MGM Lawsuit Threat to Force Rocky 50K to Change Its Name

Rocky runners get ready in South Philly

How long does a grass-roots DIY run last before it gets co-opted by The Man? Based on recent evidence, about a year.

Last year, I wrote a piece mapping Rocky Balboa’s training run in Rocky II. By connecting the scenes in a montage, I discovered Rocky ran a shade under 31 miles. About three hours after the piece went up, I got an email from Rebecca Schaefer, a Philadelphia resident who runs in ultra races, asking if she could attempt to organize an actual 50K roughly tracing the course I drew. It’d be a “fat-ass” run: Lightly organized, with no entry fees, awards or road closures. “It’d be small, for sure,” she wrote.

It wasn’t. The article attracted a bit of attention. Schaefer’s run was widely covered; more than 100 people showed up to run at least part of it. Runners collected sneakers for Back on My Feet. A woman who ran it pregnant last year named her son Rocky.

And now MGM has threatened Schaefer with a lawsuit, sending her a cease-and-desist letter over the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run. “To be honest, I was shocked it hadn’t come sooner,” Schaefer, the run’s organizer, says. She’s changing the name of the Rocky 50K for its second edition on December 6th, a run that’s become much larger than she ever imagined. The soon-to-be-renamed Rocky 50K has no entry fees or actual sign-up list; Schaefer makes no money on the event.

Read more »

Philly’s 10 Big Winners of 2013

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

My editor asked me to write this article as a companion piece to Victor Fiorillo’s Biggest Losers of 2013 article, and I must admit I’m a little stuck. First off, Victor recently caused a stranger to tell the news, “The world is still kind.” I haven’t reunited anyone with their stolen Christmas cards this year. That do-gooder gets to write the negative column and I have to do the positive one!

Still, a column is a column — and it shouldn’t be too hard to find a bunch of Big Winners from the city I love. I guess a winner is largely someone who creates a “good news” story about Philadelphia. I can do this. Let’s dive in.

Read more »

The Rocky 50K Is Now a Philadelphia Tradition

Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade expressed his hope on Monday that the new Rocky 50K run—which he inspired by mapping out the training montage run from Rocky II—would become an annual event.

Wish fulfilled:

Read more »

10 Great Twitter Photos from the Inaugural Rocky 50K

rocky.celebrating

I just thought some friends would get a kick out of it, honestly.

I had been batting around the idea of mapping out the route Rocky ran in Rocky II for a while, but I never got around to it. It’s not that I thought it was a stupid idea — if you’re a regular reader, you know many of my ideas are stupid — but that I didn’t think anyone would be that interested. Would a map of Rocky’s route be better than a thorough recap of Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, my previous magnum opus? I thought not.

I wrote it, of course, after seeing two men dressed as Rocky — one a foreign tourist, one a guy who hangs around the Art Museum steps posing for photos with tourists — while doing a run up and down the Art Museum steps. (They posed for a photo together, and I’m surprised the world didn’t explode at that very moment.) I bought a cheap copy of Rocky II at The Gallery. With the help of some friends, I mapped out the course. I was pretty happy with the result, but I didn’t think anyone would get a kick out of it as much as I did.

Read more »

New Details on the Rocky 50K Run: Q&A with Organizer Rebecca Schaefer

Lordy, does time fly. I can’t believe it was back in September when we first broke the news that someone had stepped up to the plate to organize a run based on the epic training montage in Rocky II, a 30.61-mile route first pieced together by Dan McQuade over on our news blog. Now that the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run is just 11 days away, I figured it was time to check in with organizer Rebecca Schaefer to see how things are shaping up—and, you know, to find out if the thing is still happening.

In a word: Yes, it’s still on. Here’s what Rebecca had to say about all the logistics, how she’s been training, and what aspects of the fatass-style run (in her words: “no fees, no bibs, no medals, no refreshments, no BS”) are keeping her up at night.

Read more »