While at a social event during the Public Relations Society of America Travel & Tourism Conference in Philadelphia, we could see the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and the topic came up of running across it.
Once the topic had been raised, I decided to do that the next morning. The bridge has a pedestrian walkway, which is higher than the parts of the bridge that cars and the train use.
I got up before 7 a.m. for the third day in a row — this is pretty rare for me — and ran to the pedestrian walkway entrance from my hotel. This was back on June 19, but I think it was only about 0.6 mile — definitely less than one mile. The entrance on the Philadelphia side is at Fifth and Race Streets, and you actually run for a bit before you get to the part that’s over the Delaware River. This early part is above parts of the city.
I’m not especially afraid of heights, but it did feel a little weird to be up that high on such a thin bridge. It’s not even exceptionally thin — I think it was maybe a little wider than a sidewalk.
The 10K Across the Bay — a run across the much longer Chesapeake Bay Bridge — has never scared me, for example. However, I think that’s because a large group of people is running across a much wider bridge — which at any time other than the race (which is just a virtual run this year) is a multi-lane road. I also noticed anti-suicide signs on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge — which I’m glad are there, but it also gave me a bit of a weird feeling.
However, I was still going to experience this bridge, and I saw others running and walking as well. The bridge was sturdy, and there were some cool views.
I got to see nearly aerial-type views of both Philadelphia and Camden, N.J. Early on, I noticed people doing yoga on a pier in Philadelphia. I also came across a square on the bridge that said “STOP HERE, APPRECIATE LIFE FOR A MINUTE AND SMILE. #ORACELOPROJECT” So, I did.
The Camden side of the bridge also went over much of the land before I got onto the ground. I believe this was my first time ever running in New Jersey, although it was for a short time. If I’d had more time, I might have run to the Camden waterfront, but I had to get to the conference and I didn’t have time to go any further before heading back on the bridge the other way.
Since everyone I’d seen had been on the same side of the bridge as me, I figured there might be a reason, and I continued back on the same time.
The Delaware River Port Authority website says the North Walkway is closed, but the South Walkway is open daily. I used the South Walkway. I’m not sure if the North Walkway was closed when I ran there, but that would have made sense as to why I didn’t see anyone on the other side.
I decided to end my run at La Colombe, where fellow BibRave Pro Dane had recommended I try the nitro draft latte. It was delicious! I ended with just more than four miles before a short walk back to my hotel.
I actually returned to Philadelphia the following weekend with my boyfriend, Mike, where we did a three-mile run in the Fishtown area. We ran a little bit along the waterfront, in an industrial area and into the more city-like area, and we ended the run at a different La Colombe, where I got the nitro draft latte again — along with some cans of it to bring home.
I set a goal to travel to at least one new-to-me place for a run each month of 2019. Here are the other places I’ve traveled to for runs this year:
- June: Oregon Ridge Park, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
- May: Powellville, including Adkins Mill Park
- April: Assawoman Wildlife Area
- March: Chapel Branch Nature Trail
- February: Mutton Hunk Fen Natural Area Preserve, Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract
- January: Mount Vernon Trail
Running from Camden? The entrance is at Fourth and Pearl Streets, according to the Delaware River Port Authority site.