Ask Benny

Is the Franklin Field track open to the public?

Dear Benny,
My wife and I work at Penn, and like Jay Z and Rihanna, we run this town (yeah, I said it). We’ve run all over the city: Kelly Drive, Forbidden Drive, MLK Drive, Fairmount Park, Pennypacker Park, the run through the city Rocky did in “Rocky II,” and even here on campus on Locust Walk (we turned it into Locust Run). I hear Franklin Field has a new, spiffy track, and we’ve been thinking about checking that out. We haven’t run on too many tracks. Is it open to the public?
Thank You for Reading,
—My Wife Tells Me I’m Not Funny

Dear Mr. Husband,
Thank you for your handwritten letter. We don’t receive too many hard copies these days. We asked Mike Mahoney, director of communications at Penn Athletics, to help us out with this one and he says the Franklin Field track is not open to the general public, but is open to anyone in the Penn community with a Penn ID: students, faculty, staff, graduate students, Penn Medicine employees, you and your wife, and CHOP employees.

You are indeed correct, the track underwent a five-month renovation project over the summer after the conclusion of Commencement, its first major renovation since the late 1980s. The previous track was replaced with a track that has a new and improved surface and concrete underneath. Mahoney says the new track, similar in color to the old track, has been getting a lot of use.

“People like to use it, especially during the lunchtime hour,” he says. “You’ll see groups walking and talking and catching up, and getting some exercise.”

The track is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In order to access the track, you must enter through the Fox Fitness Center in the Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field, across from The Palestra. You can sign in at the Fox Center, which will give you access to Franklin Field, and you can walk onto the track from there.


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