Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Hershey 1/2 Marathon: A Spectator's Race Report

Well, since at 5+ months pregnant I didn't feel ready to run this race, Baby K and I got up bright and early this beautiful fall morning and headed to Hershey. Today was the inaugural Hershey 1/2 Marathon in Hershey, PA.

It was a cool, breezy, sunny morning that got windy occasionally, especially at the finish line. It ended up selling out pretty early with between 2,500 - 3,000 runners (from what I've heard). I think HERCO (Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.) did a good job with their first 1/2 marathon and I think overall the runners really enjoyed the race.

There were lots of great views on this race. The course went around and through HersheyPark, and by the following...
  1. Milton Hershey School's Catherine Hall
  2. The Giant Center
  3. Hershey's Chocolate World
  4. Down Chocolate Avenue under the Kiss Lights
  5. The Reese's plant on 422
  6. The Hershey Lodge
  7. The Hershey Medical Center
  8. Scenic Milton Hershey School property
  9. Hershey Country Club
  10. High Point Mansion, Milton Hershey's house
  11. The original Hershey's Chocolate Factory
  12. And so much more, finishing up with a run around the inside of the Hershey Stadium
It was great to see friends finish this race. One friend I grew up with in high school finished in 1:31. Very impressive! He's training for the Philadelphia Marathon in November. Another friend Tanya, who just returned from a missions trip to Africa finished in just under 2 hours.

My friends Amy & Jen, who also happen to be twins , and Amy's husband Brad finished well too. It was the 2nd 1/2 marathon for the 3 of them. I am super proud of them. Way to go guys! 

One other friend finished her 1st 1/2 today. Yay Jenny!
The medals were pretty light in weight and were adorned by a chocolate colored ribbon. The front sported a Hershey's kiss and the back reminded racers that they were a part of history running in Hershey's 1st ever 1/2 marathon. 

I'm really glad I was able to be there even though I didn't run.

Finally, something funny I saw as I was leaving and thought I needed to take a picture of...

The "Welcome to Hershey" on the hill just off Hershey Park drive in front of Catherine Hall was an interesting backdrop for all the porta-pottys at the starting line. Almost like they said "Welcome to Hershey, yes, in case you're wondering we have plenty of porta-pottys".


  1. Cool. I had no idea they were hosting a half marathon. I love going to Hershey Park. We've been there a bunch of times since I was a teenager through last summer. Did they do anything Hershey-like at the race like hand out chocolate at the end? I could see myself eating some Twizzlers at mile 11.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this info about the race. I'm thinking of nudging my sister into doing a half-marathon. She lives in Fairfield, which is a little over an hour from Hershey.

  2. By the way, I got your voicemail, which answered most of my questions. I should also add that the pictures you included with this blog post are awesome!

    You know I'm going to be in Disney as well for the half marathon and marathon in January, right? We're getting in on Wednesday and staying until Tuesday so we can do the parks. On Sunday night, I'm going to try to get reservations for one of the resturaunts in Hollywood Studios that has the "Fantasmic" package - which puts you in a special section for the Fantasmic show that night.

  3. Thanks for your comment Allan. First of all there were Hershey characters (chocolate bars, that is) everywhere, lots of photo ops. Around mile 12 was a chocolate aid station, were they were giving out mini Hershey's bars and at the end the Spa at the Hotel Hershey was giving massages.