Weather conditions at the start of the race were near perfect. It was about 50 degrees, overcast and no wind. In the large corral, we positioned ourselves near the 1:50 half-marathon pace group. If things went to plan, that would be close to our split for the half-marathon. Marcy and I crossed the starting line together and pretty quickly fell into a consistent rhythm. This is no easy feat considering the congestion during those first few miles and the numerous sharp turns in the course. However, the pace we settled into was a bit slower than our planned 8:30 pace. We were averaging closer to an 8:45 pace. I felt comfortable at this pace and knew there were many miles ahead of us so I didn’t worry too much. For the first six miles, I basically went on autopilot and relied on Marcy to call out upcoming turns so we could position ourselves correctly on the road. By mile 6 I was really getting tired of all the turns and was looking forward to when the course would widen and get more straight-aways.
At mile 8.5 was our first family sighting! It always gives me a huge lift to see them cheering and waving their signs. The course did open up during these miles, but it’s also the time when you encounter the largest hills of the race. In general I don’t really think of the hills much in Philly. But it’s amazing how much harder those hills are when you are moving at a faster pace!! Over miles 6-13.1 we continued to hold a roughly 8:40 pace. We finished the first half in 1:54.