By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 3,000 runners took to the streets Saturday for the first-ever “Philly 10K” — and the unusual course was an instant hint.

“We have a very passionate community of runners here in Philadelphia,” said race organizer Ryan Callahan.

The event managed to sell out within hours. Callahan said that was partly a testament to running’s ever-growing popularity and partly a reflection of its unique feature.

“It’s the neighborhood,” he said. “We’re putting on a race that actually goes through Philadelphia neighborhoods. We’re going through a dozen Philly neighborhoods.”

Starting and ending in Passyunk Square, the race looped through South Philadelphia, Center City, Spring Garden, Old City and Society Hill. Callahan said it was a logistical challenge, but the runners were delighted.

“The race is different,” said one runner. “It’s not another Art Museum race. It goes through the Italian Market, so we’re excited to see the sights.”

“It’s kind of cool to just block off the streets and see the Philadelphia you never see,” said another, which is nice.”

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