It was 5.45am and I was being woken up by my iPhone alarm.
I had set the alarm the previous night with all the intention in the world of waking up and joining my roommate Kieran on his 2.5 mile run to the Rocky steps. However, it appeared that drunk Michael had been slightly too optimistic about how he would feel in the morning. It turned out I felt like crap. The $1.50 beers and 4 hours sleep had taken its toll on my body and all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and stay there for the foreseeable future. However, Kieran didn’t have an alarm and I knew how much this run meant to him, so I woke him up to get ready and informed him that I was in no fit state to join him. He said it was fine, got dressed and left the hostel for his run. He was a man possessed. I gulped down a pint of water then fell back to sleep…..this time with no alarm set.
I re-awoke at about 9am to find Kieran waking up on the other side of the room, he had obviously gone back to sleep after his Rocky Run.
“How’d it go mate?” I asked
“Ermm, well I got within 600m of the steps, they were still setting down the stage and stopped me going up them!….I’m pretty devastated if i’m being honest….”
Other than feeling even better about my decision not to join him, I felt so sorry for the guy. He had drunk a fair bit the night before and probably didn’t feel great on the run. Also one of the main reasons he came to Philadelphia was to run up the Rocky steps and catch the sunrise but now he couldn’t; he was leaving at 3am the next morning on a bus to Washington DC so this morning was his last chance. This was going to play on his mind for a while.
That day was a pretty chilled one as I had done all the touristy stuff I wanted to do the day before. The hostel we were in has loads of things to keep you entertained so I played a few game of FIFA with Kieran on their Xbox and got some food from the trusted 7.11 down the road. I came across a bunch of 7.11’s in SE Asia and they always had what you needed from mosquito repellent to cheap food. The ones in America were also good with cheap food that kept you going throughout the day without breaking the bank! Kieran went out for some more sightseeing and I met him and Dan later that night in a pub on South Street.
South Street was recommended to us by the hostel staff as the other go to place other than Market Street. It was about 9pm and I was walking there on my own from the hostel. Arriving on South Street you can definitely say it has a different vibe to Market Street; let’s just say you didn’t walk around with your phone on display. I met up with Dan and Kieran in this little pub where we had a couple of pints and got talking to a middle aged guy about the differences between England and America, namely our lack of guns. He eventually left us to go home, smoke some weed and ‘get some’ from his wife…fair play.
We decided South Street wasn’t really our scene so we popped back up to our trusted market street. And went into a karaoke bar where we met Kyle, Marc, Raska and a friend from camp who was living in Philadelphia, Heather. We sung many karaoke songs between us. Then suddenly at about 1am Kieran said to us “I’m doing the rocky steps now!”
“Kieran, you have a coach to DC to catch in 2 hours!”
It didn’t matter what we said to him, he was going to do it. After a weekend of not being able to do the one thing he came to Philadelphia for, he saw this as his last chance, 2 hours before he left the city. His plan was to go back to the hostel, pick up his backpack, run with his backpack to the Rocky steps and then run and meet his coach to DC. He said goodbye and we wished him well not knowing if he was going to make it to the steps or his coach for that matter as he had consumed a few beers! We stayed at the Karaoke bar for a while then headed back to the hostel. Dan and I had booked a coach for 10am the next day to take us to DC. There we would meet Kieran and we would find out if he finally managed to make his Rocky run.