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Your favorite Philly Runners memories/stories

Hello all!
Since Philly Runners runs are postponed, we're going to be like every other organization and stream the runs to you live! Okay, no, we're not doing that. Instead, we want to bring to you the "best of Philly Runners" from our previous nearly 18-years run so far. Tune in at the regular times and channels. What does this mean? Email me (see the link below) your favorite Philly Runners memories/stories from our first 18 years. Every day of a scheduled run will feature one on our Facebook page and message board. Don't post them all on Facebook since it will get clogged and we won't see important announcements. This will start on Thursday, March 19! And please include your name and approximately when it occurred. Thank you!
Kevin

Your Favorite Running Shoe: Brooks Adrenaline... or barefoot!

Re: Your favorite Philly Runners memories/stories

Although we can't run together, we can still run apart. I bring you COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry I – 2020/3/21. Please send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org.
Report from Seth W. (Philly Runners member since 2003)

January or February 2005

A typical winter Saturday morning in Philly. The forecast was for snow, starting around mid-morning. Whatever, that has never stopped me from going out for a run. At the run meetup, there was no snow on the ground, no snow falling. We started the run as usual. I was maybe halfway around the loop when it started to snow. It really started coming down. It was thick and wet and running through it was becoming difficult. I kept going because there was really no choice. I left the Art Museum Steps with no snow whatsoever. An hour and twenty minutes later I returned and everything was covered in snow, about 4-6 inches. I was amazed at how quickly the scenery had been completely transformed. Snow was sticking to my fleece. I looked like the abominable snowman. But snow has never stopped us. The runs are never canceled!*

* Except in case of global pandemic

[Editor's Note: This was the same day as our annual club dinner held at Wok, and since Seth provided the year, I could determine that the date was January 22, 2005. Plenty of people couldn't travel to the dinner due to the weather conditions, but we still had 21 attendees, and even had a snowball fight in Rittenhouse Square afterwards! Thanks, Seth.]

Your Favorite Running Shoe: Brooks Adrenaline... or barefoot!

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry II – 2020/3/24

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry II – 2020/3/24. Please send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org.
Report from Kevin G. (Philly Runners member since 2002/2/27)

Run For Clean Air has been cancelled for 2020. It would have been held on April 18. However, last year, April 20, Philly Runners fielded a co-ed team comprised of Alayna, Connor, Dieter, Emily B, Jackie P, John S, Kevin G, and Madelena. This won't turn into a long, boring, race report, don't worry, just a couple memories. This is the 6th Philly Runners team that I captained, and the 5th for this race. We've won 1st place in all but the last one, where we took 2nd. Could we reclaim the title?

The first 2+ miles gives me my favorite PR race memory of 2019: we had a pack of 5: Dieter, me, Ashley, Emily, and Anh. I've known Anh and Ashley for a while, and they are part of the triathlon club T3, who I suspected were our main team rivals (and a bit behind were Madelena and Kim, 1 from each team). Further, Anh won Master's last year so he would be my chief rival. But we really had a great pace group at that time, just working together and pushing each other before Dieter surged ahead and I followed later.

What happened? We took 1st place of ALL 6 teams: male, female, co-ed!! Average time for our top 4 = 40:21.8. The next fastest team average was 47:31.6. Thanks to Lisa for cheering on from the finish in Philly Runners apparel!

My 2nd favorite PR 2019 race memory: running into my friend Sue post-race who told me she just had heart surgery a year ago (she's 78) and she just raced!

I yearn to join up again for a group run, especially now that I'm (partially) back from injury. But as any distance racer will tell you, you gotta know when to push, and you gotta know when to restrain (there might be a Kenny Rogers song in there somewhere). I miss you all, but look forward to creating many more wonderful 2020 memories with Philly Runners.

Re: COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry II – 2020/3/24

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry III – 2020/3/27.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!

Report from Kevin G. (Philly Runners member since 2002/2/27)

It was a day like any other in center city Philadelphia. A Wednesday. My computer was on, of course; I was sitting in front of it. MS-Excel was open (of course). And at 11:42am, I created a file that would be the blueprint for a running club tentatively called Run Philly: Center City Philadelphia Running Club. Drawing inspiration from a running club in Atlanta (Atlanta Singles Running Organization) and a cycling club in Philly (Team Tanya, an MS-150 (Multiple Sclerosis) City-To-Shore training group), and soon to have the assistance of long-time runner Dara, what would shortly be known as Philly Runners was created exactly 18 years ago today! I then programmed a rudimentary website and created a flyer.

Since then, we've spawned several marriages of people who met in the club, even more kids, spawned from those marriages, roommates, life-long friends, world travel partners, and lots of service to the Philadelphia area and the running community.
And so much support for each other!

Oh, and running.
Lots of running.
I mean, we're a running club. We run a lot.

We're unable to all run together during this pandemic, but I miss you all and hope we can all see each other soon more than just in passing 6' away. But in the meantime, we are all still part of the Philly Runners family. We ARE running together... just with plenty of space in between.

But for now, be safe, my friends. Can't wait to run with y'all again soon.

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry IV – 2020/3/31

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry IV – 2020/3/31.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!

Report from Scott G. (Philly Runners member since November 2017)

In November of 2017 I took a contract to work in the city of Philadelphia. I had only been to Philly once in my life before that. I showed up with my suitcase at an AirBnB and was ready to work. However, all work and no play makes Scotty one miserable SOB. Day one I headed out on a run and just wandered around the city. It was 5 AM and I wasn't sure where I was going but I enjoyed the run. When I got back to my room I decided I needed some people to run with. I went online and found Philly Runners. They met only 7/10's of a mile from my AirBnB and had planned runs with all paces.

My first run with the group was the speed run from the Art Museum to the John Kelly statue and back. I ran with Rick and we hit it off right away. My next run was with Seth doing the 1/4 mile repeats on the path. I never forget the way he described the 1/4 mile. You start under the bridge. Then you run X number of lights until you get to a light that is not a light and then there is this light that is white not like the others which are a little yellow. WHAT? No matter I had a ball.

Then the long runs on the weekend doing the 8.4 mile loop. I'd do a loop on my own then swing back to do a 2nd loop with the group. Michelle and I hit it off because we were both from the Boston area. Michelle always amazed me because she was so strong. Boston STRONG BABY!

I remember running the Loop race and starting up a conversation with Tom and Carol Jones before the race. I didn't know they were members of the Philly Runners before the race but soon learned they were fast, really fast. I ended up running many of the 4 mile speed workouts with them. OK, I fell behind every time. But I did start with them.

Then there was the night that only Andrew and I showed up. Sure there was a blizzard the day before and most of the bike path was still covered in snow but the two of us pushed forward to get our run in.

I was invited to the holiday party. I considered myself so lucky to have met up with such an inclusive group. It was cold that night and I walked the 1.2 miles to the bar. After the party I smartened up and used an Uber to go back to my place.

I was originally scheduled to be in the Philly area for 2 years but life happened and I ended up taking a job back up in the Boston area. So by March of 2018 I was on my last run with Philly Runners. It was a sad occasion for me and I wanted the group to know just how I felt. At the end of the run that night I took time out of everyone's busy lives to tell you a few things.

1. I ran with just about a different person in every run. Why? I wanted to get to really know everyone instead of just the people who run at my pace. I had many fantastic conversations over that 5 months. I cherished the time I spent with everyone. If I didn't mention your name before it's not because I didn't like you. It was because I only have so much time to type this up. However, I want to call out John S, Earl, and of course Lindsey. BTW am I still invited to run the Mayor's Cup?

2. You have something very special with this club. Held together by all who are passionate about running and community. The only rule I could detect was to be inclusive.

3. Never Ever give up on running. Sure you'll slow down, but once you stopped you're in big trouble.

4. I consider all of you my 2nd family. You took me in even though you knew it would be for a short time. Included me in all club activities. That meant a lot to me.

There is just one thing you need to do, fix the membership fee. LOL

All my best from Boston, If you are ever in the area please be sure to look me up. I'd love to take you on a run in my area. Also if you ever qualify for the Boston Marathon you have no choice to look me up. I'm now considered an Ambassador of the Boston Marathon and work for the BAA on Saturday before the race (my 27th year). In addition, I'll be on the starting line for my 34th consecutive time this year on September 14th.

Stay safe, and keep running

Scott G.

Re: COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry V – 2020/4/4

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry V – 2020/4/4.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!

Report from Mike H. (Philly Runners member since January 8, 2013)

In October of 2012 I started a new position with my company, it changed from traveling all over PA, NY, NJ, MD and VA to covering just NJ and Eastern PA. I found myself in the Philly area on a very regular basis. I was quickly getting tired of my treadmill workouts at the hotel and grabbing a beer and a burger at the hotel bar after. So I decided to find a running club in the city. In Dec of 2012, I googled running clubs in Philly and guess which club came up first...of course Philly Runners. I showed up for my first run on Tuesday January 8th 2013, met Seth and few others. Listened to Seth's announcements about carpooling to the Caesar Rodney half, an upcoming club ski trip and then the pace groups, we took off. After the run I joined everyone at Bishop's Collar, where I sat across from some guy named Andrew, who right away called me Mark...which he did for a few months and still does on occasion! We all stayed for a few drinks and watched the Flyers. I knew right away that I was going to be back and I have for the past 7 years.

I always look forward to Tuesday nights on Kelly Drive...I cannot always make it, and I'm not the fastest...by far. I have met so many great friends, way too many to name (and a lot of Katie's!!).

Someone once said to me... "Mike you look miserable when you run." Well that's true, I am miserable, I hate every step! But because of the support from this awesome group and the friendships that I have made, somehow I keep coming back for more.

You are the best, Philly Runners...our runs are never canceled...just put on hold. I can't wait to see everyone at the bottom of the steps when all this insanity is over, we all miss listening to Seth and Kevin's announcements.
See everyone soon!

PS...A few of my highlights from Philly Runners:
I was able to take 15 minutes off my best Broad Street time in 2013.
The Tuesday night last year when my daughter ran with me!
The gourmet cookouts in FDR park and on the banks of the Schuylkill.
All the great club dinners around the city.

Mike H.

Re: COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry V – 2020/4/4

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry VI – 2020/4/7.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!
See the entire series here: http://pub30.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=2500995625&frmid=15&msgid=1302614&cmd=show

Report from Barry (Philly Runners member since 2011)

I'm not exactly sure when this event happened, but it was about 4 years ago on a Tuesday run ...

Sometimes when I run, the mental imagery that I sometimes have is probably enough to have me committed. So during one Tuesday Philly Runner's run, the guy running next to me asked about what I think while running. I said: "Well, if it's a race, near the finish line I imagine that I'm in a Civil War battle charging into blasting cannons." He got really excited and said: "For me, I imagine I'm a Viking attacking a castle."

Well, now things got out of control. Here I was running with someone as wacked as me. So, heading out Kelly Drive (the straightaway where speed work is done), I yelled "To the wall!" My Viking friend yelled back "No, OVER the wall!!!" We picked up the pace to an incredible level screaming crazily while the people strolling by probably thought we were nuts - and they were correct.

Keep safe, keep sane (not easy for me) and keep your distance!
Barry

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry VII – 2020/4/13

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry VII – 2020/4/13.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!
See the entire series here: http://pub30.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=2500995625&frmid=15&msgid=1302614&cmd=show

Report from Kevin G. (Philly Runners member since 2002/2/27)

"Best of 2019"
Instead of a single memory, I want to mention some people and events that highlighted 2019.
* Run Leaders Seth, Kevin, Andrew, Madelena, Kenny (new RL), Pri, Brian N, Connor (new RL), Michelle (new RL), John S (new RL), Ben, Phil, Cindy (new RL), Rachael (new RL)
* John & Pam's pre-race dinners + John moderating our Facebook page
* Seth's post-race picnics/barbecues + the club emails + overall organization
* Lindsey captaining our Mayor's Cup races
* Many of us volunteering at races such as Broad Street Run
* Jackie starting our Final Friday happy hours + assisting with our Mayor's Cup races
* Cindy setting up and managing our Instagram account + the club emails
* Race For Clean Air 10K 1st place team of Dieter, Kevin, Madelena, Emily B, Connor, Alayna, Jackie, and John S
And to YOU all who join our runs. I hope we continue to create amazing experiences and memories in 2020! Stay safe, my friends.
Kevin

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry VIII – 2020/5/2

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry VIII – 2020/5/2.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!
See the entire series here: http://pub30.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=2500995625&frmid=15&msgid=1302614&cmd=show

Comments on our club, collected by Kevin G. (Philly Runners member since 2002/2/27)

Since we can't see much of each other in person, here are a few comments I received during the earliest months that our club was in existence. All comments are unsolicited. I've got pages more... but you'll just have to check back for the next installment.

"... I am very glad that I found your site long time ago and that I have you and the others out there to talk to and join for runs whenever possible... I keep you guys in my head and heart and to tell you the truth, the knowledge that you guys are out there running, and the fact that we talk all the time, well, it helps me keep running on my own time. :)"
Ivelina "Eve" N

"I want to drop a line of thank you as I am sure, if there had not been the Saturday morning runs, I would have partied muuuuuch more on Fridays and achieving my goal of running the NY marathon would have been harder to achieve."
Wolfgang A

"I also just wanted to thank you and the group for helping me with my running and challenging me every Saturday morning- those are real killers, but its great training, and without the group I wouldn't be training as well as I am. I'm very glad I found the group and again, thank you guys!"
Rick L

Re: COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry IX – 2020/5/24

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry IX – 2020/5/24.
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!
See the entire series here: http://pub30.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=2500995625&frmid=15&msgid=1302614&cmd=show

Comments on our club, collected by Kevin G. (Philly Runners member since 2002/2/27)

Since we can't see much of each other in person, here are more comments I received during the earliest months that our club was in existence. All comments are unsolicited. I've got pages more... but you'll just have to check back for the next installment.

"[My Dad is] how I got into running. He says the club has been a great influence for me, which it has."
Rick L

"It was nice running with some of the members who belong to your running club. I'm glad to be a part of it."
Joanne M

"I also want to say thanks for staffing the water station at the Penn Relays Distance Classic yesterday... it was very uplifting to see Philly Runners and hear an encouraging word from friends."
Joyce R

"For all of you out there who think you are 'slow pokes,' it's not too late to run with the Philly Runners. I had been a silent member following the listserv activity for about a year and finally transitioned myself from the pre-contemplative stage of change to 'action.' The group is great. I matched up with 2 other girls who ran 9-10min miles and we had a blast. I felt very welcomed."
Jennifer W

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry X – 2020/5/30

COVID Chronicles from the Philly Runners front, entry X – 2020/5/30
Send your own Philly Runners memories to kevin@phillyrunners.org!
See the entire series here: http://pub30.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=2500995625&frmid=15&msgid=1302614&cmd=show

Email from Jeffrey S. (Philly Runners member since 2002/4/10)

"Please add me to the list. I ran cross country in high school and started running again at the beginning of the year. Currently 33 years old. I am running about 6 miles, a couple times a week at about a 7 1/2 minute mile. I live in Fairmount and would love to have others to run with. Let me know what's up. My home e-mail is better to reach me at. [email redacted]

Thanks,

Jeffrey S.

[Editor's Note: Why am I including this? Jeffrey's email to me was important because he was the first person to join Philly Runners who wasn't a direct recruit of mine!]