Philadelphia Marathon Returns November 2021 With Half the Runners

Philadelphia has tentatively set the weekend of November 19-21, 2021, as the date, but said it could change if a Covid spike comes along.


The Philadelphia Marathon is returning in November, but with a date that could change and with half the available slots to join the race.

City officials said Tuesday that the weekend of November 19-21, 2021 is earmarked as race weekend for the 2021 race. They cautioned, however, that the date could move if coronavirus infections start trending upward. Cold weather months are some of the worst for the spread of respiratory viruses like Covid-19.

The pandemic has also prompted organizers to cut the number of runners in half for this year's race. In pre-Covid times, some 30,000 racers took part in the 26.2 mile full marathon, 13.1 mile half marathon, 8K run, and kids run, organizers said. Some 60,000 spectators line the race route over the weekend as well.

Registration for all of the races will open on Thursday, May 13 at 2 p.m. at

Organizers said runners who successfully register could either get a partial refund or defer their registration by a year, should the race be canceled because of the pandemic.

The American Association of Cancer Research will return as the full marathon's title sponsor. That will take place on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. Dietz & Watson sponsors the half, Rothman sponsors the 8K race and Dunkin' supports the kids "Munchkin" run. Those three races will take place on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

Another major Philadelphia race, the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, has yet to set its 2021 race date. Pre-Covid, the race was held in early May. Organizers said in February that they were looking at a fall date for the race's return.

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