The city has many great running spots. For flat trails, there’s Kelly Drive/West River Drive, Columbus Boulevard and through Center City. For hills, there’s some routes off Kelly Drive and in Manayunk. The one thing that I did not find readily available, however, has been a track for sprints and speed training. Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus has a historic track, but access to it is very limited (you can’t use it when the cross country or track teams are practicing) and almost non-existent when school is not in session.
Perusing Google Maps, I pondered whether there were any visible tracks that could be used by the public. Down in South Philadelphia, I noted there appeared to be a track in the area of 10th Street and Bigler Street, which is south of Oregon. It was not clear whether the field was associated with a particular nearby high school.
So, one morning, I decided to investigate and take a trip down to 10th and Bigler. I was pleasantly surprised to find both the gate to the parking lot as well as the gate to the track open. The track, which I learned was called the Bok Field Track, is run by the South Philadelphia Communities Civic Association. It is open for public use on weekdays from about 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. On both of my recent visits, I found folks walking or jogging around the track.
The track is definitely a hidden gem and asset for those looking for speed training in the city.