Who says you have to work up a sweat to enjoy a post race party? Definitely not the founders of New Era Events who are hosting the first ever Instant Gratification Run, the shortest running course probably in the history of running. (Should they be calling the Guinness Book of World Records?) At this very unique event, participants will run a total of 0.0 miles. So how is this a race you might ask? Well, there will be a start and finish line, entry bibs, awards, race t-shirts, all the things you expect at a race with one exception: the actual running part.
The "run" will start right outside of Xfinity Live on Pattison Avenue where participants will actually line up at the start/finish line for their chance to cross over for their 0:01 finish time. To commemorate your quick finish, you will receive an e-mail from Mid-Atlantic Timing, the professional race timing company of New Era Event's Todd Strauss.
After you cross the "finish line," the post race festivities will begin inside where it is warm. Every runner will receive a free beer and food to enjoy while partying to the sounds of live bands and a DJ. Besides your running bib and long sleeve t-shirt, you will have the chance to win prizes as well. Awards will be given out for the top male and female finishers, and the best part is that because winners will be chosen randomly, everyone has the same chance to win. You need to be present to get an award though.
"If you are usually a midpacker and never an overall winner, hopefully your name will be chosen," said Strauss. "It is all about having fun and keeping the spirit of the race. We will also be giving out a 'best' runner's outfit award so wear your best eighties running gear."
According to Strauss, who cofounds New Era Events along with John Miller and Kathleen Titus, the inspiration for this event came from wanting to host a running-themed party in the heart of winter when there are not many racing opportunities available. They saw this cartoon and thought it would be fun to create a running event that both runners and non runners could experience together.
"We wanted to bring together the traditional runner who wants to go out and have a good time at a running-themed event and their nonrunner friends who are usually stuck on the sidelines cheering," Strauss said. "The anti-runner is welcome too. If nothing else, maybe it will inspire them to do the real thing the next time."
Titus also added, "As runners, we don't get a chance to sit down and enjoy one another. So many times after a race we are rushing right home. February is a nice time of year to slow down and celebrate together."
"People will be naysayers because it is not traditional but we are okay with that. It is all in the name of fun," Strauss added.
The Philly 0.0 is the first event of their new company New Era Events. Strauss was already partners with John Miller in the Mid-Atlantic Timing Company when they met Kathleen Titus at a meeting for the Get Your Rear in Gear 4 mile run/ 2 mile walk. Titus was there representing her running event management and marketing company RUNOGA.
It seemed like their meeting was kismet because it turned out Strauss and Titus are practically neighbors. "When Kathleen and I were first introduced she gave me her business card and I noticed that her address was only a mile from where I lived," he explained.
Strauss and Miller already had the idea for New Era Events, but decided to bring Titus in to be a part of their vision. Ironically when they first began meeting The Philly 0.0 wasn't even a thought yet because they were focusing on creating 5ks and half-marathons, but then this nontraditional run seemed like a great way to launch their new company.
When asked why he believes the post-race party has grown into such an important part of the whole racing experience, Strauss said, "I think the running race has evolved. It started out as a small community 5k that people just ran and then went straight home afterwards, and has evolved into more of an experience. It is all about making an event to remember."
For Titus the post race celebration is about celebrating accomplishments. "For many people, it is their first race, something to cross off their bucket list. Maybe they lost a lot of weight to be able to do it," she added. "That high you get after the race gets to linger a little bit longer when you come together afterwards to talk about the race and celebrate together."
The Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run will be held on Friday, February 6th. Packet pickups will start at 5:30 p.m. and the "run" will start/finish at 7:30 p.m. with the post race party right afterwards. Bryen O'Boyle, singer from Mr. Greenjeans will be performing from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Victory Beer Hall and Bangarang will play on the same stage from 9 pm. to close.
Registration is $35 and a portion of all proceeds will go to a charity. All participants must be 21 or older. Register online here.