Bi-State Urban Run

If it is a sign of sickness to consider a long run up and down the Ben Franklin Bridge on a cold, blustery day to be the best way to relax, then call me incurable.  I'd circled this day on my calendar, as it was a confluence of a work holiday plus my kids being off at day care.  And of course, the first item of business was to go on a long and relaxing run.

I decided that running to New Jersey via the Ben Franklin Bridge would do just the trick.  I cut through the southern edge of the Penn campus and across the South Street Bridge, through the G-Ho and Queen Village neighborhoods and across I-95 to Penn's Landing.  From there, I ran along the river, took a jaunt down Elfreth's Alley, and doubled all the way back to 5th Street, where you can jump onto Ben Franklin. 

The bridge is over a mile and half long, and within a few minutes you're a story above the cars and a few stories above Old City.  The vertigo-inducing experience intensifies as you get above water, especially when the wind is howling like it was today.  And of course, it's steadily uphill for half of the span, and then downhill for the second half. 

On the way across into New Jersey, I stifled the temptation to look back, since I'd get that view on the way back.  Instead, I looked forward, and lamented how much parking abuts the waterfront on the Jersey side.  On the way back, there was a fair amount of parking, as well, as well as remnants of older industrial uses mixed in with newer recreational uses.  (The waterfront is a premier location for so many reasons, but parking your car just seems to be such an under-utilization of such a location.)

Upon my return, I cut through the National Constitution Center area and hopped on the subway at 5th Street - by that point, I'd gone over 8 miles, and didn't have it in me to squeeze out the additional 4 miles home.  Just for kicks and giggles, I got off at 52nd Street instead of 40th Street (46th Street is still under construction), adding a couple of extra blocks to the end of my run but affording me the opportunity to see the newly reconstruction station at 52nd. 

All in all, it was a successful urban run, and in my sick mind, a restful one at that.  Maybe next time I can use two tokens instead of one, and, using 5th Street as a starting and finishing line, have more gas to tool around on the Jersey side instead of just turning around once I got to the end of the bridge.

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