A Dec. 7 race in Philadelphia will follow the path of Sylvester Stallone's supposed training run in the movie Rocky.
By Sam Gardner FoxSports
A couple weeks ago, Dan McQuade at Philadelphia Magazine broke down Sylvester Stallone’s famous run through Philadelphia in the movie Rocky II, revealing that Rocky would have completed a nearly-31-mile jog had the workout been real.
At the end of his analysis, McQuade cautioned, “This is one long run. I don’t recommend anyone try it.” But that warning seems to be lost on Philadelphia resident Rebecca Schaefer, who has organized a Rocky Run in honor of the film, set to take place on Dec. 7.
"When I read that post, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t already a race," Schaefer told Philly.com. "How could this not happen? The more I talked to my running friends, I realized there was a lot of support for this."
Inspired by McQuade’s post, Schaefer took Rocky’s route, tweaked it a little to make it a full 50k (31 miles) and started promoting the “fatass race” — running community slang for an unsanctioned race with no entry fees, bibs or medals — through a Facebook page and website.
The race will start at 7 a.m. at Wolf and South Lambert Streets, the corner of Rocky’s block in Rocky II, and then continue from there.
”It’ll run up Passyunk Avenue, then take Columbus Boulevard all the way up to Lehigh Avenue, then we’ll run all through the Kensington/Port Richmond areas, then take Broad Street down to run north through the Italian Market to get back up onto Lehigh Avenue,” Schaefer told Philly.com.
“We’ll head up onto Kelly Drive before we head to the finish — the Art Museum steps. That’s what everyone associates with the Rocky run, but the best part of this event is runners will get to see so many parts of Philadelphia.”
Philly.com notes that Schaefer's Rocky race is scheduled to take place just three weeks after the Philadelphia Marathon, but she doesn't expect that to impact the turnout for the event.
"Actually, it works perfectly," she said. "Marathon training should be enough to finish a 50k race — three weeks after a marathon, another five miles isn’t that much more, if you go a little slower. Three weeks is a perfect amount of time to recover.
"And again, this isn’t technically a race. If people want to do half of the run, or just a certain part of it, that’s fine. Those who want to gut it out and finish the whole course — great. This race is all about what you want to make it."
I’m not sure what the turnout for the Rocky Run will be — as of this writing the Facebook page has about 700 members — but, like Rocky, you’ve got to love Schaefer’s determination in putting it together.