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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Marathon Mission

Published November 12, 2012 10:46 AM by Brian Ferrie

As the calendar flips to mid-November, road racing opportunities begin to dwindle in the Northeast. With decreasing daylight and increasing cold, most runners will do their best to keep in shape over the winter months and then jump back into racing come the spring. In ADVANCE's backyard, the Philadelphia Marathon marks a symbolic point near the end of the popular racing season and will be held Sunday, Nov. 18. Neither as old as the Boston Marathon nor as big as the New York City Marathon, the Philly Marathon has nevertheless carved out its own charming niche.

Founded in 1954, its scenic course winds past historic landmarks like Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center and Liberty Bell, through urban neighborhoods and along the waterfronts of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. This year the race and its companion half-marathon sold out nearly two months in advance, with 27,000 total runners registered to take the starting line. This is the highest total in event history and will become still larger since the city recently opened 3,000 emergency slots for runners who signed up for the 2012 New York Marathon, which had to be canceled due to the tragic effects of Hurricane Sandy.

The booming popularity of marathon running in the City of Brotherly Love is indicative of a nationwide trend over the past decade. People who had previously been only casual runners become fascinated by the idea of completing a marathon, or even a half-marathon, and pile on miles of training in the months leading up to their race. Overuse injuries can often result, creating a need for physical therapy. Some PT practices cater specifically to runners, and many running patients like the idea of being treated by somebody who is also a runner. Do you frequently treat marathoners? Are you a marathoner yourself? What do you like most about this population?

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