New half marathon in Philadelphia in March

Philadelphia runners will have a new local half marathon this spring.

Glassboro-based CGI Racing has announced a new half marathon, called the Love Run, scheduled for Sunday, March 30, 2014.

Registration for the race opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The largely flat course starts on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 8 a.m. and finishes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Runners will race through Center City to 5th Street and back up the Parkway, then run a loop along the Schuylkill River on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, cutting into West Fairmount Park near the Please Touch Museum, and head back on MLK Drive to the finish at the Art Museum.

The half marathon is the most popular race distance in the United States, according to Running USA, with a record-high 1.85 million half marathon finishers in the country last year.

The distance is also popular in Philadelphia, with thousands of runners racing the ODDyssey Half Marathon, Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and Philadelphia Half Marathon each year. Those races take place in June, September and November, respectively.

Love Run race weekend will begin with a kick-off party on March 28. The race expo will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 29.

Race organizers say the finish line festival will include a beer garden, live music, a coffee and hot chocolate bar and other refreshments.

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