I had the opportunity to run last Saturday in Philly with Philadelphia Front Runners. It was a beautiful morning along Schuylkill River. Many college boating teams were busy carrying boats in the famous boathouse row. Many more runners were stretching in front of Lloyd Hall, where Philly Front Runners meet. I was greeted by Marty, whom I ran with later.
Philly FrontRunners have been running for three decades. One of the original members, Kevin, is still active with the group and ran a super fast 5 miler that morning. Although the group peaked in the 90′s, according to Marty, currently they are a fairly small but steady group. On that particular morning, there were 8 people (including me) showing up.
Unlike Front Runners Dallas, Philly group currently are exclusively male runners. It reminds me of Pittsburgh Front Runners in which dedicated runners who love socialize and food form the core group.
Baseball and swimming are big in Philly gay sport. Running, in general, has also picked up the trend, partially due to the dramatic increase in population that live in the center city.When I ran Philly Marathon in 2005, there were only 8000 runners and at least half of them ran the 8K. Now the annual marathon has joined the super sized marathon league.
The trail is mostly asphalt, although part of it has a separate trail with crushed limestone. It is mostly flat, with gorgeously river view and spring flowers.
Like Katy trail, the trail can be used as an out and back trail with 2.5 miles marker as the turning point. If one wants to run further, an eight-mile loop can be made by running along both sides of the river through a bridge connection.
Philly is one of the most walkable cities in the world. A different run on early weekend morning can be arranged by touring around major sight seeing such as society hill, city hall, penn landing, fairmont etc. Next time you are in Philly, make sure to contact with the local front runners and you will be received with their brotherly love!