I finally got to run with Gritty!
Several years the Philly hockey team, the Flyers, got a mascot called Gritty. When Gritty was introduced, Philly lost its mind and social media was full of anti-Gritty talk. When the rest of the country piled on the anti-Gritty chatter, Philly Phillied and embraced Gritty as a hometown hero thus the love, no, the obsession with Gritty was born.
I, a woman born and bred in Philly, have also embraced Gritty, I was even Gritty one year for Halloween!
So, when I heard about the Gritty 5k, I was all over it. I missed the first year because that was the year I started my running journey and races were not quite on my radar. The next year I was on it and registered but COVID happened, so I completed the race virtually. The year after I was working at my then job’s 5k and had to marshal a station instead of rubbing arms with Gritty.
This year I was on it and it as so worth the wait!
The Gritty 5k is not the run to try and PR. It’s a run with fun obstacles and a party atmosphere! The start and end of the race is like a huge tailgate: games and snacks, people decked out in Flyers gear and Gritty gear. Even though I was there on my own, the other races chatted me up and had a good ole time checking all the things. All the things like the graffiti wall, a space to share your own “art”. An ultimate Frisbee stop, a pinata break, ribbon dancing and more fun surprises.
Gritty himself (herself…themself?) popped on the course to throw a cake a participant and to dance and shake his booty.
The course is threeish miles (I was a tad short of a 5K) and is relatively flat. There were a few slight inclines but nothing too outrageous. It’s a fun way to give back while having fun.
The Flyers Charities is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Philadelphia Flyers. About the organization, From the race page:
A little ditty about Flyers Charities…
We care about and invest in the health of our community by:
- Honoring our legacy of supporting local families impacted by cancer;
- Growing our games inclusive of new and diverse participants and audiences;
- Supporting continuous improvement in sustainability and environmental responsibility
Our commitment to community, service, inclusion, and legacy guides our work and provides opportunities to engage our fans, visitors, employees, and neighbors in our impact.
The price of the race was worth the theatrics of the race and there was great swag. My race swag included a technical tee, a bib and a ticket to an upcoming Flyers game. I’ve never been to a hockey game so I’m excited to check it out.
Most of the races I’ve completed have a fun and exclusive atmosphere. The Gritty 5k is like Gritty: for all the people, come as you are and have a good time.