In early March, the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon announced that they would be changing the date of the 2015 race due to Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting Families. This year, the half will take place on Saturday, Oct 31.
Last week, CGI shared another piece of news: A course change.
Since the race was moved to a Saturday instead of a Sunday this year, race directors had to alter the traditional course to accommodate downtown businesses. Specifically, runners will now head down Spring Garden Street for a turnaround at mile 4.
Alan Culpepper, the Vice President of Government Relations for Rock 'n' Roll said that while the alteration at mile 4 is a bit of a setback, the course still has the best elements of the storied race, like the start and finish in front of the Art Museum and the beautiful fall foliage along the Schuylkill River.
"You do lose some of some of the aesthetics," Culpepper says, "but we managed to keep the race downtown and keep it flat and fast. We did what we could given that we had to work with the city in terms of traffic and other logistics, because we wanted to be a good partner."
Regarding the turnaround itself, Culpepper said that concerned runners should know that it's going to be wide.
"It's a divided median on a four-lane road," he contends. "This won't be like doing a hairpin turn on a single lane. You have plenty of space to make a nice wide turn. Also, by doing this out-and-back, we've actually eliminated multiple turns, which means there will be less turns than we've had in the past. And that's a good thing."
To view the full updated course, visit runrocknroll.com.