Mayor’s Cup: Philly Running Club Championship Race to Debut This Summer

Photo via Fairmount Park Conservancy

Runners at the Belmont Plateau | Photo via Fairmount Park Conservancy

If you’re among the legions of loyal runners who participate in a local running club, I’m pretty sure you’re about to get really, really psyched: A new running event called the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cup is debuting on August 8th, in which local running clubs will compete head to head for a championship title. That’s right: The event will decide the top running club in Philadelphia — bragging rights included.

“We’ve seen firsthand how running clubs impact lives, with non-runners becoming runners and athletes of all abilities accomplishing things they never thought were possible,” says Mayor’s Cup cofounder Johanna Goode. “We wanted an outlet to let people show their pride in their club, while providing a channel for solitary or new runners to find a club to join.”

For the inaugural Mayor’s Cup, runners representing more than 20 local running clubs will gather at the Belmont Plateau to participate in five running events: a 5K cross-country race, five-mile road race, 10K trail race, 10-mile road race, and half-marathon trail race. Runners who participate in these events will earn points for their club, and the club with the most cumulative points at the end of the day will win the championship title.

From the press release:

The event, which is structured to feel like a cross country meet for adults, will be unique in its focus on team competition and community. All runners will participate as a part of a club, and each race will begin and end in historic Belmont Plateau, with staggered start times to create a finish of all events within a ~2 hour range and allow for maximum interaction between runners and spectators.

Runners must be affiliated with local clubs in order to participate. In other words, individuals will not be able to register; club teams will register as a group. And teams must be located in City of Philadelphia (sorry, suburbs).

Runners can only run on behalf of one club and will only be permitted to participate one event, since the races will happen simultaneously, all utilizing the same start and finish line. Clubs may bring as many runners as they’d like, but only a club’s first male and female competitors to finish in an event will add to the club’s score.

According to the official rules, scoring will go like this (get your calculators out): “Each Scoring Competitor will be assigned a score equal to 1 plus the number of Scoring Competitors from other Clubs of the same gender who they finish before, plus the number of Clubs who do not have a Competitor of that gender in that Event.”

So far, the list of participating clubs includes the following, with more clubs expected to sign on in the coming weeks:

1. Achilles
2. Back on My Feet
3. Black Men Run
4. DetermiNation
5. Fairmount Running Club
6. Fishtown Beer Runners
7. IBC Blue Streaks
8. Lez Run
9. Monster Milers
10. Passyunk Beer Runners
11. Penn Running Club
12. Philadelphia Runner Track Club
13. Philly Runners
14. Point Breeze Running Club
15. Shake Shack Track & Field
16. South Philly Striders
17. Southwest Center City Running Club
18. Students Run Philly Style
19. Team Philly
20. Torresdale Beer Runners
21. West Philly Runners
22. Wissahickon Wanderers

Organizers have partnered with the Fairmount Park Conservancy to bring more awareness to the trails of the Belmont Plateau. In the months leading up to the event, they’ll spearhead initiatives to bring groups of runners to the area to help with trail clean-up and maintenance.

Clubs will also be given the opportunity to use the Mayor’s Cup as a fundraiser for a charity of their choice. The club that raises the most money for charity will be given a separate award at the August 8th event.

After the races conclude, participating running clubs and spectators will gather at the Belmont Plateau for a potluck-style celebration.

Running clubs that are interested in participating in the Mayor’s Cup can reach the race directors at Individual runners who want to join a club can find a full list of participating clubs here.

Registration will open in March.

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