"The adrenaline's high, everyone is happy, cheering. It's fun seeing people with the signs, it keeps us going through the whole race," said Briana Paschall from Reading, Pa.
She's one of about 20,000 runners who took on the course, about half of the race's usual 40,000 runners. Those who did run say they're happy to be back.
"The weather was good, it kept it nice and cool. We had some rain going on, so we all finished in 9, 10 minute miles, it was fun," said Matt Smyth of Holland, PA.
Crowd control was just one of the protocols in place because of the pandemic. All runners also had to show proof of vaccination, and volunteers wore masks and gloves while handing out water.
"Last year we did the virtual, we did it on Kelly Drive by ourselves, but doing it on Broad Street with a crowd helped keep your momentum going and your spirits up," said Micah Paschall.
The city did encourage people to cheer from home, but some stragglers did keep racers moving throughout the course. Some runners appreciated that gesture.
"Being next to somebody and kind of pacing yourself and not having to wear a mask or anything when you're running. So I'm definitely glad I was able to do it," said Monica McBryan, from Center City.
Runners say despite restrictions, they're glad large races are back in Philadelphia.
"It was a little different, there weren't all the people cheering, but the people who were out there including the police worked extra hard to cheer us on so it was great," said Kathy Jedrziewski from Center City.
The course is slightly different from years past too; runners finished at the Nova Care Complex instead of the Navy Yard.