I learned about the Public Relations Society of America Travel and Tourism Conference through a Facebook group for another organization I’m part of — the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance.
I clicked on the link and looked through the schedule. The sessions, of course, sounded interesting, but there was something else that caught my eye, too — the Morning Run Like Rocky. A group run as part of a work-related conference? So amazing! Once I registered for the conference, I even sent a tweet out expressing my excitement — which was featured in a PRSA email.
I am not a morning person, but the run was at 6:30 a.m., and I knew this would be my only opportunity for a group run in Philadelphia, so I made it to the meeting spot at the Loews Philadelphia by that time. When I put my name down on the list for the run, I noticed that many people had signed up, and I was excited that so many people wanted to take part. We took a photo before we started, and I just counted 27 people in the photo.
There were representatives from Philadelphia on the run, and the one that I was near at times talked some about the city. I got to run with people from throughout the country — among the locations participants traveled from were Hawaii, Minnesota, Ohio and Florida.
We started at the Loews Philadelphia, the host hotel, then traveled through Love Park and up Benjamin Franklin Parkway, seeing flags from numerous countries, to the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We posed for some photos there and continued onto the Schuylkill River Trail, then leaving the trail and heading through Rittenhouse Square Park.
My GPS was a little wonky (maybe because of the buildings — the map looks odd), and I started it late because I forgot to find the GPS before the run began, but the run was about four miles. I wanted to get some coffee, so I found a nearby coffee shop, Square One Coffee, and since I’d already run to the start from my hotel, I ran a little extra to end there for a total of five miles.
I made sure to represent the Eastern Shore Running Club and BibRave on the run with my singlet and visor.
I think I’ve been spoiled now. All conferences should include a group run — it’s a great way to explore an area, chat with fellow attendees and get in some exercise outside before a day inside.