Half Marathons: What Price Glory?

It’s well reported that half marathons are the fastest growing distance race in the country.  The training is nowhere near as arduous as that for a full marathon, and yet many participants still get the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment.  Best of all, there are plenty of half marathon race options.

Within Philadelphia city limits, there are now four road half marathons: The Love Run, Oddyssey Half Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and Philadelphia Marathon Half Marathon.  Additionally, there are  three trail half marathons in Pennypack Park: ½ Sauer ½ Kraut, Sloppy Cuckoo and Oktoberfest 13.1.

Different races have different prices.   Runners expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $140 for most marathons.  So what’s a reasonable amount to pay for a half marathon?  And how do the Philly halves compare to other nearby races?  Here’s are the prices for the road races:

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A Primer on Relevant Pennsylvania Growler Fill Laws

Southern Tier Pumpking in Victory growlerA couple of months ago, I was with friends at Tired Hands Brewing, an excellent small brewery in Ardmore.  Because of its small size, Tired Hands does not yet distribute to stores, so its beer is essentially only available at the brewery.  After having lunch and enjoying a couple of beers, one of my friends attempted to fill his growler, purchased elsewhere, with one of the Tired Hands beers on tap.  His efforts were unsuccessful.  Tired Hands informed him that because his growler had a label from a different brewery, it could not, under Pennsylvania law, fill up his growler.

Everyone knows that Pennsylvania has a convoluted set of beer and liquor laws.  It’s no surprise that there are several laws pertaining specifically to growlers.  Different bars and breweries have their own policies relating to growler fills (some have no problem filling up growlers from other breweries, others do).  Here are the relevant rules I’ve found: Continue reading

Running in Bicycle Lanes From Runner’s Perspective

In the past few years, the City Bicycle laneof Philadelphia has done an admirable job adding more bicycle lanes throughout Center City.  These lanes, in theory, promote the safe coexistence of bicycles, motorists and pedestrians.  In streets with bicycle lanes, bikers have to stay in the lane and off the sidewalk and traffic lanes.  Vehicles have to also stay out of the bicycle lanes.  And pedestrians are free from bikers riding on the sidewalk.

In reality, of course, it’s not that simple.  As city bicyclists know, bicycle lanes are often occupied or blocked by construction, delivery trucks or parked cars.  The Complete Streets Bill, passed by City Council last year, explicitly prohibits parking in bicycle lanes and increases fines for bicycle violations to $75 (from $3).  Of course, the City also has a long-standing tradition of allowing cars near religious institutions to park in the bike lanes on weekends, particularly if they have pamphlets from those institutions on their dashboards.

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