First-ever Gritty 5K run draws thousands of fans

Charlotte Reese
October 13, 2019 - 11:57 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Thousands of fans took to the streets Sunday morning in South Philadelphia for the first-ever Gritty 5K, benefiting Flyers charities, to show their support for their favorite hockey team and mascot.

"Running with costumes is always a great time. It really brings a sense of community and it's fun and it's silly, and it's just really great to get out and see everyone," said Heather Blair. She and husband Tony were in full homemade Gritty outfits.

Related: Gritty's 'biggest fan,' a 3-year-old at CHOP, writes adoring letter to mascot; Philly businesses step in

"I'm wearing about four pounds worth of safety pins right now under all the fur, so we'll see how long it lasts," Tony added.

One woman who likes to go by "Gritty Speers" loved seeing the support for her favorite hockey team.

"Just the ability to be able to wear my costume again, see all the other Gritties," she said. "I'm so excited to see everyone dressed up. It's really fun. It's also great for the Flyers charities." 

From the Wells Fargo Center through the Navy Yard and ending near Xfinity Live, where all-day festivities were being held, runners went a little more than three miles. As Gritty likes to say that’s the length of approximately 33,792 hot dogs.  

Unlike most runs, instead of prizes for the fastest times, runners were recognized with the "Best in Fur" award for best costume at the Wells Fargo Center.