Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Ever since I've been running on MLK, since 1997 and back when it was known as West River Drive, I've run by a statue of St. George slaying the dragon. Its a cool statue, with George kind of slight and boyish, sitting naked save for his helmet on a horse (that can't be comfortable) and about to put the finishing spear thrust into the belly of a dragon lying on its back at the horse's feet. The dragon is more scrappy than fearsome, alot smaller in stature than I picture dragons.

This provides fodder for some internet detective work that I do every once in awhile when some item on my run catches my interest (what did we ever do before the internet?). Looking up the St. George and the Dragon statue, I get this info from

The statue, whose sculptor is unknown, was cast in 1876, in time for the Centennial. After speaking with Margot Berg, the director of the City's Public Art Program, we determined this as the journey for the sculpture: it was commissioned in 1876 and after the Centennial placed on the portico at St George's Hall at 13th & Arch. In 1903, when the Society moved to 19th & Arch, so too did the sculpture. In 1923, it moved again with the Society to 19th & Spring Garden. In 1935, for some reason, it was moved into storage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it stayed for 40 years. In 1975, they dusted it off and dedicated it on West River Drive, in time for the Bicentennial. That's where it remains today -- Martin Luther King Drive, near Black Road.

Then there is the psychological aspect of this statue. The slaying of one's dragons. I thought of this as I was doing my tempo run this morning. The dragon of the morning was not a particularly odious one - run the three miles in under 19 minutes. I had done this last week, but had my doubts as to whether I could do it again as my body feels pretty beat up lately. Made it up to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge in 18:54, so the dragon is slain with a few seconds to spare. I'm liking how I can start a bit slower on these runs and then still manage to finish in under goal time. So the dragon is dead at least for the day, but it'll be back next week.

That was the highlight of my morning run, which was essentially a repeat from my workout last Thursday. I like running this loop alot more since I substituted the fire road trail for the roads that took me over Belmont Plateau. The fire trail gives me a run through the woods that I look forward to as I hump it over the MLK 3. This morning I had a member of the Fairmount Park Track Club - an adolescent deer - run ahead of me for a bit before diving off into the woods. Total of 11 miles in 91 minutes.

Yesterday's run with Deirdre was a merry chase through Center City, South Philly, and then SW Philly on this loop. Good for 8.5 miles in 73 minutes. Its been a period of exploring new routes lately, and its helped with reinvigorating my running.

Speaking of dragons, the ones that inhabit my workspace are roaring, I better stop here and fight them back.


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