The Philadelphia Marathon represents many things to many people. A common bond is the love of the Philadelphia Marathon. As the Philadelphia Marathon celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary this year, race participants share their background 20 Years, For the Love of Running.
Name: David Isaac
Hometown: New York City, New York
Current Residence: Briarcliff, New York
Personal Best: 3:45:20 (2012 Philadelphia Marathon)
Number of Philadelphia Marathon appearances: 3 (2008, 2011 and 2012)
Marathon Background: In 2006 David’s weight ballooned to 270 pounds. Following a physical exam, David knew he undeniably needed to make a change.
“I was already a causal runner,” David says. “I thought the 2008 Philly Marathon would be an excellent long term goal as I worked to lose weight and get fit. It was a difficult but rewarding 18-month-journey, culminating in a 50-pound weight loss and a 4:02 finish in my first marathon!”
David diligently stuck with his plan to diet and train hard. After an incredible amount of hard work, David dropped 95 pounds to stand at a healthy and lean 175 pounds.
“My race times have continued to improve as I have gotten lighter and faster,” David says. “This year when I return for Philadelphia’s 20th Anniversary race, I will be running my 13th marathon, celebrating my fifth as a marathoner. I have a stretch goal of a Boston-qualifying 3:30. I’ve gotten so much from this sport that it’s easiest to just say that it probably saved my life. My health has improved, I’ve made amazing friends in the running community and proven to myself what I can achieve with hard work and determination.”
Memorable Philadelphia Marathon experience: “My most memorable experience in Philadelphia was my finish in 2008,” David explains. “It was such a long road just getting to the start that I never really gave much thought to how I would feel when it was over. My finisher’s medal is one of my most prized possessions. I’ve never worked harder for anything in my life.”
Why I Love the Philadelphia Marathon: “Philadelphia is my favorite marathon and the one that I’ve run the most,” David says. “I love that Philly is a big race that manages to feel small and personal. I love the Expo, I love the race shirts and I love spending a couple days in your city in late November. The thing that keeps my coming back and the reason I tell my friends they need to run Philly is Chestnut Street.
“It’s noisy. It feels crowded. People have great signs and offer high-fives and shout outs. The pure joy and exhilaration I feel from running through that unbelievable enthusiastic crowd makes this my favorite stretch of any marathon I’ve done. It gives me a good feeling and keeps me smiling over the bridge and into University City.”