892. Philly Four Corners – 76 mile jaunt around Philly’s city limits


Hey hey! Looks like you’re interested in learning more about this whole Philly Four Corners run thing eh? 

By the way, this can be run in sections too, or biked – it doesn’t have to be run all in one shot.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What is Philly Four Corners 
  • Why did we run it
  • A race report (even though it wasn’t a race) 
  • Mileage notes 
  • The goal, strategy, tactics 
  • Recovery 
  • How you can run this route (the gpx file, and a few things to consider) 
  • How I trained for this event 

What is Philly Four Corners? 

The Philly Four Corners is a 76 mile trek around the perimeter of Philadelphia. Mostly flat with some hills that total 3,000 feet of gain. You’ll burn over 11,000 calories 

Come on, 76 miles though? Philadelphia? 76’ers? 1776? Isn’t that dope?!

Gagz, a local Philly legend, strung these streets together during the coronavirus. You’ll see TONS of “walk around philly” stickers along the route too – something that brought us mad joy because we knew we were on the right path, It just felt like someone was here before when we saw the stickers. 

Maybe that’s because someone was… 

We weren’t the first to run the route. We sure won’t be the last. 

Maybe you could be next?! 

Why did we run Philly Four Corners? 

It was a great training run for the bigger races we have coming up within the next few months. We both had a nice training block leading up to Philly Four Corners and felt healthy so we gave it a shot. 

“We” is Kaylee and me (we’ve only run twice together totaling over 200 miles lol) 

Plus, I’ve grown up in Philly,  what better way to see the city than by running the city limits? There were some parts of the city that I’d never even been to. 

and it made for some cool strava art. 

Maybe you thought, “Uhhh, 76 mile training run?”

Welcome to ultrarunning(:

Race Report 

We started May 6th, 2023 at 5 am. This day worked for both of our schedules, it was in between races, and kind of perfect timing. 

Speaking of perfect, the weather was pretty perfect for most of the day – a low of 45 and it topped out at 73 degrees. 

Humidity was 93% and beat us down during the afternoon – we didn’t even account for the heat, a mistake on our part. 

Our official time was 16:24:00 with an average pace of 12:42. You can check out it out for yoself!  Philly Four Corners on Strava. 

A few things to note about this Philly Four Corners Run: 

  1. We started at the penny pack entrance on pine road, really because it was close to where we stayed at.
  1. We ran the route counterclockwise because I was a lot more familiar with the northeast sections and preferred to run that later in the day. 
  1. Turning off manor road and onto the Schuylkill river trail – the gpx file got confusing here, almost looking like it glitched out. We made a turn into a locked gate, went around the locked gate, and had to bushwack to the Schuylkill river trail. Lo and behold, if we didn’t turn at the locked gate, but instead continued under the bridge, and made a right, we would have found steps that lead us to the Schuylkill river trail.
  1. There was another confusing section: the stadiums. The main confusion is that the gpx file goes under a bridge, but looking at the gpx file, it looks like it went onto a major highway. 
  1. During that stadium section, the original file showed us going behind Lincoln financial field, but the gates were locked and we were not about to jump them (security was everywhere). We tried to go around on the train tracks but were immediately stopped by CSX. We decided to go up the street and around, in between Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field which lead us right back to the route. 
  1. We did have crew vehicles throughout the run.

Mileage Notes

Mileages (these are all approximate and from memory)

  • Mile 5: Dunkin Donuts lady – we had to use the bathroom but Dunkin wasn’t open. We asked a worker when they’ll let us in and she said, “When I open the door” So we just kept it moving. It was 6 am on a Saturday and she was walking into work butt hurt as hell. That’s important to note though, these morning hours not much is going to be open, especially bathroom-wise.  
  • Mile 13: Coach Pete swung by and this was a great surprise. 
  • Mile 16: gpx file issues (manor road/ river trail) 
  • Mile 17: we saw a blown-up minivan on the Schuylkill River trail
  • Mile 30: horse stables field in the middle of Philly. 
  • Mile 38: We hit the George C. Platt Bridge – we could see all the way down through the gridiron flooring and it made my butt pucker. 
  • Mile 45: Getting past the stadiums into south Philly, this was our highest point – and the most populated part of the route. 
  • Mile 53: The high brought us crashing down, the mentally toughest part. The humidity/ heat started beating us down. There are always highs and lows with ultras.
  • Mile 70: dark came quick. 
  • Mile 76: the finish felt incredible. I couldn’t stop saying “Wow.” 

What a cool experience. We made it through injury free too!

Goal, Strategy, Tactics

The goal

Make this a high-quality training run – fully packed as if it were for a race. 

The strategy

We estimated we’d finish in about 16 hours (5 – 9 pm).

We tried to hold a 12-minute pace, and then every mile we’d walk 100 paces. Toward the end it was jogging 100 paces and walking the rest, lol. 

The crew leapfrogged us every 5 miles or so, and we stayed at each aid station for an average of 5 minutes. 

It’s totally possible to go about this with no crew. Maybe it’s something I’ll try one day? 

The tactics


Here’s some of the gear that I used/carried on me, nothing unusual or new: 

  • Clifton 8 extra wide
  • Salomon 8 vest 
  • darn tough socks 
  • Windbreaker
  • Ethika’s 
  • Moisture wicking shirt 
  • 2.5L water
  • Emergency calories 300
  • Battery bank and charger 
  • Baby wipes 
  • Plastic bag for phone if it rains 
  • Knife 
  • Chapstick 

I also had a cooler full of gear in the car that carried the extras (gear, supplements, medic, etc) – the just-is-case stuff. This cooler holds all my running supplies so it’s easy just to bring along. 


I stuck to this regimen pretty well: 300 calories, 1000 mg of sodium, and  1 L of fluids per hour

Here’s a breakdown of the foods I ate: 

  • Clementines and pineapple 
  • 3 scoops of tailwind in 10 different baggies (one per hour) 
  • LMNT salt packs (4) 
  • Protein shake 
  • Peanut butter packet 
  • Peanut butter jelly sandwich
  • Gu 


After the race I downed three protein shakes within an hour of finishing, followed by another peanut butter jelly sandwich. A shower and a good night’s sleep followed. 

I didn’t eat too much because I was about to go to bed and don’t like to eat all crazy beforehand. We got to bed around 11 pm. 

The next day I woke up around 5:30 am and had some fruit with lemon juice shots. 

I was craving salt, carbs, and fats so I heated up a huge potato, rice, salad bowl with avocado and tempeh. I try to focus on eating healthy, whole foods to help promote the healing process. 

Another way to help promote the healing process? Through movement

The day after Philly Four Corners we went to a 5k at the Philadelphia Zoo – I ended up finishing in about 50 minutes – a 16:00 minute walk/ jog thing. Slow rolling at first but I loosened up towards the end and got the blood pumping, which is the whole point of moving after an event like this

Looooots of food and rest followed. 

*It’s been a week after and I feel great, no aches or pains – ready to go. 

How you can run the four corners route 

All you need is the route and a day you can put towards pulling this off. 

Here is the original turn-by-turn directions from Gagz: Philly Four Corner Spreadsheet 

Since Gagz ran the route, I just downloaded his run into a gpx file and it gave me the outline of the route right on my phone. 

Here’s how to get the GPX file: 

  • go to my four corners run on strava (desktop)
  • There should be a button on the map to download the GPX file. You may have to be a strava member to do this. 
  • Download the gpx file and send it to your phone or watch. Now, you just need a way to view the gpx file, sometimes a watch will work. I use an app called gpx viewer. 

Important note: Have two ways to view the gpx file during the run. I used strava and “GPX viewer” from the app store, strava actually shut down the map during the run so I couldn’t see where the route was anymore. I am so happy I had a backup. I used the GPX viewer app for the rest of Philly Four Corners, and all of Buckeye 200 too with no issues at all.

A few things to consider: 

  • We pre-drove the route. This was invaluable to see what was to come firsthand. Here are some notes we gathered during recon: 
  • Run smart and run towards traffic when we can. be safe during aid station stops too. Cross streets only at crosswalks. Four-lane roads. 
  • In some spots throughout the route, the crew will need to go off route to get back on route while we run through. (One-way streets, trails; neighborhoods, etc) utilize gpx file. 
  • 10% of the route is sketchy in terms of no/ small shoulders. The entire route feels safe in terms of area. 

When are you going to get this done? Set a date and time. There ain’t no time like the present! 

And now there ain’t nothing left to do but to train for it!!!

It’s a long fun day(: 

How I trained for the event

I didn’t train specifically for four corners, but it’s been a long time coming (lots of training from previous races.) It was a great opportunity to dial in all my gear and nutrition for the next couple of events I have coming up. 

As for training that I have been doing, let’s just touch on from January to April 2023:

  • averaged about 48 miles per week, covering just over 900 miles and 91,000 feet of elevation gain 
  • Peak week was 104 miles with 10,000 feet of gain.
  • Hyner 50k was the first race of the year on April 22, 2023. (Philly Four Corners was May 6, 2023) 

I appreciate your attention! 

What a fun way to see the city.

Remember, this can be run in sections too, or biked – it doesn’t have to be all in one shot.

Lmk if you have any questions, comments, whatever – I’m an open book. Just hit me with a comment below or send me an email – joediandrea1 at gmail. 

Go get your miles, peace!!!!

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