By Road Kill – For six years, Susan Hurrey has quietly been sending out a weekly e-mail inviting runners to join her on her Saturday distance run.  Each run is charted on her “mapmyrun” program, and the course is outlined in the e-mail. 

Since I stopped running a few years ago, I reviewed the courses described in the e-mails strictly out of curiosity.

This past Saturday morning, I was driving down Henry Avenue near Midvale when I was startled to see Susan charging (yes, that is the best verb to describe her pace) around the corner onto Midvale followed by Rob Kafes.  I almost veered off the road. “My God, Susan actually runs these routes,” I thought to myself.  Then I started thinking further and realized that over six years, Susan probably has accumulated a very lengthy list of distance runs. So I asked her for her favorite runs.

I admit to being a bit churlish for frequently questioning the validity of Susan’s running moniker, The Great One.  I take it all back.  Susan, I mean The Great One, has produced a remarkable record of distance runs around Northwest Philadelphia. Here are the cream of the crop (accompanied by a brief narrative):
This run starts at Hortter & Park Line Drive and is 7.39 miles. To start you run on the streets of Mt. Airy and then enter the park and run alongside the Cresheim Creek. Then you eventually exit the park at Kitchens Lane, hit a few more streets in Mt. Airy and return to Hortter.
This run is 18.06 miles and is a nice run through the city. Also, running across the Ben Franklin Bridge is a fun experience.  
18 miles. It’s not on the map but I started this run at the Valley Green Inn and ran towards Northwestern Avenue. You run through what I think of as the “other” Wissahickon Park, exit at Fort Washington State Park. Continue to Conshohocken, then the Schuylkill River Trail and finally – I don’t know why I subjected myself to this – run up Shawmont Avenue. An evil, evil hill to run up at the end of a run.
12.7 miles. Start at Northwestern and run up to Ridge Avenue, through Andorra, down to the canal path, and then into Manayunk. Beware of Boone Street. I didn’t realize Boone Street was so steep until the day I ran this. At least it’s not very long.
10.46 Miles. I really like this run. I think it’s a good mix of uphills and downhills and I enjoy the scenery of Belmont Hills & Penn Valley.