PHOTOS: Philadelphia Marathon 2016
“Run like you stole something!” a half-marathon spectator shouted as runners made their way through the hydration station at the intersection of Strawberry Mansion and Huntington Drives on Saturday, November 19.
The cheer zone was one of many set up throughout Philadelphia to encourage runners and refuel them with water and gatorade for the 13.1 mile race. The half-marathon, the Rothman Institute 8K and the Kids Fun Run all took place on Saturday before the final full marathon race on Sunday. All these events made up the Philadelphia Marathon.
According to the Philadelphia Marathon website, the event hosts nearly 30,000 runners over all three races and 60,000 spectators over the weekend. The event is also made up of the 3,000 volunteers who help run the races.
Spectators danced and held signs with words of encouragement with a DJ tent sponsored from Lululemon Athletica at the Strawberry Mansion cheer zone.
Kari Smith, a spectator for the half-marathon explained she was there as both a coach and an employee of Lululemon.
“I have about 15 to 20 athletes that I coach on a weekly basis out here running,” Smith said. Smith is a coach for Philly Surge Running, a team that has members aged 22 to 60 that practice twice a week at the Temple University track.
“It’s a pretty diverse group. That’s the beauty of running and that’s why I personally love the sport,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else on marathon weekend. I’ll be out here tomorrow too to cheer on these inspiring runners.”
Dave Thomas, the head coach of Philadelphia University cross country and track program spent the morning pouring water cups at the Strawberry Mansion hydration station. “[Our team] always has to do community service. So we do about three or five of these races a year and help out at the water stops. All of my guys are here,” he said.
Philadelphia University cross country runner, Zack Samalonis who handed water to runners said, “I’ve been a runner since I was in sixth grade and to see a lot of people out here doing what I love makes my heart happy.”