Dan Stamm

Wide Open Spaces on Philadelphia Roads for Papal Visit Attract Runners

MLK Drive Runners Generic Runners WHYY
Bas Slabbers/NewsWorks

Closed roads and barricades caused ire for plenty of Philadelphians during Pope Francis’ late September visit, but for some in the region, the quiet roads posed a unique opportunity.

Runners took full advantage of closed bridges and even highways during the papal visit to get in a jog uninterrupted by cross traffic. Some runners were even spotted grabbing an unprecedented dash along the empty Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76) on Sunday.


Running on 76 no cars

A photo posted by @linda4725 on Sep 26, 2015 at 8:36am PDT

Not all runners were seeking a special thrill of running where it’s normally impossible. Instead, running groups organized unique Pope-themed runs including GoalsFit gym’s “Pope-Athon,” which went from the Manayunk gym to the Pope’ temporary residents in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, popped up around the area this weekend.

GoalsFit owner Kasey Manwaring had bigger plans for the papal Mass on Sunday afternoon, telling Runner’s World that she planned to run (or bike) to the Ben Franklin Parkway.

If she runs, Manwaring should have plenty of open space on roads. And, that’s a welcome idea for some people who enjoyed roads like the Ben Franklin Bridge closing to traffic.

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