Marathon is set to be Philly’s biggest yet

Dates for the race have been moved ahead.
Philadelphia prepares for its biggest marathon yet. Credit: File

A slipped disc won’t stop Nick Spade from this weekend’s Philadelphia Marathon. He’s just gong to slow his pace down a bit. Plus, his physical therapist brother will be by his side.

But the marathoner, triathlete and Ironman is just happy to be back in the city. The 27-year-old Allentown native said he loves the Phildelphia Marathon.

“I just love the city,” Spade said. “It’s just nice to get back in there.”

The marathon is now in its 20th year and sponsored by Gore-Tex. It begins and ends Sunday at the art museum, rain or shine. Runners are from all 50 states and 43 countries. It’s the largest registration total in marathon history, city officials said.

To prepare for the run, Spade said he’s been doing three or four runs a week, with increased intervals each time. Then, there’s down time.

“I don’t show up to the start of the marathon exhausted,” Spade said.

But the training does take a toll on the body. Some of his friends are suffering from stress fractures, hip injuries and more. “It’s the same motion over and over.”

That’s why Spade likes to switch it up — doing ironman triathlons where he can bike and swim. “Marathon training in itself is challenging.”

Marathon facts

More than 30,000 runners are expected this year.

About 60,000 spectators will be on hand.

The Health & Fitness Expo will be held noon to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the convention center.

The Rothman Institute 8K starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The Kids Fun Run begins at 10:30 a.m.

Click the map to see all the street closures during the Philadelphia Marathon.

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