Philadelphia’s running community is rich with a variety of groups, teams, clubs, and crews. Each is unique in what they provide for their internal collective, and that distinctiveness plays a major role in shaping the entire city’s running landscape. There are a lot of running clubs in the city today, but it wasn’t always that way. The South Philly Striders started way back in 2007 and have been an important part of growing running in Philadelphia since.
We caught up with South Philly Striders to grab a better insight into a group approaching their 20th Anniversary on the "run club scene"!!!!!
Let’s start with an easy warm–up, tell us your name and the name of your club you’re representing: John Encarnacion and Donna Searer, South Philly Striders
How and when did the club start? The club was founded in January 2007 by Kathy O’Neill, who started the first run to coincide with the Mummer’s Day Parade.
When and where does the club meet? We meet on Tuesday (6:15 a.m.), Thursday (6:15 a.m.), and Saturday (8:00 a.m.) at Front and South, and we meet on Wednesday night (6:30 p.m.) for the bridge run at 6th and Race.
Give us a quick rundown of the club. We just run! We have fast runners, middle–of–the–pack runners, and fun runners. We run in the morning and at night. When it’s nice weather after the bridge run, we’ll celebrate with beverages. We have something for everyone.
What can someone expect if they come out to run with the group? We have a small group, so we get to know each other well. There’s a set out–and–back route, but in the morning, people can break off or extend as little or as much as they like. We break down into different paces, and sometimes, we’ll do tempo or hill sprint workouts.
Is there a membership or fee involved with joining the club for runs? No fees!
Do members get together to run at other times or gather for non–running activities? A group of us will get together for long runs or bridge runs on Sundays. We also have special runs on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Final question, tell us why someone should run with your club: We have something for everyone. If someone wants to run faster or train for races, we have members doing the same. If someone wants to just run for fun, we have folks who do that as well. We’re a friendly bunch!
Keep up with the South Philly Striders and learn more about their group:
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