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South Jersey's Krista Purnell shares her 2010 Philadelphia Marathon experience

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The 17th Annual Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon took place yesterday. It was a great day for running with clear skies, no rain, and cool, autumnal temperatures. The blue skies were the perfect backdrop for the legendary sights along the race course in the City of Brotherly Love. I beyond excited to see the city from this perspective.Krista Purnell (far right) on her Philadelphia Marathon Experience.

My morning started at 5:30 a.m. at a friend’s place in Rittenhouse. After a quick breakfast and a not-so-quick preparation process, my friends and I walked over to the Eakins Oval where the race would begin. Waiting for the orange corral to start seemed like forever! My adrenaline was racing and I was excited. I was ready as I was going to be. It was time to put up or shut up! 

On Saturday, I’d walked the Expo, picked up my personalized bib (first one ever – so exciting!), and carbo loaded at Melegrano with my crew. As cheesy as it sounds, I was humming "Gonna Fly Now."

Before long, the race had started and I was off. I felt confident and strong as I coasted through my six miles including my favorite stretch between Front Street and South Street. As I approached mile seven, I felt a few tinges here and there, but realized I was beyond the halfway point and I was closer to the finish than I was to the start. Soon after, I ran past Drexel’s frat row. Those were quite the energetic supporters! The miles following were tough. There weren’t many spectators on 34th Street as I ran past the Zoo where I had gone on many a childhood field trip. Even though I was starting the feel the effects of pounding the pavement, I was encouraged and motivated by the various groups running for a purpose: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training, Back on My Feet- which assists the homeless, and Students Run Philly Style truly touched my heart. As an educator, it warmed my heart to see students running and to hear the stories about how running has impacted their lives.

At mile nine, my iPod was truly psychic. "Eye of the Tiger"  started, as if on cue, asKrista Purnell (far right) on her Philadelphia Marathon Experience. I “pushed through” and slowly, but steadily and made my way up that treacherous hill en route to Mile 10. The race is a blur of favorite songs, deep breaths, and internal reminders to take it just one step at a time, until I see the Mile 12 flag waving in the wind on my right. One more mile and change. I was almost there.

To my left I glided past Boathouse Row and the Art Museum gradually got closer and closer. As I rounded that last curve, I channeled my inner Rocky and set my iPod to play "Hearts on Fire."  My strides got longer and longer as I saw the finish line in sight. Seeing my family on the sideline gave me the extra push I needed to sprint across the finish and receive my medal. What an accomplishment!

After catching my breath and savoring (well, rather devouring) my heavenly post-race pretzel, I was reunited with the rest of my crew to celebrate.

As I write this I am home, with my feet up, resting my weary muscles and bones reflecting on just how amazing this whole experience has been. And to top it off, an Eagles victory made this race day absolutely perfect!

Krista Purnell is an avid runner and a contributing writer for Lingerie Post