Cool! Lululemon Is Turning the Schuylkill River Trail Into a Virtual Race Course

A free race AND a giant free post-race party? Yes, please!

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey

Guys, the folks over at Lululemon Walnut Street have been cooking up something really good for you. Like, reeeeeeeallllly good.

Okay, okay, enough with the suspense. Here’s the deal: Lululemon’s Walnut Street store is getting in on the race game — but it’s not your typical race. The store has teamed up with run-tracking social network Strava and Silverline Athletics to put on an epic seven-day virtual 8K race along the Schuylkill River Trail. The name? The Ghost Race.

Oh! And it’s totally free to join in on. Sweet, right?

Here’s the idea: The race, which consists of an out-and-back course along the SRT, starting at the South Street Bridge, will open at 12 a.m. on October 17th and will stay open through the 23rd. You’ll be able to run it on your own or with a crew whenever you damn please during that weeklong period, however many times you like. Cool, right?

For some serious non-virtual competition, you’ll also be compete in person against run leaders from around the city — think: Jon Lyons from Run215, Rebecca Barber from the Rocky 50K and Dan Layo from the November Project — who will be running the course at designated times throughout the week. Sierra Asplundh, one of the race organizers, tells us folks who dare to compete against these runners will find surprises at the start of the course. And this is Lululemon we’re talking about, so these surprises could potentially be gear-related surprises. (Yes, please!) These designated race times with well-known Philly runners will be going down every day that the course is open, though the exact dates and times are TBA.

And now, to the best part: Everyone who completes the race course at some point during that week gets to go to a sweet — and again, free! — party hosted by Lululemon at the 23rd Street Armory (right by the SRT, naturally) on Thursday, October 27th. Asplundh tells us they’re keeping most of the party details under wraps for now, but a few things you can keep in mind when you’re struggling to make it through that last mile: You’ll be rewarded for making it to the finish line with good stuff like awards (it is a race, after all) and food trucks at the post-race party.

And if you’re prepping for the Philly Marathon or Half Marathon and thinking that challenging yourself to an 8K race in mid-October is the perfect way to see where you’re at in your training, that’s exactly what the ladies over at Lululemon were thinking too. As Asplundh says, their goal is to give runners a chance to push themselves in their training (hence the decision to create the course on the red-light-free Schuylkill River Trail, which they say most Philly runners use often and know well) while connecting Philly runners to each other in a new and organic way — and maybe helping you find your perfect race-training buddy in the process!

Lululemon will be rolling out more info on the race, like the official course map and more post-race party details, over the next month. In the meantime, you can keep up with the Ghost Race on their website and Instagram. Happy trails, folks!

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