Rebecca Barber prepping for the start.
If you live in the Greater Philadelphia region, than you know we have no shortage of races in our area. Just updating a single month on our race calendar can take up an entire afternoon! From Light-Up Glowstick Foam Obstacle 5ks to marathons, virtually every corner of the race world has been explored. Face it, we're spoiled - sometimes even jaded. Furthermore, after the highs from a busy fall race season or Philadelphia Marathon Weekend have subsided, it's hard not to fall prey to the winter slump. Sometimes it is just hard to find something to get truly excited about.
Then every once in a while a race comes along that is so unique, so pure, and so "Philly" that it completely reignites the flame to lace up and get running again. It's the kind of race that restores your faith in the power of movement - an experience unlike anything else in the country. It's a race to call our own. That race is The Rocky 50k. Founded by local running celeb Rebecca Barber and inspired by a 2013 article by Dan McQuade, this race hits every location from the famous Rocky II montage. The result is a FREE 31(ish) mile ultra marathon that takes you from point-to-point of the famous sequence, revealing a Philadelphia that you've never seen before.
This Saturday at 7am, expect to be surrounded by a hundred+ people decked out in grey sweats and red headbands at the corner of Wolf & Lambert Streets in South Philly. You'll probably notice that there's no starting line, porta potties, bibs, emcee, or any of the glitz and glamour of traditional racing. That's because this is a "fatass race." Argued to be the purest/truest incarnation of the sport, the fatass race boats "No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps" (according to The Rocky 50k's website). That's right. It's up to you and you alone to complete the 31 mile journey. The only aid you'll recieve is the love of the sport enthusiastically expressed year after year by the race's dedicated participants.
The only award is an official 12-inch replica of the famous Rocky statue given to whoever donates the most shoes to Back On My Feet, a non-profit organization that uses running to empower and assist the homeless. Like we said, this race is as pure as it gets.
Whether you're planning on running 3 miles or 31 miles, we encourage you to join this unbelievable experience. All of the details are listed on The Rocky 50k's site. All you gotta do is show up. You'll fall in love with your City on a whole new level.
Author: Jon Lyons
Founder of RUN215. Fitness Activist. Father. Self-diagnosed running addict.