Students Run Philadelphia Half Marathon


Courtesy of Joy Kim

Villanova students traveled to Philadelphia to compete in the Love Run half marathon.

Chloe Miller, Co-Culture Editor

Sunday mornings. Most students wake up facing the dreaded Sunday scaries, but the bold few woke up on March 27 around 5 a.m. to head into Philadelphia to run 13.1 miles. 

Philadelphia hosted the annual Love Run, the only spring half marathon in Philly, this past Sunday. Many students, with various running backgrounds, set their alarms to complete the run. Starting and ending at the Rocky Steps, the Love Run hosted 11,000 runners. Rodman Street was flooded with people, tents and celebrations the entire morning. 

The event started on Friday, with packet pick-up being held in the Philadelphia Convention Center. Students drove, took the train or had parents pick them up to go downtown and grab their race swag.

Runners had the choice of running for themselves or running to support a cause of their choice. A few members of the Villanova chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity came together to raise money for a cause. 

I had been running a good amount on my own, but some other Pi Kappa Phi members were doing it and turning it to a fundraiser for Legacy of Hope,” sophomore Bruce Martin said. “I saw no reason not to hop in with them.”

A key factor for many students running the Love Run was the cancellation of the race in 2020. The race was originally canceled in March of 2020 and subsequently canceled for March of 2021. Some Villanova runners stuck out the wait and finally got to compete two years later.

“I originally signed up for the Love Run in 2020,” Joey Holland said. “Because it has been pushed back so much due to Covid, this is actually going to be my second half marathon because I ran the 2021 Philadelphia Half Marathon in November.” 

Kaitlyn Riha was another participant who was signed up for the race in March of 2020 and waited until this past weekend to participate. 

One of the main obstacles many student-runners faced during the process of training was finding time to get outside and run. The main training months for this half marathon took place in the dead of winter, making getting out of bed to run in 30-degree weather even harder. Preparation for most students began two to three months ago. They continuously ran four or five times a week, increasing their mileage as they trained. Despite the school and training balance, the biggest obstacle to overcome had to do with mentality. 

Plans for the race weekend itself varied. 

“I stayed in Philly with the club running team, went out to dinner together and stayed in a hotel room with my best friend Grace,” Riha said. “I planned for a very chill night to rest up before the big race in the morning.”

Watching the Elite Eight game was a priority for many Villanova students on Saturday night as well. Holland made sure to get some rest after the big win for the Wildcats and his early alarm. 

The post-race for most included a big brunch in downtown Philadelphia after celebrating with the other 11,000 runners outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Equipped with Philly soft pretzels, prizes and medals, the celebration at the finish line was packed. 

Registration for next year’s Philadelphia Love Run is already open now. With the prospect of training in the middle of winter and spending hours every week training, the energy of the run and the presence of the Villanova community make it worth it.