The finish line of a marathon is a place of undisguised emotion, with all pretense worn away by 26.2 pounding miles. Euphoria for some may never be matched. Exhaustion for others is deep and profound. Marathons can kill - one person died in the marathon and another during the half marathon. But for those who finish - 10,213 runners completed Sunday's Philadelphia Marathon and 9,413 the Half Marathon - the accomplishment will be long remembered.
The Inquirer's Michael Vitez spent seven hours at the finish line of the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon, watching, interviewing, and taking pictures along with staff photographer Sarah Glover.