Every weekday, once early in the morning and once in the evening, a dedicated group of members of the Penn Running Club gather at Pottruck gym to run several miles through the city.
Comprised of nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate students, the PRC, one of the Penn Rec sports clubs, is the largest running group on campus.
The PRC holds events for runners of all levels, from beginners to people who compete in marathons.
“There are people who are there for the fun, the team atmosphere, getting to get out of the city for a Saturday or a weekend and hang out with other runners,” says Scott Biddle, immediate past president.
In addition to the daily weekday runs, club members gather for social events that bring runners together. There are pasta dinners to load up on carbohydrates, and movie nights to relax and unwind. The club also holds speaker events with runners and running workshops with the Philly Runner store.
The club members also participate in competitive meets with other universities as part of the National Intercollegiate Running Club Association.
The club was founded in 2006, and since 2009 interest in the club has doubled to nearly 100.
“This year we ‘ve had a lot more graduate students, and it’s made a big difference in both our club dynamics and the general enrollment,” says Cara Piccoli, outgoing women’s team captain.
The more serious runners in the group participate in the runs to prepare for marathons.
At the Philadelphia Marathon in November, two PRC club members were the top Philadelphia finishers in the full and half-marathons. Law School student Brendan Christian’s time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 47 seconds was the best of Philadelphians in the full marathon. He finished 17th out of 11,647 runners in the full marathon. Chemistry Ph.D. candidate Geraint Davis completed the half-marathon with a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 1 second and was the top finisher from Philadelphia, 21st place out of 10,932 runners.