Philadelphia Marathon Seeks “High Five” Nominations

Mayor Nutter to honor outstanding competitor who crosses the ‘starting’ line.

From: Running USA

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Marathon participants have become accustomed to seeing Mayor Michael A. Nutter at the race starting line, high-fiving enthusiastic runners as they set out on the 26.2-mile course. This year, the second Mayor’s High Five Award will recognize a participant whose journey to the start line at the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 20, 2011 is as much a victory as it is to cross the finish.

“The High Five Award will add to the race excitement by honoring the training and hard work it takes for participants to get to the competition,” said Mayor Nutter. “That might mean overcoming obstacles, making plans and setting goals, competing for a loved one, raising money for charity, or some other accomplishment. In the nominating process, we are looking forward to hearing participants’ compelling and courageous stories that motivated them to joinKathr the race.”

Nominations for the Mayor’s High Five Award should be 500 words or less and submitted to, now through 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, October 31, 2011. All nominations will be reviewed by the Mayor’s High Five Award Committee. More information is available on the Philadelphia Marathon website at

All candidates must be willing to make their story public in the media. Mayor Nutter will announce the recipient of the High Five Award at a news conference that kicks off Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, to be held Friday, November 18, 2011. The recipient will be featured in the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend Guide distributed to the participants and the media. The Mayor also will acknowledge the 2011 Mayor’s High Five Award recipient at the Philadelphia Marathon starting line on the morning of Sunday, November 20. The Philadelphia Marathon begins at 7 a.m. at 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Anyone can nominate a 2011 Philadelphia Marathon participant who is registered for the full marathon, and participants are permitted to nominate themselves.

“In the spirit of the High Five Award, we hope that five minutes before the start of the Philadelphia Marathon, participants will join us with raised hands, celebrating their accomplishments, too,” Mayor Nutter said. “I’ll be there at the starting line to cheer on the participants with high-fives of support.”

The first-ever Mayor’s High Five Award was given to runner Kathleen Wrigley, from Fargo, North Dakota, in 2010. Kathleen Wrigley, originally from Philadelphia and a mother of three, suffered from two brain aneurysms, the most recent in 2009. Kathleen underwent an invasive surgery that saved her life, but left her without half of her vision. Kathleen was legally blind and unable to do many of the simple tasks she once took for granted, relying on the help of others to drive to the grocery store and take her kids to school. Slowly, Kathleen worked to regain her independence and from the beginning, her goal was to be able to run again. Last year, with the help of a guide, she ran the Philadelphia Marathon to raise awareness about brain aneurysms and early detection, as well as in honor and memory of her brother Danny Boyle, a fallen Philadelphia police officer.

The City of Philadelphia, Running’s Best Host City, will welcome 25,000 runners and more than 60,000 spectators at the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend. In addition to the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 20, Race Weekend features three other races – the Half-Marathon also on Sunday, as well as the Rothman Institute 8K and the Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 19.

Other activities to welcome runners, families, friends, spectators, businesses and residents include a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo; a free course map complete with retail discounts and promotions, and more than 20 spectator cheer zones. Runners pass many of Philadelphia’s famous attractions on the swift and scenic USATF-certified course, which is a Boston qualifier. Take the first step to experiencing 26.2 miles of fun, beauty, history and excitement by

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