This past Sunday I ran the Harrisburg Marathon, and it confirmed something that I’ve believed for years: after you get through the big city mega-marathons, there’s a wide world of wonderful marathons to be had out there.

The Harrisburg Marathon is certainly one of the better ones. Here are some of the highlights:

  • easy, free parking right near the race start on City Island
  • race morning packet pick-up
  • plenty of aid stations, with gels offered at nearly all of them, in several different flavors
  • beautiful course, mostly on pedestrian paths along the Susquehanna River
  • “Pennsylvania Flat”, which is to say, not too many hills
  • A hoodie as the race premium, instead of yet another T-shirt to go in your over-stuffed drawer
  • sandwiches (turkey or veggie  options) and chili at the finish line

Any downsides? Not really. I might have liked to get a closer view of the Capitol building and the historic neighborhoods of Harrisburg, but the run along Front Street, past the Governor’s Mansion, made up for that. It was also nice to loop around FNB Stadium, home of the Harrisburg Senators minor league baseball team, and to cross the Walnut Street Bridge, a beautiful and historic old truss bridge.

But the real attraction of the race is the Susquehanna River. If you like waterfront trails with beautiful views, this is the race for you. ymcarun.com



About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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