Tuesday, January 31

Postcards from Philadelphia (guest post)

While I've covered quite a lot of ground, I haven't been everywhere. (Yet...) So, I've enlisted some help from local experts in the running travel guides series.

Today, we're going to Philly!
Our running tour guide is local ultra-runner and trail-lover, Kristin, at Every Day is Run Day. Kristin's blog is funny and honest, and she is serious about her running. Drop by her blog and say hi! In the meantime, here's where she would take us on a running tour of her hometown:
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Forget the cheesesteaks, Philadelphia is a runner's town! Any season, morning, noon, or night you will find tons of runners out of the streets of Brotherly Love. If you ever find yourself in Philly, consider checking out some of my favorite routes:

The River Loop
This 8.4-mile loop can be run in either direction starting at the Art Museum and Lloyd Hall heading north to Falls Bridge on either West River Drive or Kelly Drive and coming down the other side. The entire course can be run on a paved bike path. In addition, West River Drive is closed to traffic between April and October so that runners (and bikers) can spread out on the road.

Schuylkill River Path
If you don't feel like being boxed into an 8.4 mile loop, the Schuylkill River Path, which makes up the Kelly Drive side of the River Loop, starts in Center City and extends 23 miles north to Valley Forge.

I'd say about 90+% of the path is paved with a few sections of rocky towpath which you won't find until you are slightly north of Philadelphia. As the main thoroughfare for runners, bikers, walkers, skateboarders, etc. in the area just make sure to stay to your right!
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Forbidden Drive
If you're looking for that non-city feel without leaving the city then Forbidden Drive is for you! Part of Wissahickon Valley, Forbidden Drive is the 5.3 mile main drag through the park. You can drive and park at several different locations.
For more information about the park visit the Friends of the Wissahickon website.
If you want to stop for a quick bite, or a beer after the run,
be sure to visit the historic Valley Green Inn nestled right
along Forbidden Drive.

The Rocky Run
There are many versions of Rocky Balboa's running route. The obvious inclusion would be his infamous run up the Art Museum steps (complete with celebratory jumping up a down of course).
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Below is my own personal 6-mile version, which also includes passing other major sites such as the Ben Franklin Parkway, City Hall, Market Street, Independence Park, South Street, Broad Street and Rittenhouse Square. Tack on parts of the Schuylkill River Path for an even greater sightseeing extravaganza.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge
If there is one thing Philly is lacking it's hills. There are a few here and there in West Philly and to the north in Manayunk, but Center City is pretty flat. If you're in town and looking for a bit of a kick, head to Ben Franklin Bridge, which connects Center City to New Jersey over the Delaware River. The bridge is about a mile across and offers great views and a healthy incline.
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Local Run Clubs
Philly has several run clubs, some of which are very active including Philly Runners and the Wissahickon Wanderers. The local City Sports and Lululemon also host a number of runs each week.

Where would you take tourists on a tour of your town?
If you're interested in guest-posting about your favorite running routes, send me a note and let me know!

1 comment:

  1. my friend lives in Philly and her husband took me out on a few runs - I think we did the river path and we ran through the city center as well. I LOVED it! Next time I go I'll have to check out the Forbidden drive and I also want to do the Rocky steps as well... complete with cheering at the top of course!


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