Philadelphia Freedom

Just got back from a business trip to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.  I wasn’t expecting much on this trip having been to Philadelphia many years ago, but was pleasantly surprised to find the city that was very walkable and full of culture.  I stayed at the Doubletree Hotel downtown on Broad Street, a few blocks from the amazing City Hall building.  Everything that you would want to see was within walking distance, and if it wasn’t, it was a short bus or subway ride away.  I love to walk, so that is pretty much what I did most of my free time, going to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Chinatown, and the art museum where Rocky ran up the stairs during one of the more memorable scenes.  There is lots to do in this city, and I only had time to do a few of them.

More importantly, since I’m training for a marathon, I needed to know where to run.  Well, if you are downtown, hands-down, the best place to run Fairmount Park where they have miles of running and bike paths along the Schuylkill River.  The paths are not overly congested, the scenery is interesting and inspiring, and the course is relatively flat.  The only negative I’ll mention is that running along Kelly Drive, there is car traffic about 50 feet away that may disrupt some of the peacefulness of the run.  Running in late-February/early-March, be prepared to run in cold and windy weather.  I forgot to bring gloves and as a result, the top of my hands were numb for a couple days.  But overall, I would rate this area a 9 out of 10 for running – I was able to run an 11 mile tempo run uninterrupted by doing a loop around the river.  I ran in the morning, and around sunrise, there seemed to be a few hundred people out exercising.  I also ran on a late morning – after 8:00 am – and there were considerably fewer runners and bikers and seemed to have the paths pretty much to myself.

Links to my runs at Fairmount Park.

Tempo Run (11 miles)

Interval Run (8 miles)

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