Editor’s Note: In the weeks leading up to the city’s largest annual running event, Sports Doc will profile local clubs that encourage the area’s runners to take to the streets. If you know of an organization who deserves recognition, contact Megan Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2007, 26-year old Anne Mahlum created a running club at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, a shelter she regularly passed on her morning run.
Anne started running when she was 16, as a form of therapy during a turbulent time for her family due to her father’s gambling addiction. She found clarity and strength in the movement of running and experienced self-discovery through this popular pastime.
Anne began to form friendships with several men that often stood outside the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission during her runs. She realized that like herself, these men could also benefit from running. After calling the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, she started an official running club with nine of the shelter’s residents. Within a week, the group added ten more people as volunteers. From here, the group continued growing in the mornings and the Back on My Feet running club was created.
Back on My Feet currently has five teams located throughout the city, meeting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30-6:30am. The locations include:
- House of Passage – 48th and Haverford
- Our Brother’s Place – 10th and Spring Garden
- Ready, Willing and Able – Broad and Bainbridge
- Somerset – Broad and Parrish,
- St. John’s – 1221 Race St.
Before you begin running with any team, Back on my Feet requires that all new volunteers attend a brief one-hour orientation session, which you can sign up for here: http://philadelphia.backonmyfeet.org/philadelphia-run-with-us.
During orientation members discuss the program, and potential roles as a volunteer. New members also have the opportunity to choose their own home team!
The Back on My Feet running club is currently training for the AT&T Back on My Feet 5-Miler, on Saturday, March 30th at 8:30am. You can learn more, register, or sign up to volunteer here: http://bomfphilly5miler.com/registration.
In addition to their regular morning runs, the running club also holds Thursday night runs and Saturday morning runs. Thursday night runs are held at 7pm and leave from the middle of Rittenhouse Square, while Saturday morning runs begin at 7:30am from Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row. For more information visit their website or Facebook page!
Cathryn Sanderson, Director of Communications and Corporate Relations, Cathryn@backonmyfeet.org