The 2012 Philadelphia Marathon begins today at 7am and the course will remain open for seven hours after the last group departs. Over 25,000 runners are expected to compete in this years' race. In addition to the full marathon, the half marathon will be run concurrently. Here's a general overview of the route for the full marathon.
The race begins at the art museum and heads down the Ben Franklin Parkway until it bears left onto Arch. The pack will then head onto race street until it makes a turn onto Columbus Boulevard for an extended run along the Delaware River. That intersection of Race and Columbus is the first of the more than 20 designated "cheer zones" set up for spectators. The Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders and the Eagles drumline be on hand to entertain the crowd and cheer on the runners.
After the run along the Delaware, the marathon turns right onto front street, then a quick turn onto South Street before the runners settle in for a long straight run up Chestnut. That takes them over the Schuylkill until the course takes a hard right into the 34 street and continues on Martin Luther King Drive past the Philadelphia Zoo. The route loops back down along the Schuylkill until it crosses over at Spring Garden and then starts North up the Schuylkill again.
The runners continue on through Main Street in Manayunk before making the final course turnaround at mile 20 and coming back down along the Schuylkill all the way to Kelly Drive before reaching the finish the line at the Art Museum.