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