This September, Philadelphia Runner, which has three running stores in the area, is doing something it has long dreamed of: putting on its own race that runs right through the city.
This may seem like something that's already done: The Broad Street Run, Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon, Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, and Love Run Half Marathon are all city races.
But, says Ryan Callahan, outreach director for the Philadelphia Runner, most of those races include the same sections of Fairmount Park, and "Broad Street doesn't go into the city," meaning that the course doesn't venture into neighborhoods where a lot of the company's customers live. "We wanted a race experience that was authentically Philadelphia."
That led to the formation of the Philly 10K, which will be run on Sept. 6. Registration, which opens Monday at www.thephilly10k.com, is capped at 3,000 runners.
The course starts and ends in the Passyunk Square section of South Philly. Runners start by heading northeast up East Passyunk Avenue, then turn west on Christian Street until they hit 13th Street, which they'll take north all the way up to Spring Garden Street. Once they hit Spring Garden, they'll turn east until Fourth Street, which they will follow back into South Philadelphia. One more turn on Tasker Street takes them to the finish near 11th and Tasker.
This route takes runners through about a dozen neighborhoods. Runners will also pass city landmarks such as the Italian Market, Pat's and Geno's Steaks, Carpenters' Hall, St. Augustine Church, and also under the Reading Viaduct and the Ben Franklin Bridge. There will be a party at the finish line with offerings from the Philadelphia Brewing Co. and special Shake Shack custard infused with Termini cannoli.
Philadelphia Runner picked the 10K distance for two reasons, Callahan said. First, there aren't many races at that distance in this area. Second, Philadelphia Runner is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so a 10K seemed appropriate.
Registration is $55 until June 1, and the price goes up in increments after that. (With only 3,000 spots, I expect this race will be a sellout.) If $55 seems like a lot for a 10K, yes, it is slightly high. That's because of the extra expense of shutting down the route through the city for the race.