Mary Elizabeth, top left, her fiance, Joe, and the rest of the 10k trail runners all wondering why they're running in 95 degree heat at the 2016 Mayor's Cup.

Mary Elizabeth, top left, her fiance, Joe, and the rest of the 10k trail runners all wondering why they’re running in 95 degree heat at the 2016 Mayor’s Cup.I first ran with the Fishtown Beer Runners in 2015. I had heard of the group, but was afraid to go on my own, so I convinced my roommate to come with me.

I don’t remember where we ran, or how far it was, who we talked with that night, or what month it was–I obviously have a bad memory–but I do remember an awesome feeling of community. And I think that’s the best word I can use to describe FBR, is ‘community’.

I started running in high school, following in my two sister’s footsteps, on our all-girls Catholic high school’s indoor and outdoor track team in Connecticut. My favorite event was the mile (I’m sorry, 1600M to all the trackies reading this), and I’ll always remember the advice of our coach when he seeded me in a group that was far too fast: “You’ll never come in last place.” He hasn’t always been right, but it’s a good mantra to try and follow.

After playing four years of Women’s Rugby at La Salle, I decided to focus on a less ‘impact’ sport and dive back into running. I’ve run Broad Street, 5k’s, 10k’s, 5 milers, the Ocean City Half, more half marathons, and lots of other distances and races, but one of my favorite races I’ve participated in was Mayor’s Cup 2016 when I ran with the FBR team.

I’ll admit, I was half doing it because FBR raised money for my work, but the other half of me was pretty impressed at the dedication shown to this event not only by FBR, but by the running community in Philly as a whole. I had to check it out. Unfortunately, I think I picked the worst year to participate — I’m not sure how much of that 10k trail I actually ran. The weather was around 95 degrees, in the trails. It was pretty brutal.

But it’s a race I won’t soon forget. People cheered along the way, and there was a BBQ and beer waiting at the finish. Best though, was that the feeling of ‘community’ really came back to me that day, and I’m pretty positive that’s why I run with FBR.

— Mary Elizabeth Sullivan