Meeting time: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15am; Saturdays at 8am
Meeting Place: Front and South Streets by Penns Landing
Who We Are: A running group serving the South Philly, Queens Village, Penns Landing and Old City areas in Philly of various running paces
I NEVER TIRE of this spectacular group, with its positive, encouraging runners of all paces. South Philly Strides is one of those welcoming groups that makes you feel like any run is a victory, any amount of miles or time you run them in is a celebration.
During my first run with SPS, I was so enthusiastic, I accidentally ran with the sub-7 mile runners for the first mile – which I quickly remedied by slowing down on mile two (because my body was not happy with me). The group organically splits off into smaller groups based on pace – you find yourself running with people of similar pace.
THE AMOUNT of miles varies depending on your morning schedule. As someone who doesn’t need to be in to work until 10am, I usually get about 5 – 6 miles in before turning around and heading home. Typically with SPS, runs last between 5 – 7 miles.
THE ROUTE is a calming one, starting at Front and South and carrying over along the Delaware River on Columbus Drive, looping around the marina past the Independence Seaport Museum. The group tends to run to Yards Brewing Company and turn around, though occasionally there will be hill repeats where the sub-7 milers will run up and down a steep hill several times in a row. I have done this once.
IF YOU GO, depending on where you’re located, I strongly recommend contacting a running buddy to run with you to the starting place. I am very lucky to have a buddy to run the one mile it takes us to the location because at 6am in the morning, Philly can be pretty dicey and sometimes you forget to take your mace with you. The plus side of being somewhat farther away from the staring location though is that you can tack on another mile to the run.
All in all, SPS tends to be one of the faster groups with whom I’ve run. However, despite the large presence of sub-7 milers, the group is pretty evenly dispersed with different paces as well and no matter what, you always find yourself running with someone else. Do not let the fast pace intimidate you, let it and the other runners of SPS inspire you to get faster as well 🙂