To say Michael Gagliardi loves to run is an understatement. The 44-year-old from the Summerton section of Northeast Philadelphia has run marathons, ultra-marathons, and even 200 milers.
But last weekend, he ran Philly — he mapped out his run of the city's circumference while on furlough from his job, getting inspiration from a picture of the city taken from space at night.
“It was a way for me to cope with my running reality basically being taken away,” he said.
Yesterday I ran the perimeter of Philadelphia. An inordinate amount of time was spent mapping the #philly4corners to create a clean, safe, feasible route for runners and cyclists to enjoy (link in bio). My sincere hope is that others will give this challenge a try, either in sections or as one big run/ride, and do something epic this summer as all of our races have been canceled. Thank you @ebgiii, @darren.l.d, @jtbpg @wescelestino and my brother @frank_gagliardi45 for clicking off some miles with me; @curlgirl73 @shannan.with.an.a and @variantvi for meeting me along the way with mobile support. So many others to acknowledge and thank. No one gets where they're going alone. My heart is brimming with gratitude. More to follow in the coming days. Thank you #Philadelphia ------ #TailwindNutrition #rungagzrun #ultrarunner #phillyrunner #run215 #runPA #philly #phillyphilly #visitphilly #runphilly #runPHL #everybodyrun #timetofly #runtoinspire #runfree #dreambig #happyrunner #doepicshit #run #running #runner #runners #instarunner #instarunners #runnersofinstagram #beardrunner #ultrarunners #ultrarunning
A post shared by gagz (@bdg123) on Apr 26, 2020 at 7:20am PDT
Gagliardi says his daylong run that gave him amazing glimpses of the city was his way of fighting back against isolation.
“I decided to go ahead and make this a reality. In the beginning of April, I started mapping out the city. I would drive around section by section,” he explained.
He said even though he was the only competitor, he feels like the ultimate winner.
When he finished his run, Gagliardi found out his run was 76 miles, a number that’s special to many Philadelphians.