Students, faculty and administrators were some of the 30,000 participants in last weekend’s Philadelphia Marathon, which included series of races on Saturday and Sunday.
The races included the Rotham Institute 8K run and a Kids Fun Run on Saturday, Nov. 16 as well as the full and half marathons on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Starting in 1994, the Philadelphia Marathon has gained popularity within the last 19 years, becoming one of the Top 10 marathons in the country by number of finishers.
This year, heightened security at the event took center stage in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings in April that killed three and injured more than 250.
Sophomore kinesiology major Morgan Mowers, who raced for her first time in the half marathon, said the extra security added a sense of safety following the tragedy.
“The security was pretty tight, I had to get to the event before 5 a.m., [the marathon] started at 7 a.m. Even my family that came to support me had to go through security,” Mowers said. “It made me feel much more comfortable knowing that these precautions were being taken.”
Ken Lawrence, senior vice president for government, community and public affairs and an avid runner competed in the half marathon for his second time with a finish of 2 hours, five minutes and seven seconds.
Lawrence said he enjoyed the presence of the Temple community amongst his fellow competitors and in the crowds along the race’s course, which began and ended at 22nd Street and Benjamin Franklin Park Parkway and traced its way up and down the Schuykill.
“You saw a lot of Temple people running or cheering the runners on. I wore my cherry shirt and you would notice the person next to you or the person cheering you on wearing a Temple shirt,” Lawrence said.
Kaitlyn Maloy, a senior biology major and head of the unofficial Temple running club Temple Core of Runners, led close to 10 students this year who participated in both the full and half marathons. Some members of the club were unable to run in the marathon this year but still participated in the action on Sunday.
Maloy finished the full marathon with a time of 4:23:42.
“Unfortunately, some of our group members were injured this semester,” Maloy said. “But one of the best parts about our group is that, injured or not, everybody wants to participate in some way.”
Runners from all 50 states and around the world participated in the event. Abebe Mekuriya of Ethiopia was the first-place finisher with an official time of 2:17:34. Irina Alexandrova of Russia won the best female time at 2:39:05. Nick Hilton, originally of Reading, Pa., traveled from Flagstaff, Ariz., to compete in this year’s event, placing the top time for an American at 2:19:35. He placed third overall.
“The city as a whole comes together and welcomes outside runners and spectators, it really gives a great opportunity to highlight the Philadelphia community,” Lawrence said. “I think the marathon gives runners a chance to train and work toward something: a final goal.”
Mowers, who finished the half marathon with a time of 2:11:26, said she chose to participate this year after she began training at Temple.
“When I got to college, I got really into running but going to the gym isn’t really an opportunity to show my skill. So I signed up for the half marathon to give purpose to all my hard work,” Mowers said.
Philadelphia’s next major running event, the 10-mile Broad Street Runner, will be held on May 4, 2014.
Kate Reilly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.