Rothman 8K Race Recap

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | race recap

Nov 20

How was your weekend?  For me it was pretty fun thanks to Philadelphia Marathon Weekend and racing in the Rothman 8K!  

This was my first time running the Rothman 8K, and now I see that I’ve been missing a pretty fun race after all these years!  I’m happy to share my recap with you!

I’m linking up with PattyMarcia, and Erika for Tuesdays on the RunSusieDebbieLora, and Rachel for the Running Coaches Corner, AnnmarieNicole, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!

Check out my recap of the Rothman 8K during Philadelphia Marathon Weekend - it's a great race! #run215 #rothman8k Click To Tweet

Rothman 8k Recap

Rothman 8K Recap

The Rothman 8K takes place on the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving and is normally overshadowed by the Philadelphia Half Marathon and Full Marathon. This was the second year that the 8K and half marathon took place on Saturday while the full marathon took place on Sunday.  You might recall that one year ago, I ran the Philly Marathon for the first time!  Ah…memories!

This year, you could earn additional medals if you ran the 8K and full marathon (Independence Challenge) or the half and full marathons (Liberty Bell Challenge).  I think some people even ran the half marathon and 8K on the same day!  I decided to run the 8K this year since my racing schedule has been pretty wide open and the City Fit Girls were going to be out in full numbers all weekend and I wanted to join in the fun!

The Night Before

I had the Friday off before the race. On Friday morning I went to barre class, which is always a fun challenge, then met up with my sister to do some errands in the morning/early afternoon.  I actually almost forgot that I needed to go to the Expo and pick up my bib!  I have to be honest…I was dragging a bit about the race and not feeling too excited.  But once I got to the Expo things turned around!  I was only there for a short time but I saw Bridget, a fellow City Fit Girl and her mom who was running her first half marathon!  I just love running too darn much, lol.

That night, Jennifer, Bret, and I went to dinner and the movies to see Justice League.  I’m all about Batman, and even though I’m really not crazy about Batfleck, this was a pretty entertaining movie.  My sister and I ordered a flight of drinks at Bahama Breeze and I gotta say…it was a little bit much.  But we had fun!  I ate coconut shrimp tacos for dinner with a side of fruit.  When I finally got to bed after midnight, I slept like a baby.

Race Morning

Since my sister lives in the Fairmount area, I stayed the night with her and had an easy walk to the race start.  I had a light breakfast of toast and jam and unfortunately, my drinking lead to some unpleasant dehydration.  I had to use the bathroom multiple times before leaving her place!  Rookie mistake, right?

The weather was around 50 so I wore a long-sleeved shirt and shorts with a pair of gloves.  I forgot my headphones at home so I would be running with no music, which made me nervous.  I walked a few blocks, then started to jog to the race start as a warmup to the race.  People were already finishing the half marathon, and I didn’t even have to go through security to get to the race area.

The Starting Line

Since I was so close to the race, I cut it close to the race start time of 10:45 am.  I followed some of the other 8K runners but none of us really had a clue where we needed to go.  Once I made it there, I was shocked to see such a huge crowd! I had no idea that there would be over 2,500 runners at this race!  As I stood and waited to cross the start, I saw Sharon and Monica in their brand new City FIt Girls shirts.  I figured that Sharon and I would be around the same pace so my goal was to stick with her as best as I could!

They sort of let runners start by waves, but there was no corral so we lined up wherever we wanted.  Finally, it was time to get going!

starting line

Miles 1-3

The course starts on the Ben Franklin Parkway and runs around the Logan Circle before making it way back towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art and down MLK Drive and turns back around to finish almost where we started.

Unfortunately, this was a really crowded race.  It was a bit of a shock and quickly became quite a nuisance.  My unofficial goal was to run the race under 45 minutes which would give me about a 9-minute pace, but the first mile was miserable since I had to do so much bobbing and weaving.  Meanwhile, I kept my eye on Sharon.  Sometimes we were side-by-side but she was usually ahead of me.  I didn’t want to fight too hard to break through and burn myself out, but it wasn’t until after mile 2 that I had enough space to try to get in the zone.  There was a water/Gatorade stop somewhere around mile 2.5 but I declined, even though I was pretty thirsty.  My legs were feeling pretty fresh so I was hoping I could do a better job on the back half of the race.

You may also like:  2016 Run For Clean Air 5K Race Recap

Splits: 9:34, 9:21, 9:03

Miles 3-4.97

It may have been around mile 3 that we reached the turnaround point to head back to the finish.  The great thing about MLK drive is that it’s flat!  Still, I knew that this would be my first race all year where I didn’t PR my distance…44:23 went out the window almost immediately! I was still struggling to find space while I ran and I was still keeping my eye on Sharon, but I actually started having a bit of brain fog during the race.  Since I had no music, I focused on my form and keeping the right posture and arm swing and watched all the people running around me.  It worked!

I was so excited to get to mile 4…I was so ready for the final stretch!  I did my best to kick things in gear and I finally passed Sharon.  I was hoping that she’d catch up to me but she was behind me for the last half mile or so.  I also caught up with Takia on my way to the finish and briefly said hi before doing my best to surge to the finish.  Of course there’s always that hill leading to the Art Museum…but I charged my way up!  I was so happy to finally cross that finish line!

Splits:  9:09, 8:51 (last 0.04 in 7:37)

Race Results

My official results were 46:12.  Not bad all!  According to my Garmin, I ran 5.04 miles in 46:17…I had a slight delay when I crossed the finish!  I was really happy with my performance during this race.  As I mentioned in my runfessions, since I didn’t pace the Oktoberfest 10K very well, I was starting to wonder if I lost my touch.  But fortunately, the Rothman 8K helped me gain my confidence back.  If I had more space to run, I could have done even better!

After the Race:

Once the race was done I congratulated my fellow City Fit Girls who finished and we took a great group picture.  A few of them were meeting up for brunch in the neighborhood but I wanted to get back to my sister’s place so I could take care of a few more errands and head back to Mt. Airy.  I ended up talking to Maya, a CFG that I’ve met a couple of times, and we got to know each other a little better.  Then as we were heading out, I saw my boss and his wife, my mentor, at the Awards Ceremony.  The winners of the race finished the 8K in less than 25 minutes!!  They both had a fun race.  Jo said I should get a free hot dog since Dietz and Watson was a sponsor, but I declined, haha!


I’m glad to have finally run the Rothman 8K!  The race had fantastic energy and I had a really fun time.  I would definitely do this race again – check this one out if you’re in the area!


  • Nice course.  I like that the race starts off in the same way as the Philly half and full marathons.  It also helped break up the usual monotony of MLK drive.
  • Great race medal.  I’m very pleased that for less than 30 bucks, I got a really nice medal to add to the collection!
  • Well organized.  Everything went pretty smoothly and the volunteers did a great job.  I was only disappointed that my bib didn’t have my name on it, but I guess I registered too late…


  • Very crowded.  I didn’t realize there would be over 2,500 runners so I would definitely try to line up closer to the front next time!  I think they need to have some sort of system, even if most runners are running for fun!
  • Too many emails.  I almost unsubscribed from all of the excessive emails in the weeks and days leading up to the race.  I will definitely share my feedback!

Have you ever run an 8K race?  Do you run a race around Thanksgiving?

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