Rocky Run: Follow in the Italian Stallion’s footsteps

Rebecca Schaefer plans to run in Rocky Balboa's footsteps. Charles Mostoller/METRO
Rebecca Schaefer plans to run in Rocky Balboa’s footsteps. Charles Mostoller/METRO

Pull on the gray sweatpants. Strap on the red headband. Lace up the Chuck Taylors.

But hold the raw eggs.

“In fear of salmonella, I’m going to pass,” Rebecca Schaefer said. “But whatever gets people more into this, I’m all about it.”

The Center City resident and avid runner is planning a fun run on Dec. 7 to retrace Rocky Balboa’s trek through the streets of Philadelphia in Rocky II’s famous training montage.

The race, which will start at 7 a.m. at the corner of Wolf and South Lambert streets in South Philly, mere steps from the fictional characters fictional home, will stretch 31 miles.

The plan is to hit as many neighborhoods as possible, while passing through the Italian Market and Kensington before sprinting toward the finish at the iconic Art Museum steps.

“It’s fun just to run up those stairs by yourself on a regular day,” she said. “So to get to do it as part of this organized run, I think it’s going to be that much cooler.”

Schaefer read a detailed outline of Balboa’s enormous and inconsistent movie trail and decided she wanted to reconfigure it into a more realistic run. So she created a Facebook group and now about 800 people are planning to join.

Now, an organized race requires a permit from the city. She wanted it this winter, and didn’t think she would have the financial resources or the time to work with the city. So she went with a 31-mile “fun run.”

She’s planning, what the ultra-marathoning community has dubbed, the “fat a__ race.”

“That means there is nothing official about it,” she said. “There’s no bibs, there’s no medals, no one pays anything. So it’s really just like an organized run.”

She envisions hoards of men and women of all shapes draped in grays, reds and sweat.

“Why not?” she said. “I think this better fits the attitude of the movie.”

The route

The rough vision for the run:

Begin at the corner of Rocky’s South Philly home.

Cross through the Italian Market.

Roll down Broad Street.

Pass through the Kensington and Port Richmond area.

Stroll through Kelly Drive before ending at the Art Museum steps.

If you run

What: Rocky fun run

Where: Wolf and South Lambert streets in South Philly

When: 7 a.m., Dec. 7

Registration: Not required

Dress: Down

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