#Run4AllWomen from Philly to Harrisburg this weekend will raise money for Planned Parenthood

The relay run will take about two days to complete.

Kelly Volpe (left) and Marielena Mata (right) talk to a runner about this weekend's relay from Philly to Harrisburg

Kelly Volpe (left) and Marielena Mata (right) talk to a runner about this weekend's relay from Philly to Harrisburg

Zari Tarazona / Billy Penn

Inspired by the pre-Inauguration Day run from New York City to Washington, D.C., a group of West Philly women organized this weekend’s 115-mile run from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, raising money for Planned Parenthood along the way.

Marielena “Maty” Mata and several members of West Philly Women Run joined the January run when it came through Philly. That event — organized by Alison Desir and a small group of friends trying to raise $44,000 to make it to the Women’s March in DC — soon became #Run4AllWomen, a national grassroots effort centered on women’s issues. Mata and Kelly Volpe decided to become brand ambassadors for the Pennsylvania chapter.

And then a couple months ago, plans to organize a run in Philly turned into a relay run to Harrisburg. There’s still time to sign up to run if you’re feeling motivated. You can also donate or cheer.

Things kick off Saturday at City Hall at 3 p.m. with a speaking event led by Jovida Hill, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission for Women. Runners will take their places at 15th and Market around 3:30 p.m., and the goal is knock out four miles an hour.

“We had to find a building in Philly that was meaningful,” said Mata about starting at City Hall.

The run is set up as a relay, which means certain runners have signed up for different legs of the race. Mata said there will be two support vans following the group, so “people will be hopping in and out.” The vans will also be taking groups to get food and use bathrooms along the way.

Route map for Run 4 All Women Pennsylvania by Marielena Mata on plotaroute.com

I’ll be at City Hall running the first leg of the race, which will end at the intersection of 57th Street and Baltimore Avenue, with a GoPro strapped to me. Look for that footage on our site this weekend, and wish me luck.

All five state chapters of #Run4AllWomen have events going on this weekend to raise money for Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. And the PA chapter is very close to reaching the fundraising goal of $10,000.

The runners will be making their way through rural, suburban and urban areas until they reach the Capitol steps in Harrisburg. The route was outlined that way to highlight the widespread patient base Planned Parenthood supports.

“We felt it was really important not to just represent an urban population or suburban population, but to address all of the communities and their unique needs,” Volpe said.

The chapter plans to reach Harrisburg around 6:45 p.m. on Sunday. A cheer station will be there to welcome the runners, and then Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, will lead a rally about women’s reproductive issues.


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