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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) - 2021

(Updated: June 1, 2021)

  1. Modified question on participants not receiving the deferral email in the 2021 registration specific section.
  2. Added instructions on transferring 2020 registration to 2021 event in the 2021 registration section.
  3. Separated registration and application questions into 2021 specific, virtual runs and general questions registration questions.
  1. Added in FAQ on editing and transferring events in the Application Process & Registration (General) section.

Application Process & Registration (2021 Specific)

While City officials continue to monitor COVID-19 case trends closely.  Planning for the 27th annual running event is underway. We will be following all health and safety guidelines that align with Philadelphia’s COVID-19 safety policies. 

Though plans remain subject to change, as of today the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend is scheduled to return to the streets of Brotherly Love, but with a fifty percent reduction in runners this year.

We are excited as we plan for the return of an iconic Philadelphia event, and we’re committed to creating the safest environment for our staff, athletes, volunteers, and partners. Safety is our top priority, and we continue to work closely with public health experts to plan and execute a safe, successful marathon weekend.”

This will include a limit on number of participants, social distancing measures, increased spacing in corrals, along with a modified expo, finish line festival, course fuel and hydration. We will have specific spectator zones to reduce capacity at our start and finish line area and there will be a mask requirement pre- and post-race.

Please note: all details surrounding COVID-19 are subject to change as we move closer to race weekend.  Athlete compliance with all rules surrounding COVID-19 is mandatory. Athletes not following COVID-19 rules may not be allowed to race.

Some of the pre-event and event day precautions will include: 
  • 50 percent reduction in runners for each of the four events: AACR Philadelphia Marathon, Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon, Rothman 8K, and the Dunkin’ Munchkin Run.
    • Potential for runner participation to increase if COVID-19 restrictions ease.
  • Restricted access to start and finish lines exclusively for runners; spectators will be limited to spectator zones located throughout the course of the race.
  • The Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon will begin at 7 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. to allow for increased distancing between runners. All other race event times will remain the same.
  • Hydration and nutrition stations will follow public health safety guidelines.
  • Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center will be modified to public health safety guidelines.
  • A pre-event questionnaire will be sent to all registered participants assessing their exposure risk in advance requiring them to disclose known symptoms.
  • Participants and planned spectators who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms in the week leading up to race day will not be allowed to attend.
  • There will be no registration or packet pick-up on event day.
  • Runners will be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose in the start line corral and after crossing the finish line.
  • Runners will be assigned into eight corrals with 10 runners starting in waves every 10 seconds to allow for more distance between runners. Runners will be spaced three feet apart in starting corrals.
  • Traditional high fives and other significant celebratory points of contact will not be permitted at the finish line.
  • Runners will be required to remain socially distanced from others when they cross the finish line.
Based on your computer set up, it is not uncommon that deferral registration or confirmation emails get blocked or end up in your SPAM or junk mail.
Please check you SPAM folder and any other email (such as work) that you may have registered with in 2020.
It may also be helpful to add [email protected] to your contact list.

Email [email protected]philadelphiamarathon.com if you did not receive your deferral code.
If you deferred your 2020 race registration, you will be sent an email on May 13th with instructions on how to register for the 2021 race using your deferred entry. 

If you chooses not to participate in the 2021 race, you may defer your entry to 2022 or 2023 in the race category associated with your 2020 registration. 
If you wish to transfer to a different event, you can make a switch through your RunSignUp Profile after you register for the event you signed up for in 2020. 

If you transfer to a longer distance, you will be charged the increase in price. 

If you transfer to a shorter distance, you will not be refunded the difference in price. We ask that you complete your registration using your deferral code no later than June 15, 2021. You must register for the event you signed up for in 2020. 
Your registration for the race you signed up for with the challenge is still valid. You will receive email communication on May 13th on how to activate your race entry to the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend event.
If you did not receive an email, please contact [email protected].

The Blue Cross Broad Street Run was fulfilled with the virtual event in 2020. Those runners were also deferred into 2021 Blue Cross Broad Street Run. Please email [email protected] for more details.
In the event of a cancellation, all 2021 participants will be given the option to defer their registration to race in future years, or to receive a partial refund dependent upon the cancellation date.

Partial refunds will be determined based on race expenditures incurred by the City leading up to the cancellation date.

At this time, a virtual race weekend is not planned if all race events are cancelled.

In the event the race is cancelled, runners will be offered the option to donate their pro-rated refund to AACR.
No, due to limited space capacity we will not be offering a VIP package for purchase in 2021.
All runners who purchased a VIP package in 2021 will be refunded.

If the transaction was less than one year ago, the card used during registration will be refunded.

If your registration is older than one year, you will be sent a check from RunSignUp via the United States Postal Service.
No. There will not be a Corporate Challenge this year.

Application Process & Registration (Virtual Runs)

Yes. The AACR Philadelphia Marathon, Dietz & Watson Half Marathon, the Rothman 8K, Liberty, Freedom, Patriot and Independence Challenge will be offering a virtual option for those who wish to participate from a location of their choice.

Virtual runners will have the month of November to complete their run. Virtual participants are not eligible for age group awards or cash prizes, but will receive a long sleeve technical shirt, a finisher certificate (digital) and a finisher medal.
Long sleeve technical shirt, a finisher certificate (digital) and a finisher medal.
Virtual Runners who are registered by September 30 will be mailed their items on November 1. Those who register after November 1 will receive their items in mid-December.

Yes. If you register to run an in-person event, you may choose to transfer into a virtual race up until registration closes. 

Refunds will not be provided to those who go from an in-person race to virtual race.

If you register for a virtual race, you will be given the option to transfer to an in-person event at the current in-person registration price using your RunSignUp profile, if space is still available.

No. Challenges are only for in-person or virtual. We will not be offering challenge medals for those who want to run one race in-person and another race virtually.

Application Process & Registration (General)

The Philadelphia Marathon Weekend has adopted the following age participation policies by event distance:

16 and older for the AACR Philadelphia Marathon;
14 and older for the Dietz & Watson Half Marathon;
12 and older for the Rothman Orthopaedics 8K; and 6-12 for the Dunkin' Munchkin Run.

All youth race participants under the age of 18 must have parent or guardian's signed authorization on the official event application and waiver.

Be prepared to provide proof of age when picking up a minor's race packet.
There are no team relays in any of the events.
Yes. The AACR Philadelphia Marathon is open to all competitors, with few restrictions. Please note that all participants must maintain a 16-minute per mile pace throughout the course.
Yes. Contact [email protected] for the 2021 mail-in registration form.

There is a processing fee for a paper entry.
The Philadelphia Marathon Weekend Events (AACR Philadelphia Marathon, Dietz & Watson Half Marathon and Rothman Orthopaedics 8K) are USATF sanctioned and course-certified.
Long sleeve technical shirt, a finisher certificate (digital), chip timing and a finisher medal.
  1. Go to runsignup.com
  2. Click on the little circle in the upper right twice:
    • First time: choose SIGN IN. The system can help you sign in if you have forgotten your information
    • Second time: choose PROFILE
  3. Scroll down to UPCOMING EVENTS to find your Philadelphia Marathon Weekend event and click on MANAGE REGISTRATION, found on the right.
  4. On the next screen, choose from the options at the top (or bottom) of the screen:
    • TRANSFER EVENT: follow the on-screen instructions to move to a new event
    • QUESTIONS: is chosen to change estimated finish time, t-shirt size.

Please note that the opportunity to make most registration changes will expire at midnight on Thursday, September 30. Transfers into longer events will remain open until midnight on Tuesday, November 16.

Travel Tips FAQ

By Car: Philadelphia is conveniently located just 2 hours from New York City and 2.5 hours from Washington, D.C. Major access routes include I-95, I-76, I-476, along with the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes.

By Rail: Amtrak operates from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia with service along the Northeast Corridor. 30th Street Station is just a few minutes cab ride from Center City.

By Air: Philadelphia International Airport is served by most major airlines. Several new discount air carriers provide affordable and convenient flights into Philadelphia. A cab ride from Philadelphia International Airport to Center City takes approximately 20 minutes for a rate of $30. Or, take the high-speed SEPTA train departing the airport every 30 minutes with service to Center City. One-way train fare is $7.00.

The AACR Philadelphia Marathon will begin and end near our world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art at the head of the majestic Benjamin Franklin Parkway- right in front of those famous steps that Rocky sprinted up, inspiring countless imitators ever since. Start Line is located at 22nd and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Center City is compact and very walkable. However, if your feet get tired, we encourage runners and spectators to use public transportation on race day. Philadelphia's mass transit system, SEPTA, offers two subway lines, regional rail service to and from the surrounding suburbs, and bus service throughout the city. Several SEPTA buses (Nos. 7, 32, 38, 43, and 48) currently serve the Museum area.
Please check with SEPTA at (215) 580-7800 for information about schedules, drop-off and pick-up locations, and route detours.

Also, if you're planning to do a lot of "running around" on race day, please ask about SEPTA's unlimited access one-day pass.
Runners and fans should be aware of street closures taking place throughout the city on Race Weekend.
No on-street parking is allowed along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, beginning on Saturday, November 20, but there are several parking lots and garages conveniently located in the area.

Below are several options. Call ahead as rates and availability may have changed.
  • 23rd & Cherry Streets, Patriot Parking, Inc., (215) 751-9696 – Closed on Sundays
  • 22nd & Walden Streets, SP+ Parking, (215) 568-4025
  • 19th & Callowhill Streets, Philadelphia Parking Authority, (215) 683-9813 *
  • 23rd & Arch Streets, Central Parking System, (215) 568-4018
  • 222 North 20th Street, Standard Parking, (215) 448-1391
  • 1815 Cherry Street, Logan Square Parking, (215) 567-3744
  • 16th & Race Streets (Sheraton Hotel), Standard Parking, (215) 196-0293
  • 1815 JFK Boulevard, Central Parking System, (215) 568-8030
  • 1901 JFK Boulevard, Central Parking System, (215) 557-3821
  • 1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, The Windsor Suites, (215) 569-0899
  • 36 S. 19th Street, Central Parking System, (215) 561-1187
Here’s why we say that coming to the AACR Philadelphia Marathon just may be the best time of your life: there is so much to do here.

Whether you are an athlete, art and music lover, history buff, outdoor adventurer, food and wine connoisseur, or a kid who just wants to have fun—or all of the above—there’s plenty of everything for all to enjoy.

If you're looking for an authentic Philly cheesesteak, remarkable museum collections, endless tax-free shopping on shoes and apparel, tours of Independence Hall, or vibrant nightspots, you'll find some terrific recommendations and information at the official visitor site for Greater Philadelphia, visitphilly.com.
More information will be available in the fall as we follow health and safety guidelines due to COVID restrictions.

Race Day FAQ

Attendees will experience strict security measures. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Start/Finish area along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be a secure zone.

Everyone, no exceptions, will have to be screened in order to enter the Start/Finish area. Security entrances open at 5:00 a.m.

NOTE: This is for runners only. Those without a bib (spectators) will not be permitted in the race festival zone.

RUNNERS: Please arrive early with your bib fastened and visible on the front of your attire. Give yourself enough time to clear security, take care of personal needs and join your corral before the 1st start.

Spectators will not be allowed in the race festival zone. See race guide for spectator location/viewing points. More details to follow in the coming months.

The start of the race will not be delayed due to lines at security checkpoints.

All items deemed dangerous or inappropriate will be confiscated or denied access at the sole discretion of security personnel.

  • 22nd St. & Benjamin Franklin Parkway (north and south sides)
  • 24th St. & Park Towne Place
  • Kelly Drive & Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 23rd St. & Pennsylvania Avenue
  • MLK Drive & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The race Start/Finish area between 21st & 25th Sts on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be a secure zone. Everyone will be screened in order to enter the Start/Finish area.
  • Arrive early so you have time to get through security- entrances open at 5 a.m.
  • Plan ahead, allowing time to get through designated entry checkpoints.
  • All runners should have bibs visible and fastened on the chest front of your attire.
  • All bags are subject to inspection.
  • Only clear plastic participant bags will be accepted at Gear Check.
  • Runners should arrive with the event-issued gear check tag (top of bib tear-off strip) affixed to their bags.
  • The start of the race will not be delayed due to lines at security checkpoints

  • Weapons and contraband of any kind (regardless of permitting). This will include firearms, knives, pepper spray, etc. 

    NOTE: Right-to-Carry permits will not be honored, and weapons will not be permitted into the venue.
  • Fireworks (includes flammable liquids, fuels or explosives)
  • Suitcases
  • Bulky items or packages larger than 12”x12”x6”
  • Containers (glass, aluminum or otherwise) that can hold more than 1 liter of liquid.  (Water bottles are permitted).
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs or illicit substances of any kind
  • Bicycles or scooters (bikes/scooters may be parked outside the venue, in the protected Bike Valet zone on River Field, 24th Street & south side of Eakins Oval – Checkpoint #4)
  • Facial costume masks of any kind (except religious headwear).
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS/Drones)
  • Selfie sticks
  • Large umbrellas
  • Animals or reptiles (dogs and cats are permitted)
  • Large blankets, comforters or sleeping bags
  • Backpacks, handbags or shoulder bags of any kind (clear plastic participant bags are permitted)
  • Props (includes flagpoles, military or fire gear, sporting equipment or other hard objects)
  • Coolers
  • Action cameras
NOTE: Sorry, no spectators!  Only runners, event staff/vendors, and emergency personnel will be permitted to enter the secured zones at the start & finish areas.

NOTE All persons entering this venue will be screened via walk-through magnetometers, and/or by security agents equipped with hand-held magnetometers.

NOTE:  All items being carried into the venue will be thoroughly searched by security agents at each checkpoint.
No. Race amenities provided along the course, including medical assistance, fluid replenishment stations and traffic safety concerns are based on the exact number of officially-entered competitors.

Any addition to this number by way of unregistered participants will adversely affect the races.

Unregistered participants will be removed from the course.
The start line for both the AACR Philadelphia Marathon and Dietz & Watson Half Marathon will be on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, just east of Eakins Oval.

Arrive early so you have time to go through security (all Entrances open at 5:00 a.m.)

Allow time to get to your designated entry checkpoint and time to wait in line.

All runners should have bibs visible and fastened on the check front of their attire.

The start of the race will not be delayed due to lines at security checkpoints.

Be patient.

Please note: The start line will close after the last runner in the last corral crosses the timing mat.
All runners must wear face coverings and runners may only race in their assigned corral. More details on the start process to come as we get closer to the race.
Yes. Each race will have assigned corrals with runners spaced 3 ft. apart. We will send 10 runners off every 10 seconds until the corral is cleared.

Runners will need to run in their designated corral.

Corral will be monitors and only those with the assigned bib will be allowed to enter.

More details on the start process to come as we get close to the race.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, and more information will be posted in late summer.
Currently we are not planning a post-race festival. Runners will cross the finish line where they will be given a bag that includes a mask, pre-packaged nutrition/hydration, finisher medal and proceed to the gear check or exit.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, information will be posted in late summer.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines. Additional information will be posted in late summer.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, and more information will be posted in late summer.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, and more information will be posted in late summer.
The finish will be open for 7 hours for the full marathon.
The rule prohibiting headphones is no longer enforced by USATF; however, the AACR Philadelphia Marathon recommends you do not wear them during the race. Runners' ability to hear and react to situations and directions given by race officials is very important. Your safety is always our topmost concern.
When it comes to costumes, we ask that you keep the safety of yourself and others in mind.

If your costume is questionable or offensive to others, we reserve the right to either have you change into something more appropriate or remove you from the event.

All costumes must also adhere to the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend’s security restrictions – no large backpacks or bags of any kind will be allowed on the course.
For the safety of both participants and spectators, the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend discourages the use of action cameras and selfie sticks while on the course.
No. These items are all strictly prohibited from the race course.
Gear check is provided free of charge located on the southside of Eakins Oval.

Only clear bags (such as the runner bag we are providing) will be accepted at the gear check stations.

You are free to use any of the trucks at gear check. You will be given a wristband and a sticker where you dropped off your bag to keep and one wristband will be placed on your bag.

You will need your wristband or sticker number to retrieve your bag.

Please enclose complete contact information inside your race bag. The Philadelphia Marathon Weekend is not responsible for any unclaimed, stolen, or lost items.   
Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon and Rothman Orthopaedics 8k:  5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

AACR Philadelphia Marathon:  5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines. Information will be posted in late summer.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, and more information will be posted in late summer.
Masks will be available at the finish line for those who lost their mask along the race course.

About Philadelphia

One of the things that makes Philadelphia great is its unique neighborhoods. Information on tours and itineraries are available at www.visitphilly.com. For those who prefer to travel on their own, contact SEPTA, the city's public transportation system at (215) 580-7800 or check out schedules at www.septa.org.

Many hotels in Philadelphia offer special rates for the Race Weekend, but each has its own policies on check-in/check-out times. Please check with your hotel.

Philadelphia has some of the best dining in the world, where you can find everything from cheesesteaks to French gourmet. You can review information about many of Philadelphia's fine restaurants at www.visitphilly.com.

For Spectators, Press, Vendors and Shoppers

We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, and spectator information will be posted in late summer.
Yes. On race day, credentialed members of the press can visit the media tent at Eakins Oval to meet the winners. You are also welcome to download photos and press releases from the media page.
We are evaluating 2021 policy and protocol to follow health and safety guidelines, and more information will be posted in late summer for vendors
Your iTaB will be produced and posted to you 15 business days after the event.