On Saturday Nov. 9, 2019, the sixth annual Rocky Run was held in Philadelphia. Over 7,000 people braved the freezing cold and participated in the event, which included multiple race options to choose from. Participants had the option to run a 5k, 10 miles, or both; which would ultimately culminate in a 13.1-mile run, otherwise known as The Italian Stallion Challenge.
The Rocky Run started in 2014, and is organized by Cerulean Sports Group and licensed by MGM. Proceeds from the event benefit the Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Many of the runners who participated dressed up in Rocky themed costumes to channel their inner Italian Stallion, while others dressed warmly to overcome the temperatures that were in the low 20s come race time.
New Phillies manager Joe Girardi was on hand to be the starter for the event. The 5k portion of the race started around 7 a.m., followed by the 10-mile challenge which took off around 7:45 a.m. The race starts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The course takes you along the Schuylkill River and loops back around to ultimately finish back at the Art Museum. While the course does not include the famous Rocky steps, or the statue, fans and runners had the opportunity to take pictures with the statue and run up the steps at their own discretion.
The course takes you along the Schuylkill River and loops back around … to the Art Museum.
Participants who completed the races received a medal for each course that they completed. Prior to the race, runners had to pick up a packet which included a Rocky Run official shirt, free race photos and an official BIB number which tracks your time and allows you to view your results. Merchandise was available to buy at the race, and food and drinks were provided free of charge to runners during and after the run.
The winners of all three events posted impressive times. Christopher Thompson won the 5k portion with a time of 17:18, while Cody Amengual was the winner of the 10-mile run with a finish of 53:21. Overall, the winner of the Italian Stallion 13.1-mile challenge was Jerry Francois who finished with a time of 1:17:53 seconds. His split pace time was 5:57 which is fantastic considering the distance that was covered during the course of the race.
I had the opportunity to participate in this run, and I had a great time doing so. I have participated in 5k’s before, but this was my first half marathon, and it was a fun-filled experience. My advice to those who are interested in running this event in the future is to train hard and keep pushing forward towards your goal. It takes a lot of commitment to get ready for events like the Rocky Run, but it is worth the time and effort in the end.
The next edition of the Rocky Run takes place on Nov. 14, 2020. Pre-sale for the race has ended, but official registration will open in March and run up until around the event time. It is encouraged that if you are considering running the event that you sign up earlier to ensure a spot at next year’s event.
Erick Klambara is a first-year student majoring in media and cultures. EK924666@wcupa.edu