Conquering Delaware’s Running Festival Half Marathon!

YouTube player

Lace up your running shoes and get ready to experience the charm of Wilmington, Delaware, like never before.

Runners are treated to breathtaking views of the Brandywine River, pass by the iconic 100-year-old Rockford Park tower, and soak in the energy of downtown’s Rodney Square (a bustling hub that showcases the city’s vibrant energy and culture), all while enjoying a challenging and rewarding course.

As you walk to the start line, you pass under an Amtrak train station which has been up and running for 52+ years.

Welcome to “The First State!”

All runners begin and finish their race at Harriet Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park.

With a 7:00 am start time, the Delaware Running Festival Half Marathon kicked off, much to the delight of this guy! The cool morning air and the excitement of the crowd created an ideal atmosphere for the 775 half marathoners embarking on their 13.1-mile journey.

Miles 1-4: Booking it through the Streets of Wilmington, Bridges and the Brandywine River

As I made my way out of Riverfront Park, tracing the path parallel to the river, it became evident that this race was going to be fast and flat race. From the very first mile, the energy of the Wilmington locals was palpable. Spectators lined the route, cheering loudly and displaying creative and encouraging signs, adding to the excitement and motivation of the participants.

All the motivation one would need!

The race route led runners from the bustling streets and neighborhoods of Wilmington, across bridges, and weaved us along the tranquil beauty of the Brandywine River.

The Brandywine river, which stretches about 20 miles, served as a serene backdrop for the race.

Miles 5 – 9: Into The Woods and through Iconic Rockford Park

The next four miles offered a serene and joyful experience for the runners. As I continued my stride, my size 13s carrying me smoothly along the path, I couldn’t help but feel immersed in the beauty of the surroundings. The route took us deeper into the woods, where the lush greenery atmosphere enveloped us.

Running through the woods, we bobbed and weaved along scenic paths, each turn revealing a new vista of natural beauty.

At times, the route took us under huge overhangs of railroad tracks, where Amtrak trains would pass high above us. The sound of the trains rumbling overhead added a unique element to the race, reminding us of the bustling world beyond the woods.

The gem of this race was running in the iconic Rockford Park and seeing the Tower! Rockford Tower, now over 100 years old, was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival and Gothic architecture styles, under explicit instructions from the park commissioners to make it blend with the park’s character.

The tower, built on top of Mt. Salem Hill, was completed in 1901.

Miles 10 -13: The Charm of Rodney Square + Closing Miiles

Running along Delaware Avenue, the energy of the city began to build around us. Spectators lined the streets, cheering us on and offering words of encouragement as we pushed ourselves towards the finish line.

The local police giving their best smile and support of Run4Papa!

As we approached the historic downtown district of Rodney Square, the finish line loomed ahead, drawing us closer with each step.

Crossing the finish line with a time of 2:25:07 was incredibly satisfying, marking the completion of my 30th half marathon in my quest to run in all 50 states.

State #30 in the books!
The bling did not disappoint and the “DE” can be removed from the medal (if you really want) and is a magnet!

Up next….the Mecca of Running: Eugene, Oregon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *