of emphasis on the half and full marathons and while the numbers have grown for the 8k there’s not a lot of signage or direction on where to go. The spectator guide handed out at the expo doesn’t even reference the 8k.
- The course. Oh dear lord, the course. I truly love Philadelphia but there’s one major issue with runs along the river: Martin Luther King Dr. It’s picturesque, the views of Boat House Row and the Art Museum are iconic. But… it has a horrible slant and the potholes are rough.
- There are pictures. They are not free. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think race pictures should be included in all races. But if they’re not, a digital download for one picture should not cost $29.95. I paid $20 for the race (with a coupon code). I cannot justify spending more than that on a picture of myself. I’ll just look in the mirror!
Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros in this case. I think I’ll be taking a break from the Rothman 8k in 2020. Although, I have broken up with the Philly half before here and they’ve made changes so maybe if I put it out into the universe again, things will change. I sure hope so!
The rest 2019 has hikes, fun runs, and training runs on the agenda (not to mention the hustle and bustle of the holidays). All I can say is BRING IT ON!