After an intense 24-hour build-up, with a little banter back and forth from both sides, 25 to 30 runners did in fact best the pace set by the 40-foot-long Philadelphia transit vehicle.
"I thought it went really well. It was really fun," event coordinator Kyle Cassidy said. "It was a good way for us to show alternative ways to get from point A to point B. It was great to see SEPTA get involved in a good-natured way."
The course – basically a 3.5-mile straight shot down Walnut Street – may have benefited the runners more than the bus thanks to red lights, excessive grocery shoppers and an alleged faux pulling of the stop signal cord.
Mike VanHelder, Cassidy's friend and the man nominated to live tweet from the bus, gave brilliant commentary and took a few playful jabs at the running group all while self proclaiming himself "team bus." (He referred to runners as "miscreant scofflaws" and "scurrilous cheating outlaws." Quite the impressive vocabulary.)
"He told me he would attend the event, but ride the bus and jeer us," Cassidy chuckled.
Will there be a rematch in the future?
"Win or lose, round two is on Roosevelt Boulevard," Kim Heinle, SEPTA's assistant general manager for customer service jokingly said before the race.
West Philly Runners are also looking ahead in relation to this budding rivalry, but in a different light.
"I would like to figure out a way to safely get SEPTA involved in the future," Cassidy said.
Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.