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August 30, 2021

Gritty 5K to be held in person and virtually in November

Runners are encouraged to dress up like the furry orange mascot for the 3.1-mile race, which benefits Flyers Charities

Who doesn't love dressing up like Gritty and running around the City of Brotherly Love?

Get your best fuzzy orange outfits ready, because the Gritty 5K is returning to an in-person format this fall. Registration for the Nov. 6 race, which benefits Flyers Charities, opened Monday and runs through Nov. 3.

Judging by a letter posted to Twitter on Monday, Gritty couldn't be more excited for the event, which was held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Flyers mascot wants to see more creative costumes when runners take their places at the starting line outside the Wells Fargo Center, though.

"It was a real shame we didn’t see each other last year. But trust me, it hurt you more than it hurt me," Gritty wrote. "From what I saw, it seemed like some of you were more interested in running fast and less interested in winning the coveted first place prize of Best In Fur. I DO NOT GIVE GOLD MEDALS TO TRY HARDS WHO CAN RUN FAST. That's what the Olympics are for."

The 3.1-mile race begins at 7 a.m. It will take runners around the Wells Fargo Center and the nearby Navy Yards. Racing virtually remains an option this year, too.

"It's full of surprises, detours, and flying cakes so keep your head on a swivel," Gritty wrote. "And, most importantly, it’s all for charity aka tax write offs so you can feel good morally, mentally, and (maybe not) physically. If you can't make it to my 5K, that's okay because you can also run, jog, walk, idc it virtually. You literally do not have an excuse."

Registration for the in-person race costs $50 until Sept. 8, when the price will bump up to $55. The virtual option costs $45. In-person and virtual participants will receive race packets that include a long-sleeve race shirt, reusable tote and finishers medal.

Packets can be shipped to participants or picked up from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Wells Fargo Center. In-person participants will not be able to pick up packets, which will include their bibs, on the day of the race.

Organizers said the 5K will be "conducted in accordance with all public health measures in place at the time of the race." Participants will be notified if the race changes to an all-virtual format due to COVID-19 concerns. Because the event benefits Flyers Charities, in-person participants will not be refunded registration fees if the race goes fully virtual.

Free parking will be available on race day in lots A, B and H of the Wells Fargo Center complex. For more information, check out a list of frequently asked questions put together by race organizers. 

This will be the third year of the Gritty 5K. All of the proceeds raised through the race will go toward Flyers Charities, which aims to support Philly families impacted by cancer, expand the game of hockey in the community and improve sustainability efforts around the area. 

For a final list of race do's and don'ts, it's best we consult Gritty's letter. 

Do: "Make a DIY Gritty costume, bring your friends (the fun ones) and get weird," the mascot wrote. Do not: "Try too hard, wear skin-tight clothing (nobody wants to see that) and even look at me if you come in first place." 

Gritty 5K

Saturday, Nov. 6
7 to 10 a.m. | $50 ($45 virtual)
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad St.,
Philadelphia PA, 19148